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cynarion's Carrion Crown PbP

Game Master cynarion

Professor Lorrimor, the renowned investigator and arcanist, has died. You came to his home in the town of Ravengro to pay your respects, but quickly discovered there was more to the wily old man's death than met the eye...


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mysterious male human purveyor of plot

10:17, Gozran 28th, Ravengro
The booming roar of the rain drowns out any other noise. Water mats your hair, drips from your nose, collects uncomfortably in the small of your back, and plasters your clothes to your body like an overzealous embrace. Spatters of mud mar everyone’s clothing after the lengthy journey from the Temple in town. And yet, despite the chill and the discomfort, you stand steadfast, brought together by grief and friendship.

The Professor’s body—even in the casket—is lighter than you thought it would be. At the front of the procession, a Pharasmin acolyte named Besmer walks alongside Lem, the halfling’s extravagant raiment seeming none the worse for wear despite the downpour. Lem’s armour seems to pick up every minuscule gleam of sunlight from the leaden skies, refracting it through the water droplets into a scintillating panoply. Next to Lem, the grey-robed Pharasmin seems almost like a shadow.

At the rear, a group of only seven Ravengrians have come to pay their respects, walking behind the Professor’s daughter Kendra. Kendra made a few introductions, but her mind was on other things, as you might imagine. Keeping pace with Kendra is the samsaran Rose, whose ethereal appearance has occasioned comment several times already this morning. Together, she and Kendra make for a forlorn tableau amid the torrent, as Kendra’s silent tears mix with the raindrops on her face to trickle into the mud.

In between the huddled mourners and the resplendent halfling, six other new arrivals are carrying the Professor to his final resting place. At the front, Dragomir and Karrik make an impressive bulwark against the rain, the water almost parting around them like a bow wave. In the middle, Walter walks unsteadily on one side while Rajuna stares stoically ahead on the other. Flori and Theron bring up the rear, anger and sadness chasing themselves repeatedly across the half-orc’s face while Theron seems lost in his own melancholy.

The procession makes measured progress into the Restlands, at last reaching the gravel path that leads from the gate to the Professor’s gravesite, where Father Grimburrow waits to deliver the service and last rites. Everyone walks with bowed heads, weighed down with sorrow.

The path rounds a corner, turning right as it passes a small mausoleum. With rain this heavy, it’s no surprise that Lem almost bumps right into the group of men arrayed in front of him.

Close to a score of Ravengrians block the procession’s path. Farmers, fishermen or elderly all, the eldest amongst them stands at the front of the group, his eyes wide and his teeth clenched in a rictus grin as the men behind him mill around, seemingly possessed of varying levels of commitment. And while they may not be soldiers, it’s quite clear that some of them are all too enamoured of violence, with every man amongst them them carrying farm implements of some description—sickles, threshers, hoes, pitchforks, and even a scythe.


The old man at the front of the group has to yell to be heard, but be heard he will. That’s far enough! We been talkin, and we don’ want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You kin take ‘im upriver and bury ‘im there if’n ye want, but he ain’t goin in the ground here! The man stands, arms crossed, seemingly determined not to budge, while the other men close in behind him, some of them wiping the rain from their too-large eyes.


female human diviner

Before Rose can raise an objection, Kendra bustles her way to the front of the procession to stand beside Lem. Her anger is palpable, her sadness forgotten temporarily at this affront to her father’s memory. What are you talking about, Gibs? I arranged it with Father Grimburrow! His grave has already been—


old male human warrior

You don’ git it, woman. The man named Gibs spits on the ground, his saliva joining the puddles already thronging the Restlands. We won’t have a necromancer buried in the same place as our kin! I suggest you move out…while you still can. He nods his head backwards over his shoulder as the other men tighten their grips on their weapons. Folks are pretty upset about this right now. No tellin what might happen if’n someone were to do somethin…stupid. His eyes narrow as he takes in Lem and the pallbearers. That is to say, somethin else stupid…


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Disposition Update
The rain makes it hard to see and the noise is quite loud. Maximum visibility is 30ft and Perception checks are at -4. Moving faster than your standard movement in a round (including any penalties for armour/encumbrance) requires a DC10 Acrobatics check to remain upright due to the slippery mud. Five foot steps are unaffected and there is no difficult terrain. For those carrying the casket, you are considered to have both hands full, although with a successful concentration check you could cast a spell with somatic components. Two of you can probably let the casket go without any danger of the other four dropping it, provided both of you aren't from the same side or same end. Making or failing a concentration check to cast a spell as outlined above does not carry any risk of dropping the casket.

The men behind Gibs are clearly looking to him as their leader. They range in age from 20s to 60s. It's hard to get an accurate count in the rain, but some are definitely spoiling for a fight, while others are less keen. Rose, the other Ravengrians near you (a couple of which, you have been told, are Council members) appear quite scandalised about this situation and one of them is muttering about calling the Sheriff, so it's clear Gibs is acting on his own. Unfortunately the Sheriff is at least a 5-minute walk away, back in the town.

The men look like they're on edge--Gibs included. For his part, Besmer is totally out of his depth and is opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water.

You probably have time for a single quick exchange with Kendra (in other words, a single post from you and a single post from me) before Gibs and his men get over-excited and launch an attack.

The ball's in your court now...good luck! : )


F Half orc Sorcerer 1

Flori lets go of the casket, and walks straight up to Gibs.

Necromancer? What nonsense. The very idea! YOU try to stop a proper burial of a well-respected dead man. I'd say YOU'RE the necromancer, if there is one around here. Look at what you're doing to his poor daughter! You have no right to meddle in things you clearly don't understand.

