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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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I believe research into specific prisoners required a library of source materials outside of Doc's house so Karrik's rolls were blown away.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Working my way through here...

Walter Vheist wrote:
He wondered how old she was. He hoped she wasn't thirteen. This had happened before. He was sixteen-- no, seventeen now, just last week. Well, it didn't quite matter.

Heh! You're in luck. : )

###

Walter Vheist wrote:
A little out of breath from his run from the smithy [to the inn]...

Wow, Walter is really out of shape; by my calculations they're only around 100 yards apart. ; )

###

Rose Springdawn wrote:
Well, he initially went in for the Piper of Illmarsh, and that's a 24, so sounds good to me.

Perfect! The book Raj handed you is titled Avalon Bay: Its Flora, Fauna and Personalities--A Travel Journal and is written (badly!) by someone named Lady Anthurium Lowls--either a relative or wife of the House of Lowls that rules Versex County. It was published in Caliphas in 4678.

Presuming you read the book some time tonight, you are rewarded with rambling accounts of the Lady's frequent travels. The vast majority of the book is an entirely self-absorbed stream-of-consciousness style record of the things she saw from her carriage window or the people she met at high society functions. She is not terribly complimentary about either.

What is clear, however, is that Lady Anthurium had a taste for the macabre. The only passages in the book that seem like they are written well are the ones where she relates some horrific story she heard, or some terrible thing she witnessed. Almost as if in losing herself in the horror, she forgot her station and just concentrated on telling the story.

In one particular passage, she writes about the Piper of Illmarsh:

Rose:
Avalon Bay: Its Flora, Fauna and Personalities wrote:


We had barely cast off and set out for Thronestep when a most dreadful storm came upon us, unexpectedly, like a cunning man whose goal was to steal our jewellery might have come into our rooms in the night.

I ordered the ship's weather-mage flogged, and then we put in at Illmarsh while the storm passed over.

The town eventually sent a representative to meet us--his name was Voltron, or some such. Aside from his corpulence, little distinguished him from the other pitiful peasants he presumably ruled in my family's name. He did while away the time with me, however, and told me a most fascinating piece of local history.

Apparently, around twenty years ago, Illmarsh was plagued by a murderer with a penchant for the bizarre--a man they knew only as "The Piper". For four years this man tormented Illmarsh's citizens (although how anything could be worse than just living in that mildew-infested, sodden wasteland of a town I don't know). By all accounts a quite talented flautist, the Piper would select a victim--seemingly at random--and then spend several days following them around, playing a mournful dirge from some sort of hiding spot whenever they were alone. The victim, increasingly paranoid about this tune, often failed to notice the flavour of the lich dust the Piper mixed into their meals. Then, when they were paralysed, the Piper would call upon his companions--a flock of stirges he'd charmed who drained the victim of every last drop of blood.

The dessicated husks must have been horrific to look at, all shrivelled and dry. It positively gives me the shivers just to think about them...

Everyone gains 100 XP. And Rose deserves your thanks for reading through Lady Anthurium's drivel. ; )

###

Lem Longbarrow wrote:
It seems that you have done a fine job of beginning to sort through the Professor's books. Have you found anything of historical significance that Ms. Lorrimor might not mind being rid of?

You're unlikely to uncover anything that would tickle Iona's fancy at the Professor's; he wasn't into local history much (as his collection attests).

If I might be permitted a suggestion, however, the best way to deal with recalcitrants is usually to bring them inside the tent, so to speak. Get them involved, give them a job to do. I'll let you work out what that might mean, as well as adding that it's clear Iona will never be able to trade on her ability with magic; she has to find some other way to serve the church, and it's clear that magic, martial prowess and captivating charisma are certainly not her tickets to advancement.

Hopefully I've said enough to point you in the right direction...although I should also add that there's not one single 'right' answer. Iona wouldn't have anything specific in mind and neither do I. : )

###

Dragomir Vuk wrote:
the town Smith appears to be pretty long lived, and has been here since the place was founded, maybe from when the Prison was built. If anyone is goin' t' know something about what happened there, it'll be them.

As Walter can attest, the smith is a dwarf, so her longevity is natural, not the result of unholy pacts or any such. Just thought I'd best clear that up!

###

Helaman wrote:
Rose Springdawn wrote:
Well, he initially went in for the Piper of Illmarsh, and that's a 24, so sounds good to me.
Didnt Karrik nail the Piper roll on a 26 earlier?

(a) What Raj said.

