|The Slaughter Priest|
sense motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Shanoa's mouth hangs open momentarily at the uncouth disruption, but catches the sheriff's eye and nods understandingly. When Oorin begins his own rant, she quickly steps in front of him and tries to silence the gnome. "Shh, this isn't the time. Making enemies in the town's nobility won't help us investigate the professor's death."
Oorin begins his tirade, and Shanoa barely has time to step in front of him before Sheriff Caellar's face twists into exasperation as he calls to one of his men, "Deputy Trestleblade! Please escort these visitors outside the incident scene!"
A small woman quickly comes over and begins herding you away from the monument. Vashian watches you go with a small frown on his face.
As these events unfold, Priest quickly scans the monument for anything that might seem unusual. The one curious item he notices is that the "V" is written as a capital letter.
Please let me know if anybody refuses to go with the deputy. She is basically going to lead you out of the center of town, but she doesn't care where you go after that.
The "V" is written in Varisian which is common for humans in Ustalav. I am making the assumption that the form of words in Varisian follows English - i.e. proper nouns are capitalized.
|Karl the Bastard|
|The Slaughter Priest|
As The Slaughter Priest pokes around the statue, Roland allows himself to be herded back to the centre of town with everyone else.
"I for one could use a cup of something hot."
"Did you say an inn? Excellent! I'm starving!"
"Indeed. As I mentioned, you'll find a private room waiting in the Laughing Demon. I will join you in just a moment..."
Roland excuses himself and pops into the general store to have a letter he had written up the night before sent to Lepidstatd.
I am required to stay in Ravengro for a month to help settle the affairs of the late Professor Petros Lorrimor. I expect I should not be missed in that time, and look forward to returning in a few weeks' time.
Roland L. Savardson, M.Alc
Roland dates the message and pays the cost of having it delivered. That settled, he returns to the Laughing Demon to rejoin the group.
Roland, the General Store has just opened, and several other townspeople are here picking up various items. You note that it has a good selection of basic goods, and prices are reasonable. Base SRD price + 10%
A tall man with a shaggy brown beard introduces himself as Luthko, owner of the store. He greets you and points out his wife, Marta, as she helps other customers. As you speak with Luthko, you notice several small girls running around the store; based on their appearance and dress, they are all likely Luthko and Marta's daughters.
Luthko agrees to mail the message, only 2 copper for such a small package.
As you turn to leave, one item catches your attention - an ornate suit of full plate mail rests on a rack at the back of the store. Though it appears to be on display, you can tell that it is a real suit of armor, not just a decorative piece.
Roland thanks Luthko and turns to return to the inn, only to notice the suit of armour. His eyes pan over the ornate metal working, and the curiosity is just too much to resist. He turns back to Luthko.
"An odd piece for a general store in such a small town to be selling. It is yours?"
I'm not worried about CP, that was just flavor, sorry if it seemed otherwise :)
Luthko looks over to the armor, "Oh, that old suit? We've had it taking up space here for so long, I just ignore it these days. Marta got that from her mother when she went to Pharasma's judgement about ten years ago. It was a family heirloom or something, don't really remember the story to be honest with you. But it's not for sale."
Luthko suddenly gives you a long look, obviously deciding something. "No sir, I don't think Marta would sell it, that armor being so important to her and all. I just don't think she could ever be convinced to part with that huge suit of armor. That armor that takes up so much space... that heavy suit of armor... just taking up so much space in our store."
Luthko gives you an appraising look, and before you can say anything, he continues, "Ah well, at least you're not the first person to even notice it in ... I don't know... five or six years."
Seeing that "Arthur" has had a chance to examine the statue, Oorin immediately ceases his tirade and allows himself to be herded away as if nothing had happened. He whistles a merry tune as he leisurely strolls to the tavern cheerfully waving and greeting passerbys.
