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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
Theron Adrezi wrote:
When we get pack to the house, someone remind me to have Theron get one of you to look at that book he picked up. Not sure it if will have useful info, but there isn't any point in not checking it at least.

Presuming you're talking about the book that Alendru had, that's a very good idea. : )


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Carrion Crown GM wrote:
Theron Adrezi wrote:
When we get pack to the house, someone remind me to have Theron get one of you to look at that book he picked up. Not sure it if will have useful info, but there isn't any point in not checking it at least.
Presuming you're talking about the book that Alendru had, that's a very good idea. : )

Yea, I had been meaning to deal with that earlier, but missed the good chances. I just hope that it will still be useful by the time I get someone to look at it XD


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Theron Adrezi wrote:
Carrion Crown GM wrote:
Theron Adrezi wrote:
When we get pack to the house, someone remind me to have Theron get one of you to look at that book he picked up. Not sure it if will have useful info, but there isn't any point in not checking it at least.
Presuming you're talking about the book that Alendru had, that's a very good idea. : )
Yea, I had been meaning to deal with that earlier, but missed the good chances. I just hope that it will still be useful by the time I get someone to look at it XD

Don't worry, it's still good. : )


Male Human Oracle 2

Who is Team Walter and Friends researching, then? Someone dole out what's what about what we're doing so I can drop the '1' everyone is looking forward to. :)

Quote:
A calculating look comes over her face as she surveys the group. She closes the ledger on her desk with a thump and smiles. Well, gentlemen, ladies--you have given me something, so I shall give you something in return. For the ledger you have brought, I shall permit you to access the archives for your research. But be aware that I will be watching you and if you so much as fold a single corner of a single page... She masters her emotions with obvious effort. Suffice to say that I require you to take the utmost care.

"Of course, sister," he said kindly as he re-emerged, briefly, between the shelves. "This is an amazing collection. How long has it been here? Everything is arranged so neatly-- it's nothing like the library in Lepidstadt," he said, remembering the times he'd glanced sidelong at people laughing and chatting over decades-old handwritten academia. An imperceptible wince of past embarrassment came over him as he remembered the time he saw an older woman carelessly drop a book to the floor, cracking its binding, when she couldn't fit it back on the shelves, and how she'd glared at Walter like it was his fault.

"Lots less students, too. If you, um, aren't very busy, can you show me to any manuscripts may contain pertinent information for us?" He shouldered his bag, ready to find somewhere-- a table or bench-- to sit and begin the kind work he was really good at.


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
Walter Vheist wrote:


"Lots less students, too. If you, um, aren't very busy, can you show me to any manuscripts may contain pertinent information for us?" He shouldered his bag, ready to find somewhere-- a table or bench-- to sit and begin the kind work he was really good at.

After Walter had gotten settled, Dragomir turned to ask Sister Iona where to start, how to research and so on... and immediately thought better of it when he saw the look on Iona's face.

Like a curdled cats crack..., he thought shuddering.

Truly he was a bit lost and tad awed. A library where he was from may have been all of 10 books or so on a shelf (the wife of one of the neighbours considered herself a 'reader' and was fond of boasting on her books), but then off course he'd never visited the Cathedral. This defied his imagination and he'd thought Lorrimor's place was amazing for the number of books.

He stood there looking around and then was struck by the oddest thought. Dragomir had used books a few times but not perhaps as intended by their authors.

This place would burn a treat... or could wipe bums for a thousand years.

One thing Dragomir was not, was a 'shirker'. When there was work to be done, he pitched in and got it done - it was ingrained in him from years of farm work and working in a profession where if you didn't do it yourself, 'it' simply didn't get done. If everyone had to sift through this field of words then he was sure as hell gonna do his part too.

But he was as lost as a man in a forest on a moonless night. He needed someone to help and it was clear the 'Kid' Walter was (strangely enough) foreman on his team while that weirdo 'Ice Maiden' Rose seemed to be organising some of the others, including Lem and Kendra (strangely Rajuna seemed to hover around Kendra as Kendra moved into Rose's team, drawing him in with the others).

As lost as he was, you didn't bug the foreman. It just wasn't done. And that left...

Dragomir sort of knew what he'd have to do before he finished the thought. The only one of the group that seemed to be clustering around Walter that seemed to be cast from the same 'bruiser' mold as Dragomir was that Half Breed Karrik... who looked not only completely at ease in these surroundings but eager to get to work.

Gotta start somewhere... both on these books, and with these 'breeds'. If I am serious about giving these folks a 'fair go', and acceptin' them for who they are, then I better get to it... truth be told, I reckon' half my problem is he's dressed like a damned 'Dandy' and speaks like the Professor where I'm plain as dirt and when I talk everyone knows how I was reared... stupid bone headed thinkin'. I don't dislike the other one as much as I dislike Karrik... not sure if its just that he rubs me the wrong way or its just me.

Truth be told, Flori ain't bad at all - she's been nothin' but helpful and friendly... Whereas Karrik? Weeeeeell... time to give him a chance to prove me wrong.

Dragomir turned to Karrik and while starting hesitantly began asking him for help in getting this chore done.