Get out of our way, and let this man be properly buried, or it won't be the dead you'll need to worry about. I mean it! Use your heads! Either pay your respects in a dignified fashion, or get out of our way!

Intimidate 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19


HPs 16/(26)28...AC18/Touch11/Flatfoot17/CMD 18||HP 26/[28]| Fort:+5 ;Ref:+2 ;Wil+0|Percept +1/Sense Motive +5 Male Human Ustalav Varisian Fighter/2 *12 Con /Fort:+4

You all want to take a step back and head back to your drinks... because if I have to put this coffin down, things are goin t' go very bad for you...

*His fingers and knuckles tighten around the handles and his voice, while not loud, is full of menance*

Intimidate 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

I have this ability: Public Speaker (An evangelist gains Perform as a class skill. In addition, he is trained to project his voice with great skill and effect; the DC to hear him speak in difficult conditions is reduced by an amount equal to his class level plus his Charisma modifier (+4).) Just wanted to point this out as it might matter.

The halfling stands his ground and looks straight into the eyes of the one called Gibs. Somehow, over the pounding rain, the diminutive priest's voice booms forth.

Easy, Flori. None of us here wants any violence. You see, Mr. Gibs, this is a holy ceremony recognized and looked upon favorably by both gods and men. We will honor the professor's wishes, and the gods themselves, by engaging in the peaceful process of Petros' last travels. Do you truly wish to displease Pharasma herself? Whatever disagreements you had with the Professor in life, let us put them aside as we bury him in death.

Diplomacy 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15


{HP9/19 | AC16 T12 FF14 CMD 16 | F/R/W 4/2/3} Female Samsaran Bladebound Magus 2

Rose moves up in front of Kendra, doing her best to shield her from Gib's group. She says to her in a hushed tone, "We should let Lem and the others handle them. I feel certain they can resolve this peacefully."


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Male Human Oracle 2

The casket grew heavier and he almost slipped in the mud. The men, to be honest, terrified Walter. There were very many of them, he had the disadvantage and the thought of conflict quickened his heartbeat, shook his nerve. The threats of violence flew and he had to say something, but nothing came out. Before he could muster anything, Lem stepped forward and spoke, and Walter was thankful for that.

He held up his hand towards Flori and just said "It's okay," hoping that everyone would calm down.


Raj sighs inwardly, assessing the mob. It always starts with one ram that gets his bluster from the sheep in his wake.

While his recent drinking companions are deftly handling the old ram Gibs, Raj works on a contingency plan and the source of the farmer's courage. He casts a glance back at the group of Ravengrian mourners and indicates Flori's vacant spot. His tone is matter-of-fact. "I'd like one of you to take that spot - just for a minute - and a couple more besides. Step up folks. The Professor needs you to help out just a little bit."

While he waits for any volunteers to step forward, he addresses the farmers that seem least committed to the fight, ignoring Gibs. Raj lets the tone set by Dragomir, Flori, and Lem stand while only adding his frank appraisal to wear at the resolve of the hesitating farmers in the mob. He easily drops into his commoner's drawl. "Doc here was a good man and your priests got no problem with this burial. You think you know better than Pharasma's chosen? Yur pickin' a bad fight 'gainst the wrong people. Best you head home. If this ends in blood, it will be more of yours than you care for."

AA (either to Intimidate or Diplo) 1d20 ⇒ 7
IF Intimidate 7 + 3 = 10
IF Diplomacy 7 - 1 = 6


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Lem Longbarrow wrote:
I have this ability: Public Speaker (An evangelist gains Perform as a class skill. In addition, he is trained to project his voice with great skill and effect; the DC to hear him speak in difficult conditions is reduced by an amount equal to his class level plus his Charisma modifier (+4).) Just wanted to point this out as it might matter.

Lem:
I know, right? It's almost like I planned this situation to cater to your talents! ; )

female human diviner

Kendra's body language doesn't soften, but she grips Rose's hand and draws a couple of deep breaths, clearly trying to calm herself. Thank you, Rose. I'm so glad you and the others are here. You all meant a great deal to my father. I will try to remember that instead of this...wilful ignorance. She says it like it's a terrible insult. But then, to her it probably is.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

I will take Lem as speaking first, seeing as he's near the front and likely has the first opportunity to address the situation. The rest of you can aid another. Raj, take a +5 to your Diplomacy check for the excellent appeal to the common folk. Nice work.

Gibs stands impassive in the rain, the water running down his face in rivulets as Lem makes his impassioned entreaty. When Flori steps forward, some of the men behind Gibs shrink back visibly at the sight of a half-orc in their own town. Dragomir's venomous words drive a few more back a step. By the time Raj speaks, two of them simply drop their tools and run.

But one man steps forward through the curtains of water. He stops next to Gibs, and holds out his pitchfork. The two of them stand eye-to-eye, staring one another down as the rain hammers down all around them.

Finally, Gibs blinks--and takes the pitchfork, as the nameless farmer moves to Kendra and kneels before her. Kendra's features soften and she puts a hand on the man's shoulder. He stands back up--and even in the rain you can see the tears of shame pouring down his cheeks. His says something to Kendra--his words lost in the tumult--and she nods an assent before he moves over to take Flori's spot holding the casket.

As soon as the farmer's hands touch the timber of the Professor's casket, the mob's nerve is broken. Most of them melt away in the rain like the last of yesterday's snow, and Gibs is quickly left standing alone with little more than a few surly old men for company.


old male human warrior

Bereft of his mob, Gibs seems somehow smaller, the pitchfork he is left holding now looks almost comically oversized for his aging frame. You mark my words, woman, and you mark them well, he says to Kendra. Your father brought nothin but misery to this town, with all his meddlin in affairs that shouldn'a concernt him. Put 'im in the ground then. Be done with 'im. And long overdue I say. Time us hard workin folks had some peace.

