Bjorn nods to Korvus's suggested story and makes a sign to ward off the evil that undoubtedly was watching them evil now.
"You and the holyman do the talking", the Ulfen suggests as he undoes the bandage covering his magically-mended injury.
Alexei looks surprised at Korvus' suggestion, but nods at him. "I... I am likely to cause more harm than good, but I am willing to try." The oracle smiles wryly, "You guys take care of this mess as best you can, Kendra and I shall attempt to hold them for a bit."
I have no idea what I've gotten myself into.
I believe you're the only one of our group who is trained in Diplomacy, and you're the most 'normal' looking one in the bunch. Plus, even untrained you have the best Bluff modifier of all of us - if needed, of course.
If we were speaking to Sheriff Caeler I would definitely want Bjorn to be our point person! For the rest of the townsfolk, perhaps someone a little less... intimidating. :)
Alexei heads over to the approaching farmers, Kendra in tow. He tries to make himself look as non-threatening as possible. "Greetings. I am Alexei Dawnreach, a humble disciple of Sarenrae. My comrades and I, including Kendra here, were looking into an incident involving Warden Hawkran's statue. Sheriff Caeler told us we might be able to find some information at this or nearby farms, so we came to investigate." The bearded man tries to smile, even though he's worried. "Since no one was home, we were going to move on, but we heard an awful ruckus in the barn, and in our zeal to find out what happened, my Ulfen compatriot ended up breaking the barn door." Alexei looks embarrassed for a second, but then his face grows grim. "But before I tell you about that, some questions for you. I would be entirely appreciative if you'd spare us a few moments of your time."
Diplomacy check 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Oh g&&*#!nit. You've got to be kidding me.
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Kendra's eyes go wide as Alexei speaks, and by the end of his introduction, her mouth is hanging wide open, staring back and forth between him and the couple they have just encountered. She narrows her eyes and Alexei can tell she is on the verge of punching him in the nose.
The looks on Tyon and Gertie's faces go from surprise to anger in about half a second. He points his finger at Alexei and yells, "What do you mean you're investigating my farm for what happened down at the statue, and who broke down my barn door!"
Thinking quickly, Kendra interjects, "What he means to say is, the Sheriff thought somebody might be playing a prank and trying to lay the blame on one of the farmers here in town so they don't get caught! You're not under suspicion for anything! And Bjorn didn't break down the barn door, the pigs did it, when they came running out to kill us!"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Tyon looks at her like she has grown a second head. "What? What do you mean the pigs did it? When they tried to kill you? Kendra, have you lost your mind?"
He suddenly looks at Alexei, then back at Kendra, "Kendra, has this man done something to you?!" He balls up one of his fists and looks back toward Alexei, "You and your friends better leave Kendra alone, and you better get off my farm! And if anything is messed up, you better hope my and the boys don't find you!"
Gertie places her hands around one of Tyon's arms, but it is obvious that she will not be able to restrain her husband for very long.
I rolled a Perception and Sense Motive check for you to learn this information.
|'Horrible' Harold Grimsley|
Harold watches Alexei and Kendra struggle with explaining the situation with the returning farmers. He takes a few minutes while they are talking to pull out his wooden cigar case, removing one of his Taldan cigars. He draws the paper-wrapped length under his nose, inhaling the aroma deeply as he places it back in the case, "Thee're gonna be da one once we find da bloody fool who murdered da Prof."
He replaces his case in his jacket pocket as he sees the farmer raising his voice and threatening to get physical with Alexei. The half-orc spits on the ground as he strolls over while popping his neck and knuckles. He gives Alexei and Kendra a look then nods his head at Tyon, "We got any problems over 'ere, Ms. Kendra? Cause I specialize in problem solving."
Perception Check to overhear exactly what is being said: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Intimidate Check vs Tyon: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Seeing that things may be getting out of hand, Bjorn joins in the discussion.