Michael gasps, completely taken aback by the councilman's behavior. He frowns and raises his hands in shock. "M-my sincerest apologies, I had no idea that we were intruding on an investigation, I just...I thought...I'm sorry." He hangs his head sadly. When Karl suggests they walk away, Michael nods and keeps his head down, following his companions to the inn.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Perception: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 11
|Karl the Bastard|
Once everyone is assembled back in the private room of the Laughing Demon, Karl orders coffee if it is available, tea if not and sips it warily. He takes a moment to speak to whoever will listen. Is it just met, or is something very strange going on here? First that thing appears out of thin air, and an axe wound that should have made me a head shorter is just a bruise, then this talk of professional investigation, and then there's the professor's death, and ghosts and whatever this Whispering Way business is all about. Between you and me, I think we might be in over our heads.
-2 CP"An odd piece for a general store in such a small town to be selling. It is yours?"
Don't worry about the cp, that was just flavor, sorry for making you think otherwise!
Luthko looks over to the armor, "What? Oh, no, that's Marta's. Well, it was her mothers, but she passed on and the armor ended up in my wife's hands. So, it ended up here, taking up space."
He turns back to Roland, "But it's not for sale, Marta just hasn't had the heart to get rid of it. It being a family heirloom and all."
Luthko sighs, "I tell you sir, it's a mighty big job to keep it clean, and it's so heavy and dangerous with the girls around... one of the gauntlets fell off the other day and nearly brained little Greda..."
Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Roland smiles, catching Luthko's meaning.
"Well, perhaps Marta would be inclined to see it go to good use somewhere else, rather than mouldering on a shelf? Carrying on it's legacy, as it were? I myself am no armoured warrior as you can plainly see... but I may know some folk who could use a fine suit of plate. I'll be sure to mention it to them."
With that, Roland excuses himself from the shop and heads back across the square to the Laughing Demon, rejoining the group in the private room.
"Sorry for my delay." He apologizes as he hangs his coat and takes a seat. "I was speaking with the shop owner at the general store. Did I miss anything?"
"We just sat down ourselves. Karl, you may be right, but we've all given our word to stay in town anyway - and I just don't feel right sitting around doing nothing with all these strange occurrences around us. Besides, I think we owe it to the Professor to at least try and find out what really was behind his...untimely death."
"Besides, I think we owe it to the Professor to at least try and find out what really was behind his...untimely death."
Roland nods and leans in.
"Arthur and I were saying exactly that earlier. We're both fairly convinced he may have been murdered. There's certainly enough evidence to support the theory."
Michael shakes his head firmly. "I will not interfere with a legal investigation if I am not wanted there...I don't want to get in the way of these fine men and their work. Besides, Karl almost fell off a barn while he was attempting to 'investigate'..."
Thinking about what the Professor said to him...about never losing faith and standing up for what he believes in, Michael grits his teeth. "No...wait. That's not right. Forgive me, friends. I faltered, but for just a moment. We are here to help Miss Kendra first, but we can also help the town second. If there is someone here who means to do harm to the town, then I will defend it."
Turning to his companions, Michael frowns. "So, Shanoa. Roland. Arthur. Did any of you find anything out?"
Shanoa shakes her head sadnely. "Other than there is some evil, which you yourself found, and Karl's encounter with what may have been some illusionary magic, or worse...sadly I think we know very little. I'd like to propose a trip to the location where the Professor died, but we should be prepared first. We'll need to stop at the temple, and I'd also like to find out more about the history of that place - what happened in that fire and all. Perhaps the town hall has records we could research."
|Karl the Bastard|
Karl nods his head as Shanoa speaks. Yes, first to the temple of Pharasma. That priest struck me as a good man. Hopefully he can be of help. I hope you all can forgive me for my reservations. I am accustomed to working on my own, but I can see how all of us together can aid Ms. Lorrimor and find these foul murderers.
|Karl the Bastard|
Karl relays the details of the blood splatters leading from the statue to the field, his findings there, and his brush with death atop the barn.
"Wait... what's this about illusions?"
After Karl relates the events of the day, Oorin turns to Roland, "That was may initial thought: that he was attacked by some sort of phantasm; however, that type of illusion is just a trick played on the mind. I can't remember ever hearing of one that would be intrisically "evil" nor leave a wound that would detect as such. I think my initial thought was mistaken."