I'm hoping I can apply my previous AA roll to the Team 1 effort. Including the +4 circumstance bonus, it would be:

Know: Local AA 17 + 5 + 4 = 26 circum

Cyn, you don't use Escalating AA's, do you? :D


Grouped up and pointed in the right direction by 'Harridan the Librarian', Rajuna finds the research less daunting than he first imagined. He settles down at a table with several books and pores over the musty prison records. Initially focused on the five prisoners, he finds his mind pulled in a different direction from time to time...

How often does a scofflaw get a chance to get in the heads of the screws? If I ever get caught, it might be good to know how they think. Raj glances through the records trying to get insight into the men who ran the prison and the dynamic of prison life. He finds himself critiquing the 'work' of the inmates and the 'justice' of their sentences as well.

Ten years hard labor for stealing a PIG!? That's idiotic. Admittedly this fella was unprofessional and a fool to boot! If you're going to steal the Mayor's prize swine, you best turn it into pork chops and not try to sell it as good breeding stock. But ten long ain't justice.

Raj is about to nudge Rose, sitting next to him, to commiserate over this ridiculous miscarriage of justice but stops himself. The pale beauty's recent vow and clear ethical boundaries stay him. She ain't like to take the side of a no account pig-thief. He glances at all of his new compatriots who are diligently working through the stacks of tomes. Two or three might bend the rules a bit, and one or two would probably outright break a few laws... but on the whole these are good people, citizens not shadow warriors.

The scarred thief rubs the divot in his nose, unsure how he feels about figuratively as well literally rubbing shoulders with these upstanding associates, letting them know what he can do and what he's done. He can almost hear the warning of his very first teacher, Nine-Toes Uller... "All it takes is ONE citizen unburdening his conscience about what he knows you done to get the Watch on your heels and knocking on our door. Secrecy is the way. Say nothing, stick to the shadows, and stay alive."

Raj has a hard time imagining any of these folks would rat him out, even if they had some problems with his 'limber' ethics. Doc was pretty selective about the company he kept. Still, the ingrained training to secrecy was hard to overcome. It was a reflex reaction that ensured his survival. On unsure ground, Raj defaults to the safest option... and buries his head back in his book to continue the research.

1d3 ⇒ 3 -> 1 Kendra, 2 Lem, 3 Rose


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Lem looked around at the stack of books with reverence, appreciating the time it would take to accumulate and care for such a collection. He cracked his knuckles and looked up at Rose, eager to begin.

Which of these inmates would you like me to research? Point me in the right direction and I'll get right to it, though I have one request, if possible--you all can look over the official records, ledgers, and so forth if you like. Me? I'll take whatever books have the accounts of these people's exploits, or nefarious deeds, as it were. I can burn through a good story quickly, but I'm not too interested in how much porridge the Splatter Man ate in a given week, you know? So, where to begin?

Aid Another: Knowledge (Local) 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:

I'm hoping I can apply my previous AA roll to the Team 1 effort. Including the +4 circumstance bonus, it would be:

Know: Local AA 17+5+4 circum

Cyn, you don't use Escalating AA's, do you? :D

Actually, because Raj is trained, if the research would otherwise fail, I will take that roll and run with it. I'm not in the business of punishing good luck. : )

EDIT: And yes, to answer your actual question, your original roll does stand.


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

"Well, Lem, it seems you decided our starting point. Splatter Man it is. I suppose a good start would be to figure out his real name and work from there. Walter, you can take whichever of the other two you like for you group." Rose takes in all the books for a moment before beginning.

Dice:

Knowledge (History): 1d20 + 9 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 9 + 4 = 27

Research Time: 1d4 ⇒ 3


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
Ten years hard labor for stealing a PIG!? That's idiotic. Admittedly this fella was unprofessional and a fool to boot! If you're going to steal the Mayor's prize swine, you best turn it into pork chops and not try to sell it as good breeding stock. But ten long ain't justice.

I am not going to retcon Raj's flavourful addition, but Harrowstone was a place for the worst of the worst--essentially, every few weeks a prison wagon arrived from some far-flung part of Ustalav bearing all the criminals that the local prisons at their origin couldn't deal with. As you look through the sentences listed in the admissions ledgers, you notice that pretty much everyone is either in for life or for execution--and that the vast, vast majority of the crimes listed are murder or rape.

Harrowstone was a place where violent, powerful criminals were sent to die. Which is why you're going to have so much fun when you visit... ; )


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

I am really enjoying the way everyone is characterising their research rolls so far. Keep it up! : )


Carrion Crown GM wrote:
I am not going to retcon Raj's flavourful addition, but Harrowstone was a place for the worst of the worst.

Did I mention he pulled a Dr Moreau on the pig, fused it with a diabolically-inclined Tiefling and it went on a three county killing spree? Work with me here. :)


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Walter Vheist wrote:
Who is Team Walter and Friends researching, then? Someone dole out what's what about what we're doing so I can drop the '1' everyone is looking forward to. :)

Rose has taken The Splatter Man. That leaves The Mosswater Marauder and The Lopper. : )


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
Carrion Crown GM wrote:
I am not going to retcon Raj's flavourful addition, but Harrowstone was a place for the worst of the worst.
Did I mention he pulled a Dr Moreau on the pig, fused it with a diabolically-inclined Tiefling and it went on a three county killing spree? Work with me here. :)

Wow, that really changes the context of selling the pig for good breeding stock.