Gibs draws his remaining pride close and mutters to his lingering companions. They trudge sullenly away back towards Ravengro, passing by the casket without sparing their former comrade a second look.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Well done everyone, you have successfully defused this encounter. You all gain 150 XP, which has been tracked on the Campaign Info tab.

If Flori wishes to resume her place holding the Professor's casket, the farmer gives it up willingly and joins the small group of mourners walking behind Kendra.


female human diviner

Before the procession begins again, Kendra takes a moment to address you all.

Thank you so much for coming. You can see now what life has been like for us living here these last fifteen years, although in my youth men like Gibs would have kept quiet rather than airing their baseless and ignorant suspicions. My father, though, bore an abiding love for this town and its citizens, one which I struggle to emulate. She lays a hand on Karrik's shoulder. I welcome the strength of your friendship and the life you all shared with my father even more than I welcome your strength of arms right now.

She takes a moment to try to straighten her sodden gown, and tame her now-unruly hair.

And now I think it is well past time we paid my father the final respects he deserves. Lem, please carry on.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Lem and Besmer move off at the head of the procession, which soon arrives at the prepared gravesite.

Father Grimburrow, a devotee of Pharasma and Ravengro's town priest, stands with two gravediggers ready to receive Professor Lorrimor's casket. After a few prayers and a brief sermon, Father Grimburrow indicates it's time for Kendra to take a position at the head of her father's grave and say a few words.


female human diviner

Kendra looks pensive for a moment, lost in thought.

I remember, she begins, my first sight of Ravengro. I was a girl of only nine winters--and rather frightened at the idea of moving to a small town so far away from everything I'd grown up with. The first thing I noticed coming here was that there was nothing to notice--no high tower to dominate the town's horizon, no university buildings to sneak around when father wasn't watching, and no bustle in the streets...just a few people going about their business of the day. How would I find my way around this strange place filled with all these people I didn't know?

It seemed strange to me then. My father could tell I was upset, looking out the window of the carriage that had carried us down from Lepidstadt, and he leaned in to ask me what was wrong. I told him about my concerns--that I could see no landmarks and that I was afraid I would become lost, and never see him again.

He merely smiled, and told me that I would have to make my own landmarks, and carry them around in my heart and my mind rather than leaving them to some building, some collection of stones and thatch with no personal meaning to me.

And so it proved. If he was anything, Petros was often infuriatingly right.

There are many places I remember now. The road outside Zokar's, one of the mourners nods as Kendra catches his eye, where Petros saved young Pevrin from a runaway horse.

The mourner's hand goes to a young man's shoulder--presumably this is Zokar and his son Pevrin.

I remember Jominda's house--the sights and smells of it as a teenager were quite remarkable. An older woman amongst the small group must be Jominda. It was with Petros' help that Jominda was able to develop her new tinctures that have given relief so many of the people of this town.

Kendra straightens, looking upward into the rain as though reviewing memories from the last decade and a half. And I remember what this town was like when we arrived. A listless, tired place with no purpose. Petros, driven as he was, pushed all of us to achieve more with our lives, to do more, to be more than we were. That rubbed off, no matter how little you associated with him. She spares the eight of you a glance and a wan smile at this last remark.

And now he's gone--gone beyond the veil to share his gift for giving freely of himself with those who need it more than we do. Kendra is visibly struggling now, but masters her emotions with supreme effort.

Dad, I miss you, she says simply, placing a hand on the casket in front of her. I wish you hadn't left. But I will do my best to carry on your legacy. They are big shoes to fill, but I am your daughter, and if I can make some small contribution to the world that mirrors your own, I will be happy with my lot.

Kendra steps back, her self-control momentarily overcome as her body is wracked by sobs at her sudden and unexpected loss.


old male human cleric

Father Grimburrow allows Kendra a few moments to compose herself, then steps forward. Thank you Kendra, that was most touching. Are there any others who would like to say a few words?


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

None of the other mourners look like they are going to say anything. The floor is yours. If you decide to speak, please make a Diplomacy or Perform check as suits you best.

Also, it's a real pity there's no avatar of the actual Father Grimburrow, he looks awesome (link).


F Half orc Sorcerer 1

Flori retook her place carrying the casket, but now she has nothing to add. She was planning to go visit her own family up in Vieland after this. She hopes they're okay. It's been a long time.


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Dang.. sorry i missed the confrontation! Evenings (especially weekend evenings) are hard for me to post.

Karrik's blood still boils at the confrontation, and at the way he stood paralyzed with emotions in the moment. Maybe its for the best, he thinks darkly as he listens to Kendra's words, I'd have only made things worse.

The combined weight of the rain and the casket drive him slowly into the mud, but he stands stalwart vigil as the words of the Professor's only daughter puts words to the sorrow in his own heavy heart. Karrik doubts Kendra knows it -- or possibly would ever know it -- but he found himself realizing that they would be forever tied together by the greatness of the man who so profoundly shaped both of their lives.