Turning to face everyone, "Also, I would like to apologize for my little "acting" stunt earlier but I felt it necessary. At first, I genuinely believed the Councilman to be joking. I got a good look at the faces of the townsfolk as he was talking and Councilman Vahsian's views were not shared by those who were present." Oorin pauses, "I do not know why he is so eager to find a scapegoat in this matter. His loud indignation will not help solve matters nor even improve his standing in Ravengro."
Oorin then sits back, content to follow whatever plan the rest come up with.
What is going on in this town?
Roland sits back, mulling over Karl and Oorin's words.
"Very strange. Some evil is at play here at it seems the Professor may have stumbled into the middle of it unprepared." He nods to Shanoa. "I agree with you. Before we proceed, we should learn all we can about what it is we face."
He can't help but suddenly smile to himself, a memory of the Professor saying similar words to him years ago forming in his mind. He clears his throat.
"A trip to the Temple of Pharasma would certainly be a good first step.
|The Slaughter Priest|
|Karl the Bastard|
Very well, let us depart then.
Karl makes his way along the town streets to the Temple of Pharasma.
What do you (and the others) want to ask about when you arrive?
I'm also fine if people want to roll some checks ahead of time: Diplomacy, Sense Motive, various Knowledges, etc.
Just as the group heads out from the inn, Roland glances back at the General Store.
"Ah, I almost forgot. The shopkeeper's wife has a suit of masterful looking plate mail she may be willing to part with... thought she may need to be persuaded. Seems she has no use for it, but can't seem to bring herself to sell it."
His eyes pass between Shanoa, Michael, The Slaughter Priest and Karl.
"I'm no man-of-arms, myself, but perhaps it may be of use to someone else. Especially if we expect that we've found ourselves in the midst of a dangerous situation."
|The Slaughter Priest|
Upon arriving at the temple, Shanoa bows deeply before the priest before speaking. "Your grace, the late professor left us documents alluding to some tools useful against the undead that have been stored in a crypt here. We would like to take a visit to the location where he passed - to further investigate - but due to rumors of...strange occurrences there we feel it would be best to be prepared. With your permission, we would like to make use of those tools."
diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
I assume that everyone went along, and that the group is talking to Father Grimburrow, the leader of the Temple in Ravengro (and the man who presided over the Professor's internment).
Father Grimburrow considers your words before turning to an acolyte and instructing him to fetch something. Returning to you, "I do not recall anything about tools being stored in a crypt here in Ravengro... but I do not discount the possibility. Renauld is retrieving a book that might have the answer."
He pauses and takes a deep breath, "As for retrieving them, that is a different matter. If these tools are indeed inside a crypt, then opening it is a serious matter in our faith - and it would take a high degree of trust for me to turn these items of our church over to a group of ... let us say worshippers of different faiths."
"What can you tell me about these strange occurrences?"
Father Grimburrow is not saying "no", but he is not yet convinced. If anybody can provide details of what's happening with Diplomacy rolls then he seems inclined to help you.
Shanoa pauses, unsure of how much information to share with the priest. "Ghosts, sir. They say Harrowstone is haunted, but as I'm from out of town, I do not know the full story - just that there was a fire. I don't suppose you could tell us what happened there?"
diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Father Grimburrow places his hands behind his back as he responds, "Yes, it makes a good story, doesn't it? A prison full of the most violent and disturbing criminals in history, all consumed by the fires of their own hand during an escape attempt. What a horror! But truly haunted?"
He starts to speak, then closes his mouth. He finally continues in a subdued tone, "We searched the prison after the fire. Yes, I was an acolyte then, and I was there. Such a horrible place, made worse by the stench of fire and death. We spent days trying to find survivors, then days more looking for any signs of the undead. We found neither."
Grimburrow grimaces, "So are you repeating the stories, or do you have something more to convince me?"
|Karl the Bastard|
The professor knew there were ghosts, Karl says sullenly. He had been there and seen them for himself. He even wrote about them in his journal.