<shudder>

Nice work. ; )


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2
Carrion Crown GM wrote:
I am really enjoying the way everyone is characterising their research rolls so far. Keep it up! : )

Ooh, Ooh! Make Kendra's roll! That's the last roll for our group, then you can post our results on the Splatter Man! :-) Nice rolling Raj and Rose, btw. And let's see, Rose gets a 27, plus 2 from Raj, plus 2 from me, assuming +2 from Kendra since her bonus makes it automatic, should put our total at 33, by my count. Beast!


Raj continues to plow through the records. The general tenor of the convictions and sentences makes the pig-thief stand out even more. Harrowstone was filled with mad-dogs, stone killers, and rapists - lifers and men waiting for the headsman's axe or whatnot. What's a pig-thief doing with that crowd?

Rajuna finds the answer reading between the terse lines of the transfer orders... the Mayor was connected, well-connected. When he couldn't get the thief a harder sentence for the affront to his dignity, he had him 'temporarily' shunted to Harrowstone while the local prison was being 'repaired'. Pig-thief had lasted 3 days at Harrowstone. Throwing trout in with sharks always ended the same way. Raj closes the book in disgust and picks up another.

On a lark, he re-opens the book and notes the Mayor's name, town, and likely political connections. After this many years, he's probably long dead. But if that bastard is still kicking, I might just find a reason to rattle his cage or give him over to Theron's crew. Murder by proxy is still murder.


middle-aged female human cleric
Walter Vheist wrote:
Quote:
A calculating look comes over her face as she surveys the group. She closes the ledger on her desk with a thump and smiles. Well, gentlemen, ladies--you have given me something, so I shall give you something in return. For the ledger you have brought, I shall permit you to access the archives for your research. But be aware that I will be watching you and if you so much as fold a single corner of a single page... She masters her emotions with obvious effort. Suffice to say that I require you to take the utmost care.
"Of course, sister," he said kindly as he re-emerged, briefly, between the shelves. "This is an amazing collection. How long has it been here? Everything is arranged so neatly-- it's nothing like the library in Lepidstadt," he said...

For the first time, you see a genuine smile play across Iona's face. Thank you, young man. This archive has been the work of my lifetime. Before my time, the temple kept only a few shelves up in the north-east transept. Once I had organised those--which didn't take very long--I turned my mind to acquiring other tomes, and a better place to store them. This was once a natural cave; the original intention of the architects was for it to be a redoubt in case of assault, but frankly I think the times where we would have enough warning to prepare it are past.

She shivers, despite the warmth in the room.

Walter Vheist wrote:
If you, um, aren't very busy, can you show me to any manuscripts may contain pertinent information for us?" He shouldered his bag, ready to find somewhere-- a table or bench-- to sit and begin the kind work he was really good at.

Iona nods and shows you to the shelves that house publications on local history, then wishes you good luck and goes back to reading through the ledger you brought.


Male Human Oracle 2

"The Lopper, then," he said to the others. "Um, if that's alright. We can do the other one if you guys want."

After being reassured (or not) he cracked his knuckles like a maestro picking up an orchestra baton. Walter left his bag at the foot of a research table and began to carefully pick books from the shelves, favoring tomes written in the old tongue over books written in Taldane. He disseminated the books between the others nearby, stopping every so often to skim the books idly like he was trying to find something stuck between their pages. He managed the pile of literature, slipping it back on the shelves where it'd gone, keeping a keen mental catalogue of what he was currently doing and what he'd done with each book. After the first piece of information came out, Walter took the stubby piece of lead from his bag and wrote it out in his own personal handbook, keeping the information tightly and neatly organized and helping others cross-reference when asked. Even though he still stammers when spoken to, it's easy to see that this is his comfort zone. Walter is a hidden bastion of information on history, and it doesn't take long for him to just begin to idly spin half-finished anecdotes about whatever topic's at hand.

"I remember that name-- I think they're related to, wait, no, I'm thinking of a completely different family of werewolf hunters."

"You'd be surprised to what lengths mob justice will go to in a society like Ustalav. The nation is predisposed towards both civility and destiny, which is a nobleman's code for 'it was written in thee stars I shant cut thine head off' and, um, a laborer's code for 'get 'em.'"

"The rest of his family was really quite nice, too, from what I read. No-- no, they were also serial murderers. I just heard they were nice. Um, forget that I said that."

It's easy to see that the research, coupled with the ease of, well, being around people who actually give a damn, brightens Walter's mood and brings him up out of the morning's lethargy.

Research on The Lopper - Knowledge (history) 1d20 + 6 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 6 + 4 = 24
Time Spent - 1d4 ⇒ 1hours.

If Karrik doesn't mind, I'd like to leave Dragomir's aid another to him-- I think there's more interesting things waiting to happen between those two than between Walter and Dragomir (and especially since I was just graced with the "He's tall so he gets something off the top shelf!" idea which is pitiful-tier).


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female human diviner

Kendra's roll: Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 8 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 8 + 4 = 30

Across from Raj, Kendra thumps a book down on the table, startling him out of his contemplation of the pig-thief's dilemma.