When Kendra finishes -- giving anyone the opportunity to speak -- the half-orc struggles against his own dislike of attention as well as his dislike of the day's events. He can't quite keep some anger from his voce. He'd never been one for ceremony or delicate words, so his unprefaced words boom out against the constant wash of the rain. "He was a good man. The best I've known." He looks back towards the small town of Ravengro and its very few inhabitants who came out, then he looks over at Kendra before continuing. "I've only visited this town once or twice, and I don't know the people who live therein. But one thing I know. Like myself, the town will be forever brightened and darkened by his living in and passing from here. In my darkest time I ponder my life without his influence, and I cringe. The Professor saw something in me worth encouraging, and he poured himself into me. If I can grow to have one-tenth the heart of selflessness he did, then I know I…" his black eyes range around the group, especially including those he'd met the night before at the tavern. Despite his best effort, there is still raw emotion as well as some residual rage and challenge at the earlier confrontation on his features, "… as well as Golarion will be better for it. We are all better for his life, and worse off for his loss."

I guess Diplomacy? And shudder to think what will be the outcome of a 7 cha person still frustrated by the town's treatment of his favorite person.
Diplomacy 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (7) - 2 = 5.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

Dang, I missed my chance to try and add to the wall of intimidation, and now Theron doesn't have much to say XD

Theron, fuming with anger, had been about ready to let go of the casket and head to the front to teach those fools a lesson. He recognized some of the villagers as those who had come to him with accusations against the professor before. How dare they disregard his judgement and continue soiling professor Lorrimor's name! Thankfully, the situation was diffused so quickly that his actions were not necessary.

Hearing Kendra's speech about the professor calmed Theron down, and he listened silently as those who knew the man better than him spoke.


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HPs 16/(26)28...AC18/Touch11/Flatfoot17/CMD 18||HP 26/[28]| Fort:+5 ;Ref:+2 ;Wil+0|Percept +1/Sense Motive +5 Male Human Ustalav Varisian Fighter/2 *12 Con /Fort:+4

Dragomir steps up, carefully allowing the 'Breed' his space and his opportunity to finish talking. His deep voice is a bit strained and thick, his words coming slowly, as if from a far away place within him, the formality of his tone some how more meaningful for the effort. The words are simple and halting as he struggles with sharing his thoughts.

I don't think I have the same sorta stories you all seem to be havin' - didn't know him much more than a month. But... he was a good man. He said what he meant and meant what he said, and thats somethin'. And he gave more than what he could've, and in my case he gave me somethin' to think about and a bit more understandin' bout the Lady of Graves and 'bout what she means for us to be doing in 'tween the Birthin and Dyin' of us all.

I respected him as a man, and even if I didn't know his quality?, Dragomir looks at the assemblage, By looking at his daughter and his friends, I'd know what sort of man he was. I'm sorry that he passed.

Dragomir makes a spiral sign with his finger and intones,

May The Lady guide him in the steps he now takes and take care of him.

Having finished, he bows his head and touches the coffin as he moves to let another take his place.

Diplomacy 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14

You can type and preview your words and the dice results will be visible... so if you roll kick arse or craptastic you'll know before you get attached to what you are planning and write accordingly... how cool is that?!


Eloquence comes hard to the dark Varisian. Eyes down, he speaks more to the coffin than the assembled mourners, his hands stuffed deep in his sodden pockets. "Well, Doc, looks like you are doing the recon on this particular job, I guess. Try not to pester all them Celestials with your questions... and I'll be expectin' that you'll have another book or two written by the time we meet again. So don't go shirkin' off."

He sighs, "You've had my back a time or two and I've had yours. This time around, you're on your own so be careful. But, just in case, take this..." Raj pulls a scabbarded, curved dagger from his pocket and lays it on the coffin. "Anyone gives you trouble, you show'em that and tell'em that I'll be by directly to take their measure if they give you any grief. I hear Celestials are goodly folk but you know I trust nothin' second-hand - Holy Writ or not. Anyhow, I'll be seein' you again one of these days - so keep a seat by the fire open and a pint ready if it ain't a burden." He nods to the coffin and steps back pulling his hood lower over his face.

Diplomacy 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

At: Cynarion—hehe, Lem thanks you for the opportunity :-)

Lem looked at the mourners bowing their heads in the rain. He held his head high and as he walked toward the casket and the onlookers glanced up to hear him speak, he smiled at them in turn.

Father Grimburrow, friends, and family of the beloved professor—don’t despair! The sorrow we feel now is for the loss of our loved one in THIS time and in THIS place. But the measure of a man isn’t in where he is in one moment in time—his wealth, his fame, his knowledge. The life of a man is immeasurable—it is not only in the lives that he has touched and the people he has known, but in THOSE people’s lives and THEIR experiences, and so on and so on, as a rock cast into a pond sends ripples across the entire surface of the water. Professor Lorrimor has shaped us all in some way, large or small, and we will in turn pass that knowledge, kindness, and generosity down through the generations. In this way will he always be with us, and so, never forgotten.

The gods give us one lifetime to make our mark upon this world. Many men and women live in fear of what fate has chosen for them, or lament their bad luck. But Desna shows us that fate and luck are two sides of the same coin, and we hold that coin in our own hands. Those who are bold enough to act will always find help on their side, just as the Professor did in his encounters with all of us. He was a man who did what he knew to be right, and this will serve him well as he makes his next journey, for a man so strong of will and good of heart will never lose his way.

Perform (Oratory) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12


Lem Longbarrow wrote:
"...The gods give us one lifetime to make our mark upon this world..."

Beneath his hood, Raj shoots a quick glance at Rose to get her reaction to this talk of one life.


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Male Human Oracle 2

Walter placed a hand on Kendra's shoulder as she cried, hoping to comfort her. Kendra and he had spoken on multiple occasions, though he wondered if his demure disposition had made him less memorable than he had hoped. He ran his hand across her shoulder, swiping water off of her clothes as he listened to Lem. When it was quiet, and Lem had finished, and it seemed no one else was going to speak, Walter pressed himself into stepping forward to the casket, floating away from the group. Everything smelled like mud and he wasn't sure what to say. He put his hand onto the casket and spoke.

