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Thirst - A Ravenloft PbP

Game Master Celestial Healer

Set in the land of Ravenloft, a band of intrepid heroes searches for a way home, but their fate may be inextricably tied to a vain, power-hungry madman. Uses the Pathfinder ruleset.


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Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Oops, misunderstood that from the discussion thread.

Well, Nathaniel still addresses that point in the letter either way.


Male Human Cleric/6 {HP:49/49, AC 16 (11 touch)

The grim face Res has been wearing since their departure from the Necropolis transforms first into a look of disbelief and then one of joy as he sees his friend, Nathaniel seated and waiting for them.

"Hearty Greetings, Nathaniel, I am very glad to see you here." His face darkens, "Alas, I am sorry to say we are still no closer to finding out about your sister."

He pauses as introductions are made and then listens intently as the letter from Dr. Savarre is read.

"I wish there was more time to catch you up Nathaniel, however time is short if we wish to retrieve our prize before it flees. Let us rest and recover tonight and tomorrow we can put together our plan. It is very good to see you again."


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

"It's good to see you too Res," answers Nathaniel. "But you're right, I'm keeping you from your rest."


The party heads toward the rooms, although the tavern room continues to bustle with activity. For those who spend the day crossing the fetid swamplands, the exhaustion is palpable. The innkeeper arranges to send up washbasins to clean away the grime of the road and the stench of the necropolis.

Up the stairs, you enter a corridor leading to the many guest rooms of the Marshflower. A woman stands in the hall with a young girl about seven years old. The woman is scolding her daughter - evidently for speaking out of turn. You see the woman strike the child and storm off into a guest room, leaving the girl crying in the hallway.

Angalia approaches her and consoles her. She thinks of the fantastic doll she picked up a few days ago - beautiful, if somewhat worse for wear, and gives it to the girl. Her eyes open wide, as she has no doubt never been given so fine a gift.

(Reminder)


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Nathaniel frowns as the mother strikes her child, then nods in approval at Angalia's act of kindness towards the girl (which, this being Ravenloft, will no doubt go horribly wrong).


Angalia quiets the girl down, and in time she turns and heads to her room. She gives a wistful look back at the PCs, the doll held tightly in her arms, then turns and enters her room, closing the door behind her,

You have three rooms for the night, and as before, are able to offer one to Eliva and Angalia. The noises of the crowd below filter up through the floorboards further into the evening, but gradually subside as he patrons depart for the night.

Sometime lighter, you are all awoken by shrill screaming from another guest room.


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Nathaniel sits bolt upright as the shrill scream tears the night, his face and torso dripping with cold sweat, a product of the nightmares he has suffered since losing his sister. He grasps for his weapons, not pausing to don shirt or armour, then heads towards the source of the scream.

Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26 to try to work out where the scream came from; passive perception is 21.


Male Human (Taldan) Paladin 6: Init +0, Perception +0; F+11, R+6, W+9; HP 64/64 {LoH 7/7, 3d6; smite, 2/2; divine armor 6/6 min}

Leandro practically collides with Nathaniel as he, too, stumbles from his room in small clothes, silver longsword in hand. "From nightmare to nightmare - can you tell where it is?" He follows Nathaniel's lead towards the screams.


Male Human Magus 6 AC21/T16/F15, Hits 50/50, Init +6, F+8, R+7(+9), W+6; Perception +0, Arcane Pool 6/6

Unarmoured and dressed in just his chemise, Andrzej dashes out calling for Res to wake up. His hand twitches around the scabbard of his scimitar, tousled hair out of place and moustache not even slicked down.

No time to shave. I must look a mess. Needs must.

"Well?" a very curt magus adds to the growing gaggle of adventurers outside the door of screams. Not in any rush to lead in, he pauses behind Leandro and Nathaniel.

Are we outside one of our doors such as Eliva or Angalia?


You can tell the scream came from one of the guest rooms. Out in the hallway, there is a commotion as the innkeeper and a few other patrons have stirred as well. There is another scream, and it is plainly coming from the room occupied by the mother and daughter you encountered earlier.


Male Human (Taldan) Paladin 6: Init +0, Perception +0; F+11, R+6, W+9; HP 64/64 {LoH 7/7, 3d6; smite, 2/2; divine armor 6/6 min}

"Go, go," Leandro urges Nathanial as they're jammed into the hallway, "We're right behind you."


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Nathaniel rushes towards the guest room occupied by the mother and daughter. As he reaches the door he doesn't slow, but attempts to barge it open with his shoulder.
Strength check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

And probably bounces straight off if it is locked.