Sorry, she says with an apologetic smile. She sits down and opens the book, then pushes the sleeves of her chemise up while she peruses the text. After only a few minutes, she half-heartedly stifles a yawn, then puts her head on one hand while she uses her other hand to follow along with the text as she reads.

###

Kendra, now up to her third book, shifts uncomfortably in her seat. Eventually, she makes an irritated sound, stands up, and retrieves her curved dagger from the waistband of her skirts. She puts it on the table next to the book, then calls across to Raj, who is perusing a shelf of books detailing the names and histories of local officials in Ardeal.

Any time you're ready to show me where I can carry this thing without it poking me in the ribs, please let me know. She wriggles uncomfortably in her bodice, rubbing her side as she continues to read.

###

What?!? Kendra startles awake as Raj taps her on the shoulder.

A loud shhh! comes from Iona's general direction.

Sorry. Kendra notices she has dribbled on her hand as she slept and wipes it surreptitiously on her skirts. You didn't see that.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Nice work on the Splatter Man, you made the DC just fine.

Two options here:
1) I can give you the plain facts, lifted almost straight from the AP, or

2) I can take those facts and turn them into historical documents like I did with the Piper.

Option 1 will take me about five minutes to open the pdf and copy and paste.

Option 2 will take me the rest of the day--14-16 hours from now by the time I can post it.

Your choice. : )

EDIT: I suppose option 1a is I can give you all the facts and you can turn them into historical documents, and I'll restrict myself to the prison admissions ledger.


Option 1! Option 1!

I truly appreciate all the flavour you add, but sometimes it is easier to keep the key elements of a mystery straight if you get it in plain text. :)


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

I like 1a


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

Research was not Theron's strong point, and he knew it. To him, it was easier to experience something in the flesh than simply read about it. These endless stacks of paper somehow looked more intimidating to him than the scene of a murder. Not for the first time, Theron thanked Iomedae that his memory was good enough that he had been able to memorize the words of his instructors without having to rely upon the books they had tried to shove down his throat.

Sighing, he decided to see if we could help Walter gather together some information on the "The Lopper." Thankfully, the books were well enough organized that he was able to pick out a few promising books and set them down near Walter. "Maybe one of these will be helpful, I'll see if I can find anything else..."

Assist: Knowledge (history on the lopper) 1d20 + 1 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 1 + 4 = 11 barely assisted XD

The truth was though, Theron was sticking around Walter because he was still very curious about what had happened in the crypt. He had already pieced some the answer together... Walter had said an 'accident' had landed him into the Havenguard Lunatic Asylum, and that the professor had been called in because he was 'special'. That the professor had helped him get over his problems...problems that obviously had something to do with the sword that had gone flying at Theron the other day.

Theron couldn't help but smile at the thought of what would happen to this library if Walter's problems went out of control.

Still, he hadn't been able to piece together what exactly Walter was. Perhaps he was some type of Sorcerer? The inquisitor wanted to press the matter, but he suspected that Walter would be unwilling to speak about it with others around. Whatever the case, Theron believed that the professor had involved Walter in this because whatever it was that made him 'special' would eventually make him a powerful foe against the Whispering Way.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Theron Adrezi wrote:
Sighing, he decided to see if we could help Walter gather together some information on the "The Looper."

Ha! Some typos are too funny to ignore.

Wrath of the Looper

: D


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Carrion Crown GM wrote:
Theron Adrezi wrote:
Sighing, he decided to see if we could help Walter gather together some information on the "The Looper."

Ha! Some typos are too funny to ignore.

Wrath of the Looper

: D

Gah! I didn't edit it fast enough XD


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Option 1 or 1a it is then. : )

Your readings lead you to uncover The Splatter Man's name first--the rest falls into place after that.

Harrowstone Admissions Ledger, 4661 wrote:
Name: Hean Feramin - Admitted By: Gurtis Vortch - Crime: Murder - Apprehended In: Caliphas - Sentence: Execution - Date of Arrival: 14 Gozran 4661 - Located: Nevermore - Possessions: Spellbook, journal, books, sundries - Money: incidental - Age: 37 - Previous convictions: Nil - Remarks: (blank)

From your other readings, you uncover the following:

Research wrote:
Professor Feramin was a celebrated scholar of anthroponomastics (the study of personal names and their origins) at the Quartrefaux Archives in Caliphas. Yet an accidental association with a succubus twisted and warped his study, turning it into an obsession. Feramin became obsessed with the power of a name and how he could use it to terrify and control. Soon enough, his reputation was ruined, he’d lost his tenure, and he’d developed an uncontrollable obsession with an imaginary link between a person’s name and what happens to that name when the person dies. Every few days, he would secretly arrange for his victim to find a letter from her name written in blood, perhaps smeared on a wall or spelled out with carefully arranged entrails. Once he had spelled his victim’s name, he would at last come for her, killing her in a gory mess using a complex trap or series of rigged events meant to look like an accident.

Two to go!


Kendra wrote:
After only a few minutes, she half-heartedly stifles a yawn, then puts her head on one hand while she uses her other hand to follow along with the text as she reads.

Rajuna watches her quietly, wondering whether scroll-making is that taxing or if there is something more to her fatigue.