"Professor... Professor, do you remember what you said to me in Havenguard? An old man walked into my cell, bold as a soldier and told me to shut up-- and when I did, you said, 'Sorry! I didn't know what else to say to make you stop.'" Walter cracked a smile, mimicking the Professor as best he could. "You said, 'The bones land in a spiral, but who threw them?'" He paused for just a second to feel the casket the same way he did Kendra's shoulder-- they felt the same, freezing cold. "I thought it was wrong. You were blaspheming, being obtuse on purpose, and it made me mad... but I understand now. I throw the bones that land in my own spiral. Havenguard wasn't where I had ended up because I wanted to, but because I had let myself be thrown along with them. 'Life isn't what you make of it but what you take from it' is what I thought but you showed me that I was wrong. I didn't have to let myself be thrown. If it weren't... and you hadn't... You saved me."

Walter lost it-- the calm he had tried to keep-- and his voice screwed up as he spoke, palming the corner of his eye but not letting go of the coffin. "I'll miss you," he sobbed, and took a step back into the group, covering his face and trying to stifle his crying.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12


{HP9/19 | AC16 T12 FF14 CMD 16 | F/R/W 4/2/3} Female Samsaran Bladebound Magus 2
Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
Beneath his hood, Raj shoots a quick glance at Rose to get her reaction to this talk of one life.

Rose closes her eyes for a moment, a deeper look of sadness passing her face.

**************************

As Walter finishes, Rose offers him a comforting hug before taking her own place to offer some final words. "The Professor helped me when I was in need and no one else would. I had become ill, and needed him to..." Rose struggles for a moment to find the right words, "I needed him to help me recover from it. That was the kind of man the Professor was.

"Now you take the River to stand before the Mother of Souls, may she remember all the good you have done in the lives of those you have left behind. Thank you for all you have done for us." With that, Rose steps down for another to say their goodbyes.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

As everyone said their farewells to the professor, Theron quietly and respectfully said his own piece: "Goodby old man. I did not know you for very long, and I wish I had met you under better circumstances. What I do know, just from hearing these stories, is that if the the darkness' grip on this land is broken it will be because of the good deeds of men such as yourself. May Pharasma judge you well."


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Man, six rolls and nary a one of you made the DC. If I had to guess I'd say that your favourite rule right now is on page 86 of the Core Rulebook. : þ

The people in attendance are clearly moved by the stories you share. By the time Rose finishes her eulogy, the big moustachioed man named Zokar is weeping openly, as is the much older apothecary, Jominda. The others gathered around, Sarianna included, are either wiping tears surreptitiously from their eyes or staring stony-faced at the Professor's casket as the two gravediggers finally begin to lower it into the grave.

Kendra throws the first sod onto the casket, and then numbly shakes hands or shares a stiff embrace with each of the Ravengrians who came to pay their respects--the farmer included. As the gravediggers bend their back to their task, Kendra continues to watch, silent, until the final spadeful is tamped down on her father's grave. A patch of earth bare of grass marks the Professor's final resting place, next to his gravestone, which reads:

The Professor's Gravestone wrote:

Here lies Petros Lorrimor, beloved father, selfless philanthropist, and stern opponent of evil in all its guises.

4653 - 4711

We will miss him.


female human diviner

The rain is finally starting to clear as Kendra comes around to stand before the gravestone, placing a hand upon it as she stares at the words carved into it.

He really was selfless, wasn't he? Kendra says to no-one in particular. I just never realised quite how much.

She takes a moment to contemplate her father's life, many of its facets only now becoming apparent to her. After a while, she turns to the group of you.

I guess you're wondering what happens next? Well, as I mentioned in my note, my father's will stipulates that all eight of you need to be here for it to be read. Right now I have no idea what's in it myself. Councillor Hearthmount--he was the large man with the receding hairline and triple chin--will be coming along to read the will in an hour or so. Until then, you're all most welcome to come to my house. I'd like to hear whatever stories you have about my father, if that's okay with you.

Presuming you all agree, Kendra leads you back to Ravengro and through the west side of town, past the Temple of Pharasma, until you reach her house in the south of town.

The building itself--until so recently the Professor's house too--is unremarkable from the outside. But as Kendra ushers each of you in through the door and out of the rain--really little more than drizzle by now--it's clear that this home has been occupied by at least one driven academic.

Every available wall surface is covered with bookshelves, some containing scrolls, other codices, others still strange objects that look like they would be dangerous to touch. Dust has made itself at home in every corner, and books and scrolls litter every available flat surface, whether that be desk, bench, table, floor, stool, chair, or even some windowsills.

Please excuse the mess, Kendra apologises. I just have not had the time to sort myself out and get everything organised since... She offers up a weak smile. As each of you enters, she casts prestidigitation to dry your clothes, leading to a large puddle that accumulates on her doorstep. Still, the feeling of dry clothes is nice against your skin. Please, if you wouldn't mind, just clear a space in the sitting room over there, and I'll be back with some tea. And see if you can get a fire going.

The room she gestures to is one of the less cluttered ones, with the shape of a chaise and several chairs visible under the piles of books and papers. By the time your tidying efforts are complete, Kendra has returned with a silver tray, a large teapot, and nine china cups. She pours tea for each of you, and then settles herself in and curls up on the chaise.