Half-orc Slayer 6

A half orc pushes through the crowd with a crowbar in hand and attempts to help Nathaniel open the door.
Strength check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Nathaniel starts in shock as the half-orc appears beside him, but moves aside to allow the other man access to the door when he realises he is trying to help.


Male Human Magus 6 AC21/T16/F15, Hits 50/50, Init +6, F+8, R+7(+9), W+6; Perception +0, Arcane Pool 6/6

"Useful," murmurs Andrzej as the door defeats Nathaniel and gauges the speed with which the half-orc steps into the breach.

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 14

Does it sound like a mother's scream or a daughter's?


Andrzej, it sounds more like the daughter's voice.

The half-orc pries the door open with apparent ease. The innkeeper stands beside him with a lantern, illuminating the scene within.

The girl you saw earlier stands in a corner near an open window. Her terrified face is streaked with tears. A streetlamp outside casts a wan light upon the blood-spattered bed. The girl's mother lies sprawled within it, her throat slashed and her blood soaking the bedsheets.


Male Human Cleric/6 {HP:49/49, AC 16 (11 touch)

Res pushes his way through the door. When he sees the woman sprawled on the bed, he rushes over to see if he can help. He checks for a pulse while looking for a way to stem the flow of blood. "Quick, grab a sheet, towel, anything to slow the blood loss." he barks.

heal, is she alive?: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24


Res finds no pulse; the woman is dead. The cut was made with surgical precision to sever arteries on both sides. Whoever did this knew what they were doing and wanted to be certain she did not survive the injury.


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

"Where did they go?" Nathaniel yells, running towards the open window and looking carefully about, looking for anything suspicious.

Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13


Male Human Cleric/6 {HP:49/49, AC 16 (11 touch)

"She's dead." announces Res. Then quickly remembering that the woman's daughter was still in the room, Res turns as gently as he can and says to the girl, "Are you ok little girl? Did someone try to hurt you and your mother? If so, where did they go?" He stands up and tries to wipe the blood from his hands as best as he can as approaches the girl. "We can help you."

diplomacy to set the girl at ease: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16


Half-orc Slayer 6

Not knowing the status of the woman, Volidrian takes out his Healer's kit and hands it to Res, "Bandages"


Male Human Cleric/6 {HP:49/49, AC 16 (11 touch)

"Too late friend," replies Res to the Half-orc. He then returns his attention to calming the little girl.


Nathaniel observes a small smear of blood on the windowsill. The open window would be a tight squeeze for most people.

The girl still seems to be in shock, but she seems willing to speak to Res. She sniffles and hesitates. "She wanted to take me with her, but I didn't want to go. She scared me. I didn't think a doll could talk, but this one did."

Angalia, standing in the doorway, lets out a faint gasp.

The girl goes on. "The doll wanted me to go, but I wouldn't. Then I saw what she did to mother. Like the pigs at the market; they don't last long once you've done that to them."

Sense Motive DC 12:
She is clearly frightened by what she saw, but is conspicuously clinical about her mother's demise.


Male Human Cleric/6 {HP:49/49, AC 16 (11 touch)

sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23

Res continues to move cautiously toward the girl. His eyes narrow when she mentions about pigs being slaughtered so coldly. He keeps an eye out for the doll. perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9

"Child, my name is Res. What is your name? You have been through a terrible ordeal. It's ok, you mustn't be frightened anymore. Is the doll still here? What did she say to you?"

Just in case it matters, Res does not have any armor on. His AC is 11 at the moment. Also, he left his greatsword on the floor next to the corpse so that he doesn't frighten the girl.


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Nathaniel stalks over to Angalia. "Where did the doll come from? Was it magical?" he whispers urgently.


Half-orc Slayer 6

Volidrian stands around awkwardly for a bit after putting away his items. Then he begins to search the room for clues.
perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26 + 2 for hidden things
Interrogating frightened children about the death of their mother goes way beyond his training


28/29HP , AC17

Tybalt is very quiet through the journey back, their failure to acquire the skull, the fishmongers betrayal and the reminder of the lunar cycle seem to take the storyteller back within his shell. However Nathaniels arrival is very welcomed, raising the spirits of all the group.

Tybalt, will before bed time nip out to the streets of the town and try and find the fishmongers shop or stall to try and give payment to the widow or any family that might rely upon the scoundrel.

His sleep seems to be full of screams, what is one more? However the accompanying movement outside his room brings him to his feet and he slips on his trousers before exiting into the hallway. Catching the end of what's happened he's shocked, though it seems maybe the girl is inured to violence - for did not her mother strike her? Though to lose a mother at such a young age is terrible, even in this land of terrible acts.