Kendra wrote:

Kendra, now up to her third book, shifts uncomfortably in her seat. Eventually, she makes an irritated sound, stands up, and retrieves her curved dagger from the waistband of her skirts. She puts it on the table next to the book, then calls across to Raj...

"Any time you're ready to show me where I can carry this thing without it poking me in the ribs, please let me know. She wriggles uncomfortably in her bodice, rubbing her side as she continues to read."

Raj watches her wriggle, nods, and offers her a half-smile. "As soon as we're done here, Miss Lorrimor, I promise."

Bluff 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14

Sense Motive DC:14:
Kendra makes Raj nervous and his smile is an attempt to cover it.

Kendra wrote:

"What?!?" Kendra startles awake as Raj taps her on the shoulder.

A loud shhh! comes from Iona's general direction.

"Sorry." Kendra notices she has dribbled on her hand as she slept and wipes it surreptitiously on her skirts. "You didn't see that."

Rajuna gives her a brief, wide-eyed, clueless look. "See what, Miss?" which is quickly replaced by concern, "But I think you could use some fresh air and a change in studies, Miss. Bring your blade." He pulls her chair out, clearly intent on getting her out of the vault and the church for a few minutes. He looks to Rose, "We'll be back in a half hour. Sorry"

The scarred thief escorts the slender mage upstairs and out of the church. He borrows her blade and scabbard, adjusting the leather strapping and trying to pay it more attention than the woman he is walking near. "We'll need a secluded spot... don't want the locals beating me senseless because they think I'm drawing down on you."

Is there any spot that fits the bill near the side or back of the church?


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Research wrote:
Professor Feramin was a celebrated scholar of anthroponomastics (the study of personal names and their origins) at the Quartrefaux Archives in Caliphas. Yet an accidental association with a succubus twisted and warped his study, turning it into an obsession. Feramin became obsessed with the power of a name and how he could use it to terrify and control. Soon enough, his reputation was ruined, he’d lost his tenure, and he’d developed an uncontrollable obsession with an imaginary link between a person’s name and what happens to that name when the person dies. Every few days, he would secretly arrange for his victim to find a letter from her name written in blood, perhaps smeared on a wall or spelled out with carefully arranged entrails. Once he had spelled his victim’s name, he would at last come for her, killing her in a gory mess using a complex trap or series of rigged events meant to look like an accident.

Well, we know what that V came from now....


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
Is there any spot that fits the bill near the side or back of the church?

Yep, there's a small orchard of...apples, out the back.

Will respond to your post(s) in more detail later...time to get some work done. ; )


Carrion Crown GM wrote:
Research wrote:
Professor Feramin was a celebrated scholar...

You all gain 100 XP.

Theron Adrezi wrote:
Well, we know what that V came from now....

...and another 100 XP for making the connection between the desecration of the monument and the Splatter Man.

Running Total: 1,135 XP


Hm... let's hope that V isn't for 'Vesmera'

Cyn - no worries, take your time in responding.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
Hm... let's hope that V isn't for 'Vesmera'

Mwahahahahaha.

: D


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

Sorry, couldn't think of a way to roleplay out that realization since Theron wasn't specifically studying that one XD (Though I guess he would have figured it out when all the data was presented at the end)


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Theron Adrezi wrote:
Sorry, couldn't think of a way to roleplay out that realization since Theron wasn't specifically studying that one XD (Though I guess he would have figured it out when all the data was presented at the end)

No need to be sorry. In a tabletop/face-to-face game, the revelation would likely have been made precisely the same way. : )


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Sorry to leave you hanging, Helamon… hard to post from vacay.

Dragomir wrote:
Dragomir turned to Karrik and while starting hesitantly began asking him for help in getting this chore done.

The touch on Karrik's shoulder interrupts his research. He looks up, not expecting to find the big human. Karrik's black eyes don't leave Dragomir's as the man asks for some instruction.

One thick, ashen hand rubs across his tattoo'd scalp as he listens and considers, black eyes still holding Dragomir's. The other hand sets down the chalk he was using to take a few well-organized notes.

Finally, after a pregnant few moments, Karrik takes the top half of a not-insignificant piles of books and sets it across from himself, kicking the opposing chair out from under the table without standing up. He nods at the chair before pulling a second sheet of paper, followed by a second piece of chalk, both of which he arranges in front of the waiting chair. Karrik's tone is the same measured coldness Dragomir's accustomed to, in this instance sounding like nothing more than a teacher grudgingly instructing an obviously-slow pupil. "Begin with those. Do not bother reading every page. Take the key words young Master Walter has found and …" Karrik quickly outlines the most efficient method of uncovering the desired information in the stack of books… the same efficient method taught to him by the Professor. He finally winds down, concluding with an unexpected question, "What do you see when you look at me?"

He sits back down, resuming his research as he takes up chalk and parchment, his further words barely above a mutter, and not sounding to be for anyone but himself. "Gray skin, black eyes, flat-face and teeth as big as tusks… same as all humans see."

AA attempt for Walter's research 1d20 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 2 + 4 = 8. HA! Apparently karriks' too busy wallowing in self-pity to be of much use!


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
Karrik wrote:
"What do you see when you look at me?"