First, I want to thank you very much for coming, she says. You all meant an awful lot to my father, and he would be proud to see all of you standing here today. Councillor Hearthmount should be here within half an hour or so to read father's will, but until then, I thought we could spend some time getting better acquainted. I'd love to hear from you about how you knew my father, and what you did together.

Spoiler:
Please note I'm more than happy for you to gloss over your response here; Kendra doesn't know you, but as players we spent all of last week learning about each other's backgrounds. "<character> tells Kendra about his childhood and how Professor Lorrimor saved him from poverty and obscurity" is a perfectly adequate response. No need to rehash old ground--unless you want to. Feel free to spend some time asking whatever questions of Kendra you feel are appropriate and I will see about getting to them tomorrow. And don't worry about talking over one another, I'll figure that out when I respond. : )


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F Half orc Sorcerer 1

Flori will sit next to Dragomir if she can, and share her story, taken from her character page:

Spoiler:
It was on one such voyage that she met Professor Lorrimor. Once, on shore leave in Vellumis, Flori used her magic to save a man from a gang of street thugs who were trying to mug him. It turned out to be the professor, and though she'd never heard of him, he thanked her by making her his guest at one of his lectures and a fancy party afterwards.

It was the most elegant night of her life. She was treated well because she was his guest, and the status of the professor was such that no one questioned his unusual choice of companions. Many human beauties glared at her with contempt, but they didn't dare say a word to her face. She felt beautiful and untouchable. She'd actually done something for him, wanting nothing, while they were more like parasites wanting to bask in his reflected glory. That difference made a huge impression on her.

It wasn't just his celebrity that impressed her, though. He was a man who knew the value of knowledge, and used his to make life better for everyone, not just himself. He didn't just see a half orc when he saw Flori, either. He saw the goodness in her.

Grand Lodge

Page 86, ye olde take 10 and take 20? :)

Dragomir seems a bit uncomfortable... it could be the crowded room, the delicate china cup, which he marvels at from time to time (perhaps as a mask to his unease as much as an unfamiliarity with so fine an object), the occassion... or even the company? He makes no issue with who sits to his left or right.

Well, Miss Lorrimor, you' kin call me Dragomir but most in my business know me as Wolf.

I've probably got the least of those stories you'll likely here. Your Da' hired me to bring him home some time back - took the better part of a month. He suuuuuuuure could talk... but we had a lot of miles to fill, be it carriage rides or by foot. I did my part and he, his. But he was a good man, as I said, and he spent a lot of time helpin' me understand somethin' of the world and also, he touches a simple wooden token of Pharasma about his neck, somethin' about my hometown's history, priests ramblin's an' my Mama's teachin' on th' Lady of Graves... Nothin' deep y' understand, as won't stick right up here. He touched his head with a rueful smile. Leastways hasn't yet... but I'm honoured he called me here to help send him on his way.


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DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Karrik could count the number of times he'd been in the Professor's house on one hand, and he still loved the cozy, academic feel of the space. It was as if every room were an extension of the old man's mind, wonderful gems of knowledge and wisdom hidden in every corner, cubby, and closet. He couldn't help but pick up a few interesting items on their way to the sitting room.

As they waited -- the group making the room comfortable for a party of this size -- Karrik busied himself by lighting a fire in the hearth with the flint and steel from his belt pouch. He stokes while he hears Flori's story, no less interesting for its second telling. And during Dragomir's time, Karrik places the screen in front of the now-roaring fire, finds a seat next to the shy Walter, and pulls out the few books he grabbed on his way in. Both listening and reading, Karrik offers a second small book to Walter.

When a lull grows in the conversation, Karrik speaks up, resting the open book pages-down on his leg to hold his place. "I don't know that your father would have had reason to tell him of his meeting with me, Miss Lorrimor, but it tends to be a sadly un-heroic tale." He struggles not to call her by her first name. He felt that he somewhat knew the girl from his father's descriptions and stories, but knew it a long shot that the Professor would have spoken of Karrik to her. He goes back through the story again, ending with the memory of the Professor showing up at his little stolen-book-filled lean-to as Karrik was held down by Lorrimor's men. Karrik can't help but look around at the old man's home with new eyes.

No wonder this place is so comfortable. It is the cozy and comfortable version of that dingy den I created for myself in that alley.

Realizing that he stopped talking abruptly, but that he has nothing else to add, he struggles for something else to say. Finally he settles on stoking the fire a few times regardless of the need. "The tea is tasty," he has the presence of mind to say -- speaking to the fire instead of Kendra out of social awkwardness.


{HP9/19 | AC16 T12 FF14 CMD 16 | F/R/W 4/2/3} Female Samsaran Bladebound Magus 2

At first Rose wasn't going to offer anything beyond what she had already said. But with the Professor gone, only one other knew what had happened, and he was not one Rose even knew how to find, or wanted to. Amongst those who the Professor called friends, she thought she may find solace, so she decides to relate her own story.

"I met the Professor 37 years ago. I had been attacked by a...a creature. In my tongue it is called a Jiangshi. In yours...a vampire. I am uncertain why the creature did not kill me, but it did leave a gift, for it's curse was seeping in my own blood now. It was only a matter of time.

"I met the Professor trying to find a cure. I resisted for as long as I could, but I could feel it's touch getting stronger with each passing day. The Professor was still young at the time, not yet the great man he had become, though still a hero to me. In the end, after a month together, I knew that I had run out of time. If I had turned, I would not have been able to return to the River, so I asked the Professor to do the one thing I could not. I asked him to take my life."

Rose waits a moment before continuing. "In the way of my people, we follow Sangpotshi. As I said before, when my people pass, while that person dies, we are reincarnated, to once again ride the River of Life. But in the end the River does eventually lead to Pharasma, the Mother of Souls. It was difficult to convince the Professor that, my request, was in my best interest. But in the end, he did it.