"Kendra speaks the truth. I suggest you thank her for the kindness we paid you in coming here so we can be on our way. Or would you rather we stick around and make ourselves at home?", the big Ulfen says with no small amount of hostility.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Alexei gives the man a hard look, something in the man's frantic voice rubbing him the wrong way. "I'm going to need you to calm down. I am a friend and pupil of Kendra's late father, and she is here of her own will." The man pinches the bridge of his nose with a pair of armored fingers. "We are here at the Sheriff's request, and until your pigs murdered each other and then tried to murder US we had no reason to suspect you or anyone on your farm had done anything wrong. Now I am ENTIRELY tired of getting the run-around, so you will shut your foolish mouth until I ask you to open it, or I'm going to MAKE you shut it, are we clear?" Alexei, pushed to his limits with these judgmental and outright hostile townsfolk, stands to his full height and glares at the man.
Diplomacy check 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Bjorn, I'm going to assume that's an intimidation check. Alexei, got it, thanks for clarifying
Harold, you heard everything Tyon said, but only snippets of Alexei and Kendra's comments.
Tyon looks nervously from Harold, to Bjorn, and finally to Alexei. His eyes are bulging, and the veins on his forehead are standing out. "Right, not man enough to take me on yourself, got to have these bullies do your dirty work! Well, do your worst!" He makes a move like he is going to swing at you, but Gertie grabs his arm and begins pulling him away.
She pleads, "Tyon, they'll hurt you bad, come on, let's go talk to the sheriff!"
He turns to her and violently pushes her down, "Get away from me!" he stands over Gertie and screams at the top of his lungs. Her face is one of astonishment and betrayal. "Tyon!"
Kendra exclaims, "Hey! You don't treat her like that!' and she moves to push past Tyon. He whirls around, grinning manaically, and swings a fist at her. He turns his head to face Harold, Bjorn, and Alexei, still grinning, and in a familiar voice, he grunts "I'll kill her again, and you can't stop me!"
The voice is exactly the same one the pig used when it spoke a few minutes ago.
We may need to roll initiative, depending on everyone's actions. Just let me know what you want to do and we'll move on from there.
Yeah, that was an intimidate.
Not entirely sure what the hell is going on, but recognizing a man that needs to be taught a lesson, Bjorn will grab Tyon and hold onto him until he's subdued.
Or maybe someone can get information out of him.
"One shouldn't be throwing punches at women unless he's ready to tangle with her man", the Ulfen warns.
Korvus walks up to the group, his walking stick tap-tap-tapping on the stony ground, just as Tyon pushes his wife to the ground.
"I'll kill her again, and you can't stop me!"
There's no way either Korvus or Maximus could make a DC 25 Sense Motive check, so I won't bother rolling.
"I say! Did you just threaten to kill your own wife?" Korvus exclaims in astonishment. "Maximus! Make haste! Fetch Sheriff Caeler at once! Tell him Master Tyon has gone berserk and is threatening to kill his wife!"
"Aye-aye, Cap'n!" the blackbird perched on Korvus' shoulder springs into the air and wings swiftly toward town.
Realizing that Tyon spoke in the same voice as the pig, Korvus quickly murmurs the words to a spell to allow himself to see magical auras and studies the farmer intently. Cast Detect Magic.
Oliar, who had stayed behind with his hood up, cleaning his claws, simply not to provoke the overly suspicious commoners now approached and dropped the hood. "What's happening? First crazy pigs and now crazy farmers? I should have stayed in Druma." At least there everything could be traced to money.
Can't ever get a 25 on Sense Motive so not even trying
Tyon struggles against Bjorn's strength, constantly spewing out curses and invective. Despite his efforts, he cannot come close to breaking free.
Gertie descends into depression, putting her face in her hands and crying her eyes out. Kendra quickly hugs the woman, attempting to comfort her.
Afer about a minute, Tyon gasps suddenly and his eyes go wide. As if someone had knocked him out, he slumps forward in Bjorn's grasp, unconscious.
DC 24 Spellcraft check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
"Master Tyon bore a strong aura of magic about him as he was struggling, but I was unable to determine the type of magic that was affecting him," Korvus announces, peering through his pince-nez at the collapsed farmer.