(b) Researching the five prisoners requires Knowledge (local) or Knowledge (history). Karrik used (arcana) and (religion).

###

Carry on! I will see if I can sort out a post about what happened in The Unfurling Scroll some time tonight. : )


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2
Carrion Crown GM wrote:


You're unlikely to uncover anything that would tickle Iona's fancy at the Professor's; he wasn't into local history much (as his collection attests).

If I might be permitted a suggestion, however, the best way to deal with recalcitrants is usually to bring them inside the tent, so to speak. Get them involved, give them a job to do. I'll let you work out what that might mean, as well as adding that it's clear Iona will never be able to trade on her ability with magic; she has to find some other way to serve the church, and it's clear that magic, martial prowess and captivating charisma are certainly not her tickets to advancement.

Hopefully I've said enough to point you in the right direction...although I should also add that there's not one single 'right' answer. Iona wouldn't have anything specific in mind and neither do I. : )

Yep, what I intended was to go back the next day to speak with her. I was going to tell her how I'd heard this second-hand story about Harrowstone and the five prisoners, how I love a good story and could use her expertise to see if she knows any information about the prisoners, etc. I'm also debating telling her how we heard the Whispering Way is trying to access something in Harrowstone, but I haven't made up my mind on that yet. Lem would also like to search for some paper/parchment and ink/quills to begin writing. I'd like to write a bit each night, but I'll post the details of what I want to write later. I assume the Professor has writing materials that I can use?


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Lem Longbarrow wrote:
Carrion Crown GM wrote:


You're unlikely to uncover anything that would tickle Iona's fancy at the Professor's; he wasn't into local history much (as his collection attests).

If I might be permitted a suggestion, however, the best way to deal with recalcitrants is usually to bring them inside the tent, so to speak. Get them involved, give them a job to do. I'll let you work out what that might mean, as well as adding that it's clear Iona will never be able to trade on her ability with magic; she has to find some other way to serve the church, and it's clear that magic, martial prowess and captivating charisma are certainly not her tickets to advancement.

Hopefully I've said enough to point you in the right direction...although I should also add that there's not one single 'right' answer. Iona wouldn't have anything specific in mind and neither do I. : )

Yep, what I intended was to go back the next day to speak with her. I was going to tell her how I'd heard this second-hand story about Harrowstone and the five prisoners, how I love a good story and could use her expertise to see if she knows any information about the prisoners, etc. I'm also debating telling her how we heard the Whispering Way is trying to access something in Harrowstone, but I haven't made up my mind on that yet. Lem would also like to search for some paper/parchment and ink/quills to begin writing. I'd like to write a bit each night, but I'll post the details of what I want to write later. I assume the Professor has writing materials that I can use?

He sure will. You can have whatever reasonable volume of writing materials you desire for free. : )


Raj cats-foots into the kitchen, relieved to be out from under the gaze of Rose or Kendra at this particular moment. He eyes Karrik's still steaming tea-kettle. Seeing nothing harder to drink, he pours himself a half cup of the tea and leans against the counter. A small sip of the torched brew assaults his tongue and slaps a sour expression onto his face. Reflexively, Raj looks into the kettle just to make sure it's actually tea and ...not an alchemical experiment.

Grand Lodge

And here Dragomir is with two bottles of liquor...


Male Human Oracle 2
Lem Longbarrow wrote:
I'm going to call on her tomorrow and appeal to her love of local history--I believe her help will be invaluable. If I could possibly donate a book or some piece of local history to her cause, I believe it would be worth the effort.

Walter was surprised at the sound cleverness in Lem's plan. "That's brilliant. If you need help finding something that might be of worth, um, let me know and we can go looking around the Professor's things-- or, um, the shops. We'll have to ask Kendra. Probably the shops."

He motioned upstairs. "I'm going to get everything ready so that people aren't sleeping on a layer of classical literature tonight," he said, and then hurried upstairs to begin the salvage operation.

Since I'm going through every room and tidying up, I might be able to find something that could be of-use to Lem, so let me know if I get something cool with this-- of course, he won't actually give it up unless Kendra gives her okay at least three times. Also let me know if I can't take ten.

Picking up the past and finding things that still shine - Knowledge (history) - Take ten plus 6 > (10) + 6 = 16 OR 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

The Unfurling Scroll
A couple hours earlier...

Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
"Looks ta me like the wrong necronmancer had hisself a deathly accident. I doan know what folk 'round here do with his kind but where I come from, tar would a'ready be on the boil."