"So far from home, I wasn't certain I would reincarnate there, and with the funds I had from my previous life, the Professor was able to find where I reincarnated and he brought me to live with the family I did, former acquaintenances of his. I learned much from the Professor, both during that time and in letters we've exchanged since. He was like an uncle to me growing up."

Rose gives a smile, first to Kendra, then around to the others. "Thank you for listening."


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

WHOMP

Karrik tries to recover the book from the floor without making a scene, though he can't take his eyes off Rose after her story. The Professor KILLED her out of mercy?!

Nice!


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Male Human Oracle 2

Walter had seen the Professor's living space in Caliphas and thought that the complete disarray was due to his busy lifestyle, but seeing his home now brought a smile to Walter's face. The Professor's home was as absent-minded, messy and cluttered as his rambling train of thought, and the things that he had collected-- apparently, on every surface but the ceiling-- were amazing to behold. Walter wanted to know what would be done with all of it.

Sitting down-- alone-- he was surprised when Karrik sat near him, offering him a book. He glanced at the title-- Encyclopaedia Caelestia: A Treatise on the Stars-- and, not quite having the presence of mind to read and listen, used it as a place to hold his cup and saucer. Walter felt no guilt-- several brown circular stains adorned it already. He listened to Rose's story, amazed that she had fought a vampire and lived-- yet, conflicted because he wasn't sure if she had or if another one of her had... it was very strange, to be around a person with multiple lifetimes. He didn't know if it was polite to lump all of her together as one person. Maybe Rose was the only other person at the table who'd spent more time with the Professor than he. They were definitely closer-- well, he had killed her.

Walter made sure to wait his turn. "As for me, the Professor met me in... well, my family was very influential. Because of an, um... accident, I was placed in the care of the doctors at the Havenguard Lunatic Asylum on the coast of Lake Encarthan, just inside of Caliphas. Because I was, um... special, the head doctor called the Professor to come take a look at me." Uncomfortable with talking about the rest-- his power, the voices, the fire-- he nodded blankly. "He got me out, helped me get over my problems, taught me how to keep a handle on myself and, um... yeah. I've lived in Lepidstadt with the Bresrins for a while, now. Three years. I, um, got letters. Sometimes," he admits. A smile crosses his face. "He writes just like he talks. Only person I know of that doesn't quite get the 'greeting' part of the 'greeting.' You know, like... 'Dear Walter,' and then he starts in with 'Hello, Walter!'" He tried to mimic his voice again, but had to drum up a cough midway through. With a start, he realized he'd spoken of him in the present tense but didn't go back to change it.


Enjoying the comfort of instantly dry clothes, Raj files away the fact that Kendra is a spellcaster. Like father, like daughter. From long habit, he studies the house and furnishings carefully, touching nothing. While walking the room and seeming to peruse the vast collection of books, he notes the house's layout and egress points. Through quick glances out the windows he sizes up the surrounding vegetation - looking for the points where someone might break in relatively unobservered.

Gibs is the type to stew in his anger. A man like that might come at the Doc's daughter sideways. Catch her where she is most off her guard.

The scarred man ends his perambulation at the fireplace. He leans against the mantle and watches Karrik stoke the fire before gratefully accepting the tea. He places the china cup carefully on the mantle, concerned he might chip something so fine. The shared stories flow past him... reiterations of what was said last night in some cases, and filling in intriguing details in others. Vampires! Bloody hell! That's serious business and no mistakin' it!

Given all the exotic and fine tales, his story stumbles in like a poorly dressed, second cousin. Raj repeats his wine-lubricated accounting from the previous night, selectively changing his references to 'the old man' with 'the Professor' to not offend his daughter's sensibilities. He finds his attention is not on Kendra when he mentions that his intent was to rob her father.

Raj fidgets a little while attempting to answer Kendra's question about how he worked with her father. He tries to be both specific and vague. "Your father sometimes ran into a spot of trouble, Miss Lorrimor. You go around investigating unsavory things and, well, sometimes that means you cross unsavory people. Doc, your father, he sometimes needed to get in or out of a place unnoticed. Sometimes he wanted to know the 'lay of the land' before he arrived in a town - who was who and what was what. Sometimes he needed someone to keep an eye on the folks he had suspicions about. That's where I helped out some."

Perception 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

Cyn:
The Perception check is really just to note anything of obvious interest and scope the layout of the house. I don't need to hear any results unless you feel they are of significant interest.


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Lem will listen intently to everyone's stories, genuinely showing concern, excitement, or suspense at the appropriate times. When he can, he will tell the story in my profile, though he will try to downplay his own part in it.

...Little did I know that the Professor had the entire situation under control! But I helped him find that book, and after that I'd see him from time to time. I could always count on him when I came across him in my travels, and that means everything to a wanderer such as I.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

Theron thought for a moment before deciding that it would be best to simply tell his story carefully so as to not upset Kendra rather than try to hide the events that lead to him saving the professor.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21 Lol!

"I didn't meet your father until just a few months ago, and I wish it had been under better circumstances." Theron began. "You see, this isn't the first time your father's work has been misunderstood, and because of this some accusations against him were brought to my attention... since I am an inquisitor of Iomedae. Thankfully however, these circumstances lead to me finding your father using his magic to fight off a number of undead outside of town. You'd think that a so called necromancer wouldn't have that happen to him, now wouldn't you?" Theron smiled a bit at his last statement.