The question caught Dragomir off guard. He'd endured rather than enjoyed the high handed way Karrik had put him through the paces as a price to be paid for being taught a new skill but it didn't help endear the Half Orc any to Dragomirs' way of thinking.

But the honesty of the question surprised him, as much as when Karrik sullenly half hid his features by bending low over both book and parchment muttering to himself.

Is he feelin' ashamed of what he is? Well bugger me... I don't reckon I ever saw an orc feelin' sorry for themselves.

It was an unusual moment, similar to when he first made a realisation, having always thought of Half Orcs as being male, that Flori was a young girl instead of just some 'breed'.

It made Karrik, well, the same as he was in a way. For all his flair's and fineries, he was as uncertain of himself among normal folk as Dragomir was around all the high minded book smart conversation that he'd been on the outside of, but never really involved in.

He thought a moment more... an honest question, deserved an honest answer - that was just how things were. He had the decency to make sure Flori was still among the shelves.

What do I see? Hmmmm... You had of asked me two days ago? I'd have said a 'Breed'., he rumbled quietly. Yesterday, before we did, he paused for a moment, ...errr... that visit? I'd say a 'dandy' who uses two long words when one'll do and who likes to use 'em like a chair in a barroom brawl to hit a man when he's down. Now? Honestly? I ain't sure.

Dragomir stopped a moment, looking at Karriks face before continuing. You're still 'what' you are, and 'who' you are. That ain't changed. I'm still seein' what I would've seen two days ago, or even yesterday. I'm just learning to look at the man rather than the skin or fangs or your fancy waistcoat.

He shrugged, pulled the stack closer and opened a book.

I've travelled a lot - oft as not with folks I didn't take a shine to until we'd shared a couple of miles and a badly cooked meal. Some I never got to likin' at all but I found I gotta give a man a chance first... I figure it could be that I ain't doin' justice by you and the girl. I just gotta give you the same chance I give any other man.

Dragomir started to slowly run his finger over the page, lightly and just under the words.

Thanks for the advice. I reckon I'll get started now, he said and started reading at a snail like pace.

Aid Another 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

It took a long time and it was more good fortune than good scholarship that uncovered a guards journal. He skimmed it, just as Karrik told him and made some clumsy large lettered notes on the parchment before showing it to Karrik for approval and then adding it to the pile in front of the 'Kid'.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

Seeing that most of the others were involved in their own conversations, Theron decides that now would be as good a time as any to have a talk with Walter. If Walter had some sort of ability that wasn't totally under his control, then Theron wanted to know more about it.

Besides, he was getting tired of digging through these books.

"So Walter, you said that the professor had helped you with a few things. Would I be right in assuming that last night's flying sword is somehow related to that?" Theron said quietly to Walter when everyone else seemed away or distracted. He was doing his best to seem curious rather than seeming like... an inquisitor. Unfortunately, this wasn't something he was terribly good at. "No harm was done, so I'm trying to avoid jumping to rash conclusions. However, if this is something that might happen again it might be best if we knew what was causing it. Especially if we're planning on going into Harrowstone..."


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Disposition Update
Team Rose took three hours to find the information they needed about Professor Feramin, aka The Splatter Man.

Team Walter is in a Schrödinger-like state; we know they're only going to take an hour to do their research, but not everyone has rolled yet.

Current results:

  • Walter: 24
  • Theron: 11 (success)
  • Karrik: 8 (failure)
  • Dragomir: 12 (success)
  • Flori: ??

Flori, are you able to post your roll?

If there's no movement by tonight, I will move on (you have met the DC already).


Male Human Oracle 2
Theron Adrezi wrote:
"No harm was done, so I'm trying to avoid jumping to rash conclusions. However, if this is something that might happen again it might be best if we knew what was causing it. Especially if we're planning on going into Harrowstone..."

Walter glanced up at Theron, listening but still reading. After a moment, he stopped his place with a thumb. He spoke in the same whispered hush, but his voice had a tinge of... desperation? "It's fine. It just... happens sometimes," he deflected. "It's under control. It doesn't happen unless I'm really distracted. You, um, shouldn't worry. Sorry." Walter found himself apologizing for no reason under Theron's steely gaze, and bowed his head slightly. "It's just, um, weird. What it is. I don't want to go telling everyone. They'll look at me like..." he trailed off, thinking of how people looked at Karrik.

Even though he was the only person beside the Professor that had ever challenged what Walter had said about a book instead of just saying 'wow, that sounded really good,' Karrik was still a half-orc and even Walter had originally judged him on that. Rose and Flori were women, and, well, both beautiful in their own way-- maybe not to the farmers and gossips of Ravengro, and, um, they didn't exactly turn Walter's cogs-- blue skin and tusks--, but even he could see that they both had their own exotic aesthetic that could turn heads. And Lem, well, Lem could talk. But Karrik wasn't a handsome man, and he definitely had this thuggish demeanor that made it easy to overlook that he was still a person, and it's not like you could pin your intelligence to your sleeve for people to score you. Walter felt like the runoff that slipped off of Rose, Flori and Lem came down and was slowly filling up the hole Karrik was trapped in. It was unfair.

He shook his head. "Nevermind."