At the mention of boiling tar, whatever is left of Alendru's bravado completely crumbles and he falls to his knees at Theron's feet, whimpering nonsensically.

Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
"What if that wassa Zombie Hex he was working up? I got eleven Crowns to my name an' he was gonna take ten o' them and maybe my life! I want justice, Mister. I got no books, no magic candy, no sweetheart, and mighta been kilt dead."

By the time Raj says "I want justice", Alendru is little more than a gibbering puddle around Theron's boots. Theron practically has to extricate his footwear in order to make his inspection of the shop.

###

I am going to make Theron's Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft rolls to identify the magical objects. Hope that's okay with you. If you roll high enough, I will add further information about the item properties or aura types. I will assume Theron uses read magic to identify any scrolls or other magical writing, and you won't need to roll for those.

Starting with the private library, this is what you find. Let me know if you want to investigate any of these further.

  • Alendru is wearing a diamond stud earring with a moderate aura.
    Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15.
    Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8.

  • A book with a moderate magical aura; a bookplate inside the front cover indicates it is the property of Montagnie Crowl of Lepidstadt University. The book is written using hard, angular runes that you don't recognise, but you do know that some of the writing itself is magical, even if you can't decipher it (even with read magic).
    Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12.
    Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21.

  • Three riffle scrolls in the drawer of a sideboard: invisibility, gaseous form and expeditious retreat.

    Then in the second library type room:

  • A dozen scrolls, containing alarm, endure elements, hold portal, identify, sleep, charm person, hypnotism, continual flame, hypnotic pattern, magic mouth, levitate, and suggestion. These are the scrolls that Alendru currently has for sale.

  • A potion radiating a faint enchantment aura turns out to be an elixir of love.
    Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20.
    Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21.

  • A potion radiating a faint enchantment aura.
    Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20.
    Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10.

    In the front room (the storefront, essentially):

  • A tapered wand made of white birch, radiating a faint aura; it's a wand of cat's grace.
    Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9.
    Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25.

  • A heavy oak wand carved with a spiral, radiating a faint transmutation aura.
    Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23.
    Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12.

  • A small black pearl with a moderate aura.
    Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17.
    Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Walter Vheist wrote:

Since I'm going through every room and tidying up, I might be able to find something that could be of-use to Lem, so let me know if I get something cool with this-- of course, he won't actually give it up unless Kendra gives her okay at least three times. Also let me know if I can't take ten.

Picking up the past and finding things that still shine - Knowledge (history) - Take ten plus 6 > (10) + 6 = 16 OR 1d20+6

Sounds fine to me, as you're looking through material and deciphering its historical significance rather than dredging something up from your memory; you can even take 20 on the Perception check to find what you want. Now, let me make a random luck roll to see if the Professor has anything worth finding.

GM luck roll:
1d100 ⇒ 98 Okay, even I have to admit that should do it.

As Walter slowly sorts his way through the books and codices strewn around what was once the Professor's bedroom, he comes across a small leather-bound ledger lying forgotten in a dusty corner. When he opens it, he discovers it's the admissions register for Harrowstone, for the years 4631-4635. Why the Professor had it, Walter can't fathom, but it's here, and it's just what Lem might need to thaw Iona out.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

I promise Kendra will wake from her alcohol- and nervous-breakdown-induced stupor sometime soon--probably around the same time as the sheriff shows up. ; )

Hope you're all enjoying your weekends. I should be back on deck properly in around 48 hours from now.


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 continues to look towards Karrik but speaks to the room in general.

No volunteers for cooking?, what say we have one or two of you Silver Tongues head down to this Inn and arrange them to deliver something as well as a hogshead of ale? I don't imaging anyone wants to cook or do dishes today... I'll throw in 4 or 5 silver shillings - if we all do that we'd have enough for everyone including Kendra.

What say you?

If we all throw in its about 4gp - more than enough for food and booze


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Sorry all. Like i said, weekends tend to be a time away from the boards for me.

Dragomir Vuk wrote:
He looks somewhat warily at Karrik. Whats news here?

Karrik -- who'd been totally engrossed in two ledgers and a scroll laid out side-by-side-by-side -- looks up blinking… apparently only now realizing the room is full again.