"Most curious, though," Korvus whispers to Bjorn as he bends down to check the farmer's breathing. "Did you notice that he spoke in the same voice as the pig did before it died? I wonder if he was possessed as well..."
"It would explain some things. I do not believe it would be unreasonable to say something larger than we thought may be at work, here." Alexei strokes his beard a little, thoroughly confused by these events.
Kendra tends to Gertie, attempting to calm her as she escorts her inside the home. As she passes the group, she whispers, "Keep an eye on him out here." with a nod toward Tyon.
I'm going to assume you restrain him with rope or something similar to a wagon, or whatever... The intricate details aren't important, but please let me know if you don't restrain him.
The rest of you fan out and begin searching the farm, searching for anything that might be suspicious. Unfortunately, after about ten minutes, you still haven't found anything.
Maximus comes swooping out of the sky and heads for Korvus, "The sheriff was still down at the statue, but he'll be up here as soon as he can!"
The search continues for another ten minutes before Sheriff Caeler and two of his deputies are seen jogging up the road toward you. With a raised hand, he hails you, "The bird told us Tyon had gone crazy, so what's happening..." His voice breaks off as he starts looking around the farm, noting the dead pigs, and broken door. Both of the deputies are looking around with wide eyes..
He puts his hand to his head, "This is becoming a hell of a day. Let's start from when we last spoke down by the monument."
It's been about two hours since you left the monument.
Bjorn steps forward and does his best to explain.
"We started at the _________ farm and didn't find anything out of the ordinary and nobody was home. After that we visited Gib's farm. He was acting suspicious and he had some people over but he was being a fool again and we weren't going to be able to search his place without roughing him up so we left."
"When we got here everything seemed normal until the hogs went rabid, butchered each other, and then came after us. One of them caught me in the leg", Bjorn says showing the new scar on his magically healed leg. "I broke down the door after we dealt with the rabid hogs, thinking whatever did that to them might be inside. Gertie and Tyon here came home a few minutes afterward."
"Kendra and Alexei here tried explaining what we'd been doing on their property but Tyon wouldn't have any of it. He went into a rage, threw his wife to the ground, and then took a swing at Kendra and threatened to kill Gertie. There was something more. He was acting even stranger than that..."
Alexei nods at the northman's words. "Something very strange is happening here. We heard an odd voice come from both one of the pigs and from Tyon." The oracle furrows his brow, still confused at the events transpiring here. "I would not be surprised if what happened at the Warden's statue, and what happened here, were related."
Sheriff Caeler looks completely lost, "Let me get this straight... You came here, were attacked by rabid pigs, broke into their house, then Tyon went crazy and threatened to kill Gertie?"
He looks at Alexei, "And the pigs were talking. With and odd voice that Tyon also used..."
He shakes his head, "Okay, this doesn't make any sense at all."
Turning around, Caeler looks at one of his deputies. "Get Tyon to jail, but keep the manacles on him. If he's lost his mind, we don't need him hurting you or himself."
The deputy hurries over and cuffs Tyon. Despite his best efforts, he isn't able to wake up the farmer. He eventually settles on getting him into a wheelbarrow and pushing him toward town.
While that's happening, Sheriff Caeler walks around a bit, looking at the evidence you point out. The other deputy trails behind him, taking copious notes in a small notebook. After walking around the farm, the sheriff finally comes back to the house and gathers you all around. "I admit, this is definitely troubling, but I'm not seeing a link to the monument just yet." He holds up a hand, "I'm not saying it's not there, but I'm not seeing a definite link right now. Do you have a next step in mind for your investigation?"
"I agree it makes little sense to me too. This stinks of jadwiga magic", Bjorn answers and finishes by spitting on the ground.
"I'd still like to get my hands on Gibs but I'd settle for you coming with us and setting things straight with him while we search his farm"
Sheriff Caeler looks completely lost, "Let me get this straight... You came here, were attacked by rabid pigs, broke into their house, then Tyon went crazy and threatened to kill Gertie?"He looks at Alexei, "And the pigs were talking. With and odd voice that Tyon also used..."