Male Human Magus 6 AC21/T16/F15, Hits 50/50, Init +6, F+8, R+7(+9), W+6; Perception +0, Arcane Pool 6/6

"how did a little doll cut her neck, girl?" asks the vistani from behind Res. Impatient but nevertheless he tries to soften his words with a thin smile.

Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 5

Ignored and unable to see an answer, he looks round the room for any clues as to why these two were targeted. He tries to keep out of the girl's way while he lifts belongings.


"My name is Tess," the girl says after a time. She is clearly very shaken. "The doll - it cut her with a shiny blade, like you shave with. Then she - the doll - she asked me to come with her, to a safe place. But I was scared. I wouldn't go."

Angalia whispers to Nathaniel, still in a daze. "It was discarded on the roadside. I don't know more. We saw a number of beautiful specimens throughout the city."

Volidrian searches thoroughly, but can find little that is hidden in this room. The indications are clear that the assailant fled via the window. It most likely took the weapon with it, for there is no sign of it.


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Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

"How are we to find a tiny doll in a city this size - already filled with dolls?" Nathaniel mutters to Angalia. "And what is to become of this poor girl - left without a mother? Given the way her mother treated her I am almost inclined to say she is better off, but no child should grow up without parents ... I hope her father is about somewhere."


Half-orc Slayer 6

Volidrian turns to Nathaniel and Angalia and addresses them in an even tone, "Did this doll look like [insert description of doll here]? If so it is part of a series of such occurrences though often the child ends up missing." His expression grows darker, clearly he has a personal connection to the case but is not forthcoming.
"These dolls have been killing parents and stealing children throughout the city though I know not for what purpose. As for Tess, I have money, and will see that she is well taken care of."


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Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Nathaniel assesses the man thoughtfully. His association with Eliva has taught him not to judge a person by their heritage but by their deeds, and so far this man's words and actions suggest that he might be a useful ally.

"I only saw the doll briefly," he says, " but yes, I believe it was as you describe. There have been more of these killings? Do you know what can be done to track or stop these murderous dolls?"

It is a mark of the time he has spent in these lands that the phrase 'murderous dolls' comes so easily to Nathaniel.


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This may ring a bell for folks other than Nathaniel.

The innkeeper, still standing in the doorway, speaks up. "Those murders seem to be all anyone is talking about these days. But you don't honestly believe it was the doll, do you? Surely the girl is mistaken. Probably a burglar or something. The dolls are just toys. Nothing is more fashionable than gifting a child with one of Gerard de Monte's creations."

"We must call the constables at once." He then mutters, "In my own inn... Very bad for business..."


Male Human Magus 6 AC21/T16/F15, Hits 50/50, Init +6, F+8, R+7(+9), W+6; Perception +0, Arcane Pool 6/6

"Perhaps we should ask Tess first? Do you have other family in town? Or elsewhere that we can take you too?"


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

"Gerard de Monte makes all these dolls?" Nathaniel asks the innkeeper sharply.


The girl looks around her with great concern. "In town? No. Somewhere. My uncle farms. Only comes in on market days. He and my aunt... They're good to me," she says.

The innkeeper answers Nathaniel directly, "Yes, remarkable creations they are. Seen quite a few among the well-heeled, but never saw one kill nobody. Once I even saw a man come by ship from across the sea just to go to de Monte's workshop and buy one. Must be a spoiled brat, whoever got that one."


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

“Perhaps Tess could sleep the rest of the night in Eliva and Angalia’s room?” suggests Nathaniel, looking questioningly at the women – his suggestion borne out of how he assumes the girl would best feel safe, rather than any preconceptions on the role of women in society. “Keep the window closed and the rest of us take turns standing guard outside the door – in case the killer should try to return. Then, in the morning … maybe we will go doll shopping.”


"Come with us," Eliva says softly, leading the girl away from the scene of horror.

True to his word, the innkeeper does send for the constables, who come to investigate the scene. Their investigation seems rather perfunctory - they are jaded by so many similar scenes of late. They do try to question as many of you as are willing, but seem satisfied that none of you have been in town long enough to have perpetrated the crimes yourselves. They seem almost relieved that you have taken some responsibility for the girl's care and make no further inquiries as to her welfare.

If there is nothing particular you wish to ask of the constables or report, we can move on from there, but by all means take the opportunity if you want to handle the interaction some other way.


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Nathaniel will enquire of the constables as to whether there are any suspects for these murders, and whether there are any clues that suggest they are the works of a single murderer? Does anything suggest that the murderer has an unusual physiology, for example being unusually short?

If the constables are disinclined to answer, he won’t press the issue.