"Oh.. well. Not much that is really newsworthy, I'm afraid. In all the pounds of books, scrolls, and ledgers the Professor amassed in his small, disorganized library, there doesn't seem to be much information specifically on the subjects of the five prisoners. Rose seems to have found some clues on the Professor's interest on some specific undead, but nothing that she thought was worth drawing out." He smiles as he stacks his current materials, stands, stretches, and goes to pick up his pack from the corner. Opening it up, he takes out a series of vials with three distinct liquids in them. "The Professor did leave us some useful items down in the basement, however, in the form of three alchemical projects... which I believe I was successful in completing." He holds up the first two vials with a devilish smile, shaking them to agitate the liquids within. "Some acid and some Alchemist's Fire. We'll want to handle them delicately, but they will no doubt prove useful should we need to do any dungeoneering." He hands them to anyone interested in taking a look with a quick warning not to open the vial. Then he fishes out a third vial, this one filled with a thicker fluid… more the consistency of a milky white gel. "And these little gems are interesting indeed. The Professor seems to have known he might run into some of the non-living down in Harrowstone.. not surprising given his concern about this Whispering Way. This oil can be used to potentially control lower-powered, mindless non-living creatures." He frowns at it as he continues, "Though you have to spread the gel on yourself or a weapon and bring it into contact with the creature itself. Risky, but potentially useful. I have perhaps half-dozen vials of acid and Alchemist's Fire each, with three useable doses of the non-living-controling agent."

He looks around at everyone getting comfortable since coming in out of the dreary weather, then picks up his now-stone-cold cup of tea. "I made some tea if you want to warm yourself." Not only is it cold, but from the smell, you'd guess the cup is filled with twice warmed-over boot-rot seasoned with grave ash.


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

In response to Karrik, Dragomir reaches over - still sitting, leaning over a groaning armrest and picks up one of the bottles he put on the sideboard.

Tea?, he replies, Nah, I'll stick to this and pops the cork out with a practiced motion of one thumb.


F Half orc Slayer 18/Sorcerer 18

We'd best equip ourselves with those items, Karrik. I don't know how you all feel about controlling undead, but it sounds better than the opposite.


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 seems a bit surprised to hear the half breed Chit speaak - he'd not heard much from her since they'd all gone back to the house from the funeral.

He swigged from the bottle and then thought a moment before nodding to her and then extending the bottle in her direction.

Poor girl likely pinnin' over Lorrimor, I'll offer her a drink, maybe it will help her some


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

"Should we divvy up the vials now? Or keep them all safely in one place until we head out for Harrowstone?"


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

And so the inquisition continues. I'll try to finish having my fun at the Unfurling Scroll so that Theron can actually help with the research XD

Theron's going to say a few things during the 'inquisition', I'll leave it up to you if you want anything to happen because of them Cyn ;)

This wasn't the first time Theron had seen a wizard cower in fear because of an inquisitor, but this was the first time he had seen one whimpering at his feet. It was too bad for Alendru that he didn't feel sorry for him in the slightest. No, Theron was going to make sure this lesson stuck and scanned the room while making sure to keep an eye on both the wizard and the 'civilian' to make sure neither did anything rash.

Theron immediately noticed the magical aura on the wizard's earring, but ended up ignoring it in favor of the rest of the room simply because he didn't feel like getting that close to the coward. Instead, he took a look at some magical auras he detected from a nearby book and inside a drawer in a sideboard. He quickly opened the drawer and used read magic on the scrolls inside. "Invisibility, gaseous form and expeditious retreat... saved for just in case you need to make a quick escape when your tricks caught up to you I assume?" Theron says outloud before turning towards Raj, "Tell me if you see him making a move for these."

Next Theron looked at the book. He didn't reconize the writing, even with read magic, and couldn't tell what the book's magic was supposed to do, but he could read the nameplate. "Property of Montagnie Crowl of Lepidstadt University... I happen to be planning a trip to the university. I wonder what would happen if I told Montagnie Crowl that you had this book in your possession? I hope for your sake that you have permission to be borrowing this." Theron suspects that the book may be stolen, and is pondering simply returning it to its owner unless Alendru can prove he is supposed to have this. He would prefer just to scare the wizard into giving it to him though.

Sense Motive(just in case of a bluff): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11

Theron moves on to another Library style room (making sure that Alendru comes with him so he can 'keep an eye on him'). One of the first things he notices are the potions, and it doesn't take long for Theron to figure out what the first one is, and he assumes that the second one is the same. "Elixirs of Love? So, not only do you cast enchantments on your customers, but you sell enchantments to them? You're playing a dangerous game mage; if the wrong person's life gets ruined by one of these potions it won't be inquisitors come for you, but the citizens of this town."