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Walter Vheist wrote:

"It's fine. It just... happens sometimes," he deflected. "It's under control. It doesn't happen unless I'm really distracted. You, um, shouldn't worry. Sorry." Walter found himself apologizing for no reason under Theron's steely gaze, and bowed his head slightly. "It's just, um, weird. What it is. I don't want to go telling everyone. They'll look at me like..."

He shook his head. "Nevermind."

Walter's avoidance of answering the real question irritated Theron and made him forget that he had been trying to be non-confrontational. "You don't want to tell anyone what 'it' is because it is 'weird'?" Theron stated. "Walter, we are about to go and deal with the ghosts of murderers. I think you'll find that when our lives are on the line that the last thing any of us will be worrying about is who among us is 'weird'."

The inquisitor realized that he was starting to raise his voice a little and stopped himself before he drew any attention. Perhaps I'm being too harsh? He thought. After all, it seemed like Walter had been through a lot, and he was a bit younger than Theron was. Still, the instincts that had been drilled into him through his training were seeing Walter's worries as a weakness that was only going to hold him back. Maybe the blunt truth was exactly what Walter needed.

Whatever the case was, Theron knew that this probably wasn't a problem that was going to solve itself overnight, and he didn't need his temper to make things more difficult. Theron added one more thing as he stood up to get back to his research. "Maybe I shouldn't have said it that way, but I think you'll see what I mean. Excuse me."


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

The first thing Walter picks up is not a book at all--it's an archived notice from the Posting Poles around the town of Ravengro. (Map would be updated, but the editor embedded within Flickr has gone on holiday and the replacement is Not Good. I didn't have much intention of using the Posting Poles anyway.)

The notice details the upcoming execution date of Vance Saetressle, aka The Lopper. Theron will be pleased to know I wrote 'Looper' before correcting it.

From there, it's easy to find his record in the admissions ledger, and easier still to uncover a variety of sources recording the Lopper's exploits.

Harrowstone Admissions Ledger, 4661 wrote:
Name: Vance Saetressle - Admitted By: Gurtis Vortch - Crime: Murder - Apprehended In: Caliphas - Sentence: Execution - Date of Arrival: 14 Gozran 4661 - Located: The Oubliette - Possessions: handaxe, charm necklace, sundries - Money: incidental - Age: 22 - Previous convictions: Nil - Remarks: (blank)

From your other readings, you uncover the following:

Research wrote:
When the Lopper stalked prey, he would hide in the most unlikely of places, sometimes for days upon end with only a few supplies to keep him going while he waited for the exact right moment to strike. Once his target was alone, the Lopper would emerge to savagely behead his victim with a handaxe.
One to go!


Carrion Crown GM wrote:
Research wrote:
When the Lopper stalked prey...

You all gain 100 XP.

Running Total: 1,235 XP


Know: Local (AA) 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

Use if appropriate.


Male Human Oracle 2

Walter didn't respond to Theron's words, but he mulled them over for nearly the next hour, trying to process and catalogue and determine what he should do. The idea that someone could be hurt because of him made Walter feel like he was already responsible, and the shadow of any future hurt hung low over his head like a rain cloud. His good mood had been extinguished, just like that.

After the hour passed and the information had been dug up, Walter shouldered his bag once more and turned to the others. "Um, I'll be back later. I'm, um, meeting someone. I guess we'll catch up at the Sheriff's office? Well, until then and sorry for, um, leaving. Excuse me," and he hurried out the door and up the steps-- returning to shut the door behind him. He was glad that Rajuna wasn't there to nudge him about the flowers he'd given him before, but when he exited the Temple and walked out into the sun he could have sworn like he was somewhere nearby, watching him. Even if he couldn't see him, he was sure Father Grimburrow was, too. The wayfinder sat heavy in his pocket.

Walter approached the gazebo, not seeing Vesmera. He circled it until he was sure she wasn't there, crouched low behind a railing, and then sat down on the steps. Minutes passed-- Walter watched the people of Ravengro, checked the sky for rain and mulled over what Theron had said again, losing himself in thought. Walter considered Karrik again, and this time, something different: was it fair for him to hide his strangeness when Karrik could not? He could do it so effortlessly, too, just a few excuses and apologies and such-- and as long as he didn't end up like that again, dropping a sword when he should have held it, he would never had been discovered. Stupid, he thought. He continued to think, unable to make a decision.

When he resurfaced, he wasn't sure how long it had been, but he was certain it had been a few minutes. He wondered if Vesmera was running late or had been caught in a chore, but decided to wait either way, watching the barren trees' branches shake in the brisk spring wind. He crossed his arms, wondering if she'd bring his jacket.


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DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

I figured this post had some things worth responding to, so I hope everyone will indulge a little time-hopping. It won't change anything, except maybe how to of our heroes view each other. :)

As Dragomir talks, Karrik seems to continue his research, seemingly ignoring the big man. The observant would note, though, that he never flips pages, never makes any useful marks, and is generally agitated.