Male Human Cleric/6 {HP:49/49, AC 16 (11 touch)

Res answers all of the constable's questions. He agrees with Nathaniel's suggestion to have the girl stay with Angalia and Eliva. He listens carefully to the constable's answer to Nathaniel's inquiries. The only question he adds is, "Has this method of murder, a precise slit of the throat followed by a missing child, been happening for a long time or has there been a recent rise in such events?"


Male Human Magus 6 AC21/T16/F15, Hits 50/50, Init +6, F+8, R+7(+9), W+6; Perception +0, Arcane Pool 6/6

Andrzej waits his turn and answers any question as best he can.

Then asks the obvious, "Could you tell me of de Monte, Gerard de Monte to be more precise?" Whatever he learns he passes onto the party once they gather again.

The magus rubs the pommel of his scimitar at the same time, unconsciously thinking of how to deal with a doll with a razor, envisioning what spells and attacks would end the construct before it did this again.

"You appear to have seen far too many of these deaths recently. We would like to investigate privately. That will not cause a problem, will it?"


Male Human (Taldan) Paladin 6: Init +0, Perception +0; F+11, R+6, W+9; HP 64/64 {LoH 7/7, 3d6; smite, 2/2; divine armor 6/6 min}

Leandro watches the proceedings in helpless horror, shaking his head at his useless sword. How? How does one fight this evil, Goddess? I am blind in this place where all glows with malice and children's toys are murderous. The wicked thrive and the good are downtrodden. What would you have me do in this place? Why did you send me here? He mutters to himself or his goddess -- it's hard to tell.


The constables confirm that the other murders bore similarities to this one, particularly throats slit in just this fashion. In some cases it may not be apparent if a child was around or not due to lack of witnesses, but in most the victim cared for a child, and most of those children were nowhere to be found. There were only two other cases where a child was present and did not go missing, but neither provided as detailed an account as Tess.

They do not have a suspect, but they do think there is a single murderer involved, only because of the consistent modus operandi connecting all the killings. When Nathaniel asks about clues that might lead one to conclude the attacker is small in stature, the constables stare rather blankly. It is clear they are out of their depth on this type of investigation (the constables of this city are little more than peacekeepers or guards - they are not experienced investigators).

The constable speaking with Andrzej is puzzled by his question. "Monsieur de Monte? The toymaker? Not much to tell. Makes fancy dolls for spoiled tots and parents with money to burn. Wouldn't surprise me if a lot of them children had those dolls - most of the slayings were in rich houses, not inns like this one. Nothing to tell of the man himself - he's a quiet old man. No family. They all died, I think, a long time ago - before my time anyway. But how's an old man like that go creepin' in and out of windows?"

"You want to have a look around, by all means. Just don't go disturbin' the peace. Folks are shaken up enough as it is."


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Once the girl has been led away by Eliva, and the constables are gone, Nathaniel turns to Res. "Res, you are a good judge of character," he says. "What did you think of the girl's story? I'm ... inclined to believe her tale, as incredible as it seems, but what do you think? Could she have been mistaken, or dreaming, or lying?"


Male Human Cleric/6 {HP:49/49, AC 16 (11 touch)

Res thinks for a moment. "I believe the girl is telling the truth as to perpetrator of the murder, however I am troubled by the way she so coldly described how her mother was killed. I hope she is not possessed in some way. We need be wary of her."


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 6; AC 21; touch 13; ff 18. HP: 59/59. Fort +6; Ref +8; Will +6

Nathaniel frowns at Res’ assessment of the girl. He gestures Angalia over and lets her know. “Be careful, you and Eliva,” he says. “One of us will be waiting outside the door through the night if there’s any trouble.


Male Human Magus 6 AC21/T16/F15, Hits 50/50, Init +6, F+8, R+7(+9), W+6; Perception +0, Arcane Pool 6/6

"Or simply she is suffering after that attack and the loss of her mother in such a terrible way. And nearly being kidnapped by a blood thirsty doll. Res - give her time and with female company so may respond better."

All of the vistani's family hackles are being raised by this situation.

My holiday starts tonight so please look after my PC until 5th September. I may manage to post in game but it's unlikely with the wifi service I expect.


Male Human Cleric/6 {HP:49/49, AC 16 (11 touch)

"I'll take the first watch outside the girls door. But I will need some extra time in the morning for my morning ritual" He turns to the half-Orc that opened the door. "My name is Res Thanq. You displayed some quick thinking with the door. Thank you for your help? Where do you hail from and what brings you here?"


Half-orc Slayer 6

"My name is Volidrian, I come from Thalax and I don't know how I ended up in this... place. As you are investigating these murders I ask to join you, I would also like to see the perpetrator brought to justice."

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