He shakes his head, "Okay, this doesn't make any sense at all."
"I know on the surface it sounds quite preposterous, Sheriff," Korvus replies as he walks up to join the conversation. "To quote them exactly, the pig shouted 'The b$%$& will die again!' I beg your pardon, please excuse my language. Then, when Master Tyon pushed his wife down and attempted to strike Lady Kendra, he stated 'I'll kill her again, and you can't stop me!' His voice was exactly the same as the one the pig used. As Master Tyon was speaking I cast a spell to discern magical auras, and saw that he bore a strong aura of magic about him but I was unable to determine its type." Korvus glances about warily before adding in a low voice that only the Sheriff can hear, "I am by no means an expert in the field of necromancy, but if I were to hazard a guess I would have to say that both the pig and Master Tyon were possessed by a malevolent spirit."
Sheriff Caeler walks around a bit, looking at the evidence you point out. The other deputy trails behind him, taking copious notes in a small notebook. After walking around the farm, the sheriff finally comes back to the house and gathers you all around. "I admit, this is definitely troubling, but I'm not seeing a link to the monument just yet." He holds up a hand, "I'm not saying it's not there, but I'm not seeing a definite link right now. Do you have a next step in mind for your investigation?"
"I agree it makes little sense to me too. This stinks of jadwiga magic", Bjorn answers and finishes by spitting on the ground."I'd still like to get my hands on Gibs but I'd settle for you coming with us and setting things straight with him while we search his farm"
"Yes, something about Master Gibs' farm bears further investigation. When we spoke to him about the monument's vandalism it was clear that he knew more than he let on. When Master Dawnreach intimated that Gibs was withholding information, the gentleman with him stepped back and pointedly glanced toward the field as if to imply that whatever Gibs is hiding bears some relationship to that field. After we left I sent Maximus to observe their activities, and he reported that both men gathered their tools and began working in that field."
"Have you learned any more about the significance of the letter 'V' that was painted on Warden Hawkran's statue?" Korvus asks the Sheriff.
The sheriff thinks for a moment, "That won't work. If I show up with all of you in tow, then word gets around that I'm using mercenaries for guard work. To keep it short, the council won't permit that, I'll be relieved of my duties, and your will lose at least one ally you've got in town."
"But... I do have an idea."
He turns to the deputy. "I want you, Vrodish, and Riff to head over to Gib's farm later today, say around six evening bells. Let him and his family know that I want to speak with him at the jail regarding his behavior. You can let him know it will only take an hour or so, but tell him I insist on his presence. Got it? You can head back now. Do me a favor and make sure Tyon gets into a cell safely."
The sheriff watches the deputy salute, then the younger man turns and heads into town. Caeler turns back to you, "I assume that will give you enough time to take a look around?"
"Yes sir, Sheriff. Thank you, sir," Korvus bows his head in thanks to Sheriff Caeler. "And afterwards I would be happy to assist with the cleaning of Warden Hawkran's monument."
That was my plan.
Several hours pass in relative calm until it's time to visit Gibs' farm again. After arriving, you wait a few minutes just to be sure nobody is around. Sure of yourselves, you quickly converge on the house and shed to begin your search.
1d20 ⇒ 5
1d20 ⇒ 7
1d20 ⇒ 17
1d20 ⇒ 6
1d20 ⇒ 20
Korvus wanders about the field in question, searching for anything suspicious as he makes mental notes as to how to proceed with the investigation once he and his companions finish at the farm.
Korvus' Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Maximus' Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
2.) Talk to Father Grimburrow and show him Professor Lorrimor's journal. As noted in the journal, see if the Church has a list of those who died in the Harrowstone fire and seek permission to use the tools hidden in the false crypt in the Restlands.
3.) Talk to Alendru Ghoroven to gain access to Town Hall records regarding Harrowstone Prison.
Alexei's attention is grabbed by a metallic flash near the shed. "What could this be?" He goes to investigate, still alert after the day's events.
Perception check 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
As you peer into the wood pile, you realize the metal object appears to be about an inch wide, several inches long, with a sharpened edge. You also spot several unmistakable red-black stains along the weapon ... blood.