"Well, I did what I could to pick off a few of them, but after the fight the professor truly believed that I had made enough of a difference to save him. I suppose he didn't have enough spells ready to deal with them all? After speaking with him for a bit, I warned him about the accusations and told him that I'd handle things. Truly, after hearing all these stories about your father, I wish I our meeting had been different, but I'm glad it did happen. Even during our brief meeting I could tell that he was a great man."


HPs 16/(26)28...AC18/Touch11/Flatfoot17/CMD 18||HP 26/[28]| Fort:+5 ;Ref:+2 ;Wil+0|Percept +1/Sense Motive +5 Male Human Ustalav Varisian Fighter/2 *12 Con /Fort:+4

Dragomir examines the tea cup closely and thinks, A strange lookin' woman who claims that she was a Bloodsucker that Lorrimor killed who should be in a Loony bin... and a man who used to actually be in one?


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Dragomir Vuk wrote:
Dragomir examines the tea cup closely and thinks, A strange lookin' woman who claims that she was a Bloodsucker that Lorrimor killed who should be in a Loony bin... and a man who used to actually be in one?

Now that I think about it, I should have had Theron pay more attention to the vampire thing XD


Raj lightly taps a finger along the mantle as the talk continues then quiets. He frowns, frets, and reaches a decision. Finishing off his tea, Raj sets his cup down and takes a seat on the edge of the chaise near Kendra.

He looks at the woman sideways, speaking quietly. "I'm sorry for your loss, Miss Lorrimor. Sorrier still to interrupt your mournin' at all but the run-in with Gibs sort of makes this important. I'll be as brief as I can - your father held my marker." Not knowing if Kendra is familiar with the phrase, he translates, "I was in his debt. With his passing, as I see it, you hold that marker. So, if you need help with Gibs or otherwise, I'm your man."

He pulls a curved, scabbarded dagger from his pocket and sets it between them. It is identical to the one he placed on the coffin earlier. "This is for you. It's a good blade." He gives her a polite nod as if it concludes the matter before he quickly stands and moves to retake his place near the mantle. "Again, I'm sorry to intrude on your grief and sorry about Doc."


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Helaman wrote:
Page 86, ye olde take 10 and take 20? :)

I was going more 'Aid Another', but you have an equally valid point. : )


female human diviner
Flori the Fabulous wrote:
Flori will sit next to Dragomir if she can, and share her story, taken from her character page:** spoiler omitted **

Kendra listens to Flori's tale with interest, and expresses surprise at Flori's account of her earlier life as a sailor. Have you ever sailed on Lake Lias? she asks. I mean, it's hardly Lake Encarthan, and it's not so great at this time of year, with the changeable weather, but in early summer it's quite glorious. If you are ever here then, we should make a time to get you out on the water. She smiles as Dragomir begins to speak.


female human diviner
Helaman wrote:
Your Da' hired me to bring him home some time back - took the better part of a month...I'm honoured he called me here to help send him on his way.

Yes, I thought I remembered meeting you briefly before, Kendra says, her eyes unfocused as she sifts through her memories. As for my father's reasons for bringing you here, and doing it now, I'm afraid I'm just as much in the dark as you are. Perhaps his will will shed some light on the issue. But the most important thing for me is that you are here, and I cannot thank each of you enough for that.


female human diviner
Karrik wrote:
When a lull grows in the conversation, Karrik speaks up, resting the open book pages-down on his leg to hold his place. "I don't know that your father would have had reason to tell him of his meeting with me, Miss Lorrimor, but it tends to be a sadly un-heroic tale."

As Karrik tells his story, Kendra's eyes narrow as though she is slowly putting the pieces together in her mind.

Wait, she says when Karrik is stoking the fire, was this in Tamrivena*? Petros told me he had a stellar student from there! He spoke about you often, although he never described you, so I didn't know you were a half-orc. She says it matter-of-fact, with no trace of prejudice.

In fact, I know he was thinking about writing to his former colleagues at Lepidstadt University about you, and I'm sure he didn't plan to mention your heritage to them either. I think he was laying the groundwork to introduce you to the faculty and cause something of a stir--he liked nothing more than to shake up people's preconceived notions, and I'm sure you would have done just that. It's a pleasure to meet you at last, Master Karrik. She smiles warmly and accepts Karrik's compliment about the tea.

*:
Since you didn't specify Karrik's hometown in your background, I picked one that sounded like it might fit. Feel free to assume Kendra mentioned whichever town or village is actually correct, even if I got it wrong. : )


female human diviner
Rose Springdawn wrote:

"I met the Professor 37 years ago. I had been attacked by a...a creature. In my tongue it is called a Jiangshi. In yours...a vampire.

...

In the end, after a month together, I knew that I had run out of time. If I had turned, I would not have been able to return to the River, so I asked the Professor to do the one thing I could not. I asked him to take my life."

...

It was difficult to convince the Professor that, my request, was in my best interest. But in the end, he did it.

As Rose tells her story, Kendra's eyes seem to grow wider and wider. When Rose finally finishes, Kendra leaps out of her seat. She draws the samsaran into a brief but close embrace. I can't imagine what that was like, Kendra says. It must have been so hard for you...having to give up everything you'd worked so hard to achieve, even if you do have another opportunity to do it again. I imagine most people you meet say they envy you...but all those memories and past lives must take their toll on the psyche in some way.

And here you were this morning, comforting me, when you have been through everything I have and so much more besides. At least, knowing you have done that and still come out the other side gives me hope that I can do the same, some day. Thank you for sharing your story, Rose.

Kendra gives Rose's hand a final squeeze and then sits back down. There is a momentary silence before Walter begins to speak.

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