Michael enters the general store and smiles at the shopkeeper. "Good day. My name is Michael Thronedweller. It's a pleasure to meet you. I have heard tell of a special suit of armor that is located within this shop. Could you please let me examine it?"
He smiles politely.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Shanoa sighs slightly. "There was a group of necromancers performing some sort of ritual there. It's possible they may have awakened those who slumbered in the prison. And...I've faced the undead before unprepared," she shudders visibly at the memory, "and I'd prefer to never have to do so again." Looking around, her eyes fall on a collection box. "My loyalties lie elsewhere, but I respect Pharasma and her church. I also understand that she has no love for the undead - please, we're on the same side."
As they enter the temple, Roland stops at the altar and makes the sign of the spiral over his heart, showing the respect he was taught as a youth.
He turns back as Shanoa begins speaking with Father Grimburrow.
"So are you repeating the stories, or do you have something more to convince me?"
"Karl... ah, didn't you say you had been attacked by some phantasm earlier?"
|Karl the Bastard|
Karl shrugs his shoulders and looks down at the ground.
I don't know what it was...
He raises his head and looks the priest in the eye. I was on top of that barn that overlooks the small field, southeast of town. That's where the trail of blood splatters lead. Same blood as was on the statue, we think. See, I'm a hunter, a tracker by trade. Those spots were hard to find, but I spotted them by Erastil's grace, begging your pardon, father. And they lead to that field, so I got up on the barn to have a better look, for trails in the grass, if you take my meaning, when he appears, out of nowhere! Not like he was hiding and snuck up on me, like I was looking at the cupola and he's just there, out of thin air! Mad yellow eyes, and an axe that should've taken my head off, 'cept for it didn't, even though it struck true. I near fell off that roof for my trouble. And we searched that barn, father. Gods strike me blind if we didn't, but he just. weren't. there.
Karl lapses back into silence, unused to saying so many words at once.
Shanoa nods. "Several of us were there and saw it. Something - we didn't see what - hurt him badly. Michael said he detected something truly evil right when it happened, and it left a nasty bruise on his neck. He'd show you but I already tended to it. Between that and the desecration of the monument this morning, I fear something very foul is afoot around Rovagog."
"I have no doubt that your examinations of the prison, at that time, were very thorough. However, it is the problems of right now that must be dealt with. My readings of the Professor's journals indicates that he felt this group of necromancers were part of cult stretching back to antiquity. If such a group truly wanted to perform profane rites, the ruins would be the perfect place; no one ever goes there."
"I know that the more superstitious in town were inclined to blame the Professor for recent ills; however, his recent passing did not prevent the desecration of the statue. Indeed, his death at a time when he was investigating such things is suspicious by itself."
"Nothing is lost by investigating further except a little time. But we need your help to do so. At times like this, isn't it better to be cautious and allay everyones fears rather than not?"
Aid Another (whoever has the highest skill): Diplomacy (DC 10): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
|The Slaughter Priest|
Sorry guys, posted last night but I guess it got eaten, I'll include this morning's responses as well.
I assume you went to the General Store instead of the Temple.
A stout woman greets you as you enter the store, "Welcome, sir. My name is Marta, and this is my store. The armor you mention is part of my family's heritage, so before I let you go inspecting it, why don't you tell me a bit about yourself?"
@ Everyone else:
Father Grimburrow listens closely to you, silently considering everything you say. The first obvious reaction occurs when Karl describes his encounter on the top of the barn. "That certainly seems like something this Church should investigate further, and I believe I have a better understanding of your position now. Thank you."
As Oorin begins mentioning the necromancers, Father Grimburrow's face clouds over and his manner shifts noticeably. "Interesting, perhaps I would not be in error to surmise this particular cult enjoys keeping secrets, perhaps by whispering to one another?"
He holds up a hand to stop further discussion, "I only know of them by reputation, and I would not have their name mentioned in this sacred place. If the Professor knew of them, and they were the source of his research when he died, then there may be an even greater threat than we realize."