The other item you find is a leather wineskin. The dried blood around the cap is proof of what it last contained.
|'Horrible' Harold Grimsley|
Harold nods in agreement with Bjorn, "Maybe not a signed confession but da next best fng. So we 'ave insane pigs, a crazed farmer, anuvver farmer who is drawin' graffiti in blood, an' one murdered Prof. Korvus, mate, what do yew piece together ov i' all? This all da work ov da same saaahrce be i' 'eebie-jeebie spirits awer foul necromancers? Or are deese just very coincidental random series ov events. Cause da pattern is lost on me at da momun'."
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Kendra steps back, surprise clearly evident in her face. "Um, well. If the sheriff wants to keep our involvement a secret, maybe we should let him find the stuff? Or one of his deputies? I'm not sure, but if we take it to the sheriff, I'm afraid that somebody would accuse us of planting evidence. The people around here are not the trusting sort, if you haven't noticed. People don't like Gibs, but he's got friends in town, and his family has been here for generations. I'm sorry to say, but right now, your word won't stand up against his in Ravengro."
"Send your bird to tell the sheriff he needs to keep Bigs under lock and key. I think we found all the proof we're going to need that he's involved in this somehow."
Kendra pulls Bjorn to the side, "Are you sure about sending the bird? Doesn't that make it a bit obvious that we're working for the sheriff?"
"Lady Kendra makes a valid point," Korvus says,respectfully bowing his head to Kendra. "I believe in this instance it would be wiser for us to leave the incriminating items in place, but notify the Sheriff of their existence with the utmost haste. We're all rather quick to assume that Master Gibs is the guilty party, but there were two other people here earlier today as well - the bow-wielding gentleman accompanying Gibs, and the woman who remained in the house while we were here. What if one of them is the guilty party, and Master Gibs is innocent?" Korvus asks.
"Perhaps for now the Sheriff could place the residents of this farm under observation to see which one returns to retrieve the items from the wood pile. Maximus could unobtrusively follow the Sheriff's men and notify us if and when anything happens. In fact, for now he could perch in a nearby tree and keep the wood pile under observation until the Sheriff posts someone to watch the farm."
"Maybe not a signed confession but da next best fng. So we 'ave insane pigs, a crazed farmer, anuvver farmer who is drawin' graffiti in blood, an' one murdered Prof. Korvus, mate, what do yew piece together ov i' all? This all da work ov da same saaahrce be i' 'eebie-jeebie spirits awer foul necromancers? Or are deese just very coincidental random series ov events. Cause da pattern is lost on me at da momun'."
"To be honest, I would find it hard to believe that all of these occurrences are not related, Master Grimsley. Lady Kendra, would I be correct in assuming that such phenomena have not previously occurred in Ravengro? Let's consider what we know: Professor Lorrimor was murdered trying to prevent a cabal of necromancers from doing or taking... something... within the ruins of Harrowstone Prison. I think we can all agree that it is likely he was unsuccessful in thwarting their efforts. Since that time, we have Master Gibs complaining to the Sheriff of dreaming of being trapped within an oubliette - a type of dungeon cell typically reserved for the most dangerous of prisoners - and somene from Master Gibs' farm evidently desecrating a monument dedicated to the warden of Harrowstone Prison. Then we have Master Tyon and one of his pigs acting most uncharacteristically - particularly the pig! - with both speaking in the same voice about killing someone again. As I said before, I believe that Master Tyon and the pig were possessed by a malevolent spirit. Who is to say that Master Gibs and possibly someone else from his household have not been similarly affected? What if the Whispering Way somehow unleashed one or more unquiet spirits from the ruins of Harrowstone Prison? Perhaps that is what the Professor was trying to prevent..."
Well, Korvus offered to help with cleaning Warden Hawkran's statue this evening, so it would make sense for him to show up at the jail soon. Why don't we have the stealthiest members of our group stay here (Oliar, Harold, and possibly one other plus Maximus) while the rest of us accompany Kendra to the jail?