He squeezes the bridge of his flat nose, "You said it yourself, Dragomir. It has required two days of forced companionship for you to look beyond the externals. What reception do you expect a 'Breed' like me," Karrik's black eyes harden at the word, "generally get from people who have your preconceptions but have no pressing reason to look past those preconceptions? The love of words is my own." A challenging looks crosses his eyes as he continues, "Those offended by a sophisticated choice of words can choke on their own ignorance for all I care. And the clothes?" He pauses as he picks up his well-kept bowler hat, spinning it in his hands. "'Dress for the role you desire' the Professor told me once. 'A man can become more than he is, if he has the desire, drive, and intelligence to become so.' Again, his words. So I'm aware of the impact my appearance has, and I'm also aware of how it can make some men react in unexpected ways. I just hope that one side-effect of such an impact is that a man IS forced to take a second look at me… maybe wonder what it is that makes a… Breed like me dress like a dandy."

He sets the hat down, picking back up the chalk, "You remember that first night? In the tavern?" Karrik pauses, seemingly shifting gears, "You seem a nice enough human, Dragomir, so far as our shared experiences indicate. And you're more than handy with that ridiculously-sized blade. I've survived a lifetime alongside those who could not see beyond my gray skin, fancy clothes, and obnoxiously-intellectual word-choice. In that same time, only a few have actually looked beyond them."

Karrik suddenly realizes that Dragomir's notes are far more extensive -- and frankly a bit more organized than his own. It's a struggle to decide if its a testament to his own training capabilities or if he's just been beaten at his own game. "Dammit! Do Pharasmins drink? All of a sudden I find I need something with a bite."

We can move on or not; I just thought Dragomir's answer deserved a response. :)


Raj keeps his eyes on the scabbard he's adjusting as they climb the stairs. "If you don't mind me sayin' Miss Lorrimor, you look a bit peaked. Were you up all night making those scrolls?"


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

I thought it might be worthwhile posting a little tying-together passage in addition to some 'real' content.

Temple Archives, 10:44am
Walter looks down at the notes he has compiled from the various tidbits of information supplied by the other members of his researching team. The Lopper really was a piece of work. His research done, Walter takes his leave as he heads off to meet Vesmera.

Town Square, 11:08am
Walter sits on the steps of the gazebo, waiting for Vesmera to arrive. She's late.

Temple Orchard, 11:51am
Raj, concerned for Kendra's state of mind, takes her outside to the apple orchard around the back of the Temple to practise her blade work.

Temple Archives, 12:39pm
Rose reads through the various archived news clippings, posting pole notices and overly opinionated chapbooks concerning The Splatter Man's acts of violence--and his modus operandi. Theron makes a point that the letter on the statue from last night may very well be related. Raj, having returned from his sparring session with Kendra, makes a point that perhaps the 'V' might have been the first letter of 'Vesmera'...and everyone's mind turns to Walter.

Everyone:
I am going to deal with the Walter/Vesmera and Raj/Kendra scenes simultaneously. Once those are both done with, we will move on to the visit to the Sheriff, and potentially simultaneously to that, the research into The Mosswater Marauder. Dragomir has said he's happy to be on Team Sheriff; Walter got the invitation so he should probably be on Team Sheriff too, and Sheriff Caeller asked for Kendra to come. That leaves Rose, Karrik, Raj, Theron, and Lem unaligned. Pick your teams and we'll move on when we're ready.


young female human (no class)

Town Square, 11:08am
The thud of approaching footsteps startles Walter out of his contemplation of the trees. Vesmera almost skids to a halt in front of him; it's clear she has been running for more than a few dozen yards. Good, she says, struggling to breathe. You're still here.

Vesmera leans forward and puts her hands on her knees, her chest heaving as she gulps deep breaths of air. Her face is flushed.

I just...had to run...all the way...from Councillor Hearthmount's... She coughs as she tries to regulate her breathing, then gives up any attempt at retaining her dignity and sits down on the cobbles before flopping onto her back and closing her eyes, still breathing hard.

I was worried...<inhale>...that you might leave...

It takes a minute or so, but Vesmera regains her equilibrium and pushes herself up to a sitting position.

First things first, she says. I need to return your coat.

###

Vesmera leads Walter north past The Unfurling Scroll to the covered bridge over Ravengro Creek. Walter has his coat back, and Vesmera is more suitably attired for the weather than she was last night. Vesmera stops, gazing upriver through the support struts.

Thank you for lending me that coat last night, she says. I certainly needed it.

They spend a few moments staring at the moving water, not saying anything. The weather is clear, if a little brisk. Eventually, Vesmera speaks up again.

So what brings you here from Lepidstadt? she asks. You seem to have a lot of friends from out of town. Are you visiting Miss Lorrimor?

Sense Motive DC 9:
Bluff: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18 Vesmera is uncomfortable having this conversation...she seems to be fishing for information.

EDIT: the original roll was a 9...not sure what happened there. A 9 it remains, despite the dice changing on me!


female human diviner

Temple Orchard, 11:51am
Raj and Kendra emerge from the Temple to discover the weather has turned. A blustery northwesterly wind tugs at Kendra's hair and clothing and makes her glad to have remembered her coat.

Kendra's Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4 (Nope, totally oblivious...)

She makes her way with Raj around the back of the temple to the small apple orchard. A few dozen rarely-tended trees are covered in blossom, the wind tossing their petals down in showers.

Raj adjusts the scabbard's belt and presents it to Kendra. Their fingers brush as she takes it back from him.

Right, Kendra says. Where exactly should I put this?

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