The acolyte who was sent for the book returns, moving swiftly until he is beside Father Grimburrow. The priest takes the book and flips through for a few seconds. He scans down, reading quickly, "Ah, here we go. There is a passage here that records a decision to hide several caches of weapons and tools specifically for destroying undead abominations around Ravengro. Unfortunately, it doesn't list any specific locations. So you may be right..."
He closes the book and stands in silence for nearly a minute. He finally looks at the group, "I will allow you to investigate this crypt, but you must allow two of my acolytes to accompany you. If there are tools inside, you are free to take whatever you wish. Please allow my acolytes to bring whatever you don't need back to the Temple."
Looking at Arthur, "Unfortunately, I can only provide you a list of people that were buried, a complete list of those who died - including those who are presumed deceased - would be located at the Town Hall."
He will have Renauld fetch the list of people who were confirmed dead in the fire. Are you looking for anything specific?
Renauld and another acolyte, Jesper, accompany you to The Restlands. They are teenage boys, do not carry any weapons, and are basically there just so the Church has some "official" presence when the crypt is opened.
You assume correctly, sir!
Michael bows politely. "But of course! Let's see, what to tell you? Well, I am a follower of Iomedae. In fact, Iomedae has seen fit to reward my devotion by blessing me with Her divine grace. I am a paladin of the church. I grew up in Ustalva. My mother died when I was very little, and my father did his best to raise me on his own. I like to think of myself as a caring and compassionate person who fights for justice, but everyone's opinion of themselves is likely a bit biased and not quite truthful."
Michael then smiles and extends a hand towards Marta. "So, this armor was part of your family line, then? Please, tell me a bit about its history."
Roland is visibly relieved at the suggestion the Pharasman acolytes accompany them to the Restlands.
At least no one will get the wrong idea if we're seen mucking about, now.
"We should wait for Michael before we attempt to open the crypt. I believe he stopped off at the general store to inquire about the armour."
[ "Interesting, perhaps I would not be in error to surmise this particular cult enjoys keeping secrets, perhaps by whispering to one another?"
Oorin smiles, "As you say. And since we're waiting for Michael, did the Professor ever ask for your help during his research, Father?"
Marta looks at you impassively, folding her arms across her chest. "Very nice, but really, couldn't anybody say that? How do I know you're telling the truth?"
She grins as she produces a set of cards, "But I've got another idea. Are you familiar with the Harrow Deck?"
"Unfortunately, the Professor did not include me in any of his recent research. Honestly, I wouldn't have helped much, I only know the most basic details about that particular group... But one thing I do know is the leadership of my Church would be very interested to learn about any of their activities in this region. If you can confirm their involvement, would you let me know? I'm sure we could find some way to repay you for your time."
The acolytes will wait for you at the Temple until you are ready to head to The Restlands.
Michael frowns and rubs the back of his head. "I suppose you have a point there. I am still a novice paladin, so unfortunately I do not yet possess the touch of healing or the ability to cast spells granted to me by The Divine. However, I do carry this symbol." He lifts up a finely crafted holy symbol of Iomedae, which he wears proudly around his neck.
"The Harrow Deck?" Michael repeats, looking down at the cards. "I've never heard of it before in my life. What...is it?"
Michael detects evil. On both the cards and the woman. If he senses any evil he will first spend a move action to analyze the deck, then concentrate and spend a second move action to analyze the woman.
"What is the Harrow Deck? It's a tool, much like a pan, a hammer, or your sword. It allows me to learn things about your past, your present, and your future."
Marta shrugs her shoulders, "Sometimes a reading reveals much, other times, almost nothing. All you need do is ask me a question, and I read the cards."
She turns to a nearby counter and sets the cards down in six equal stacks. Looking back at you, "So Michael Thronedweller, Paladin of Iomedae, what do you wish to know?"
Neither Marta nor the deck detect as evil.
If Michael agrees, he needs to ask a single question. The question can be open-ended, he isn't limited to questions with "yes" or "no" answers.
Please also provide 9 separate d10 rolls.