After taking a look at the various scrolls throughout the room and seeing that, aside from the large number of enchantments, there are no problems with them, the inquisitor moves on to the storefront. Picking up the two wands he finds, he manages to identify one of them as a Cat's Grace wand. Figuring that the other is probably harmless as well (since this is the main shop) he puts them both down.

The only thing remaining is a black pearl, with a much stronger magical aura than anything else in the store. He spends several moments trying to identify its magic, but the pearl seems to be beyond him. Somehow, he gets the feeling that this isn't something this enchanter has created himself. "Where did you get this pearl, and what are you selling it as? This seems to be a bit beyond the rest of the magic you have here Enchanter." This is the other item Theron is a bit suspicious about. He's very curious about what it is...

Sense Motive(just in case of a bluff): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

Hmm, I guess if Alendru does try to bluff us, Raj would get to roll sense motive as well. You can assume Theron will call the wizard out if he suspects any lies.


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Well Done, Karrik! Perhaps we should leave them in the basement until we are ready to explore the Pharasman cache or Harrowstone?

Lem will politely decline any tea or booze, find a cup, jug, etc, and use Create Water (outside, if he has to) to get some water to drink.


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

Rose will mostly read the book Rajuna provided until it's time to sleep, giving basic responses when asked. Prior to heading to sleep, Rose will provide informasion she's learned to anyone still around (and coherent). If some more dialogue happens prior just assume this happens later.

Rose looks up from the book she's been reading, having come across some interesting information. She gives a little cough to gather everyone's attention before proceeding. "I've, ah, learned a bit about the Piper from the book that Rajuna provided. Here, let me read the passage..."

Yea, I copied it:

Quote:

We had barely cast off and set out for Thronestep when a most dreadful storm came upon us, unexpectedly, like a cunning man whose goal was to steal our jewellery might have come into our rooms in the night.

I ordered the ship's weather-mage flogged, and then we put in at Illmarsh while the storm passed over.

The town eventually sent a representative to meet us--his name was Voltron, or some such. Aside from his corpulence, little distinguished him from the other pitiful peasants he presumably ruled in my family's name. He did while away the time with me, however, and told me a most fascinating piece of local history.

Apparently, around twenty years ago, Illmarsh was plagued by a murderer with a penchant for the bizarre--a man they knew only as "The Piper". For four years this man tormented Illmarsh's citizens (although how anything could be worse than just living in that mildew-infested, sodden wasteland of a town I don't know). By all accounts a quite talented flautist, the Piper would select a victim--seemingly at random--and then spend several days following them around, playing a mournful dirge from some sort of hiding spot whenever they were alone. The victim, increasingly paranoid about this tune, often failed to notice the flavour of the lich dust the Piper mixed into their meals. Then, when they were paralysed, the Piper would call upon his companions--a flock of stirges he'd charmed who drained the victim of every last drop of blood.

The dessicated husks must have been horrific to look at, all shrivelled and dry. It positively gives me the shivers just to think about them...

Rose can't help but shiver, "Terrible way to go." She glances back at the book she had read earlier, where she had set it aside. "There was, ah..." She averts her gaze, struggling with herself. Deciding, she stands up and retrieves the book, opening it ot the page with Ramoska Arkminos. She turns the book so everyone can see it, passing it to the nearest person so they can get a better look. "This is Ramoska Arkminos, a Nosferatu. J-judging from the notes, the Professor had...had some dealings with him. I wish I could ask him what..." The last part is whispered, though not so softly that it couldn't be heard by the others. Rose is obviously shaken by the information.


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Karrik listens raptly to Rose's re-telling of the story of the Piper as he follows Lem's suggestion, packing the vials back into his backpack for storage in the basement.

When done, he turns back to the group. Talking only half to himself, Karrik chews his lip in thought, "So how does this Nosferatu and Piper information factor in to the objective the Professor set for us in Harrowstone? Should we be prepared to deal with such creatures? And if so, does anyone have any experience or information that would prepare us in such a way?"

Knowledge: Arcana to identify dangers/habits/info about the stirges in the Piper story:
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23.

He pulls off his bowler hat, rubbing a hand across his gray, tattoo'd scalp as another thought occurs to him. "Something else that has been worrying me... do we believe all these danger are still in Harrowstone? Because, if there is a way in, logic would dictate that there is a way for anyone or anything trapped therein to get out. Should we be outfitting ourselves, Miss Kendra, and this house against the possibility that some of these dangers of the Harrowstone may already be in the village itself?" He looks at the different groups who ventured into the town that day, "Are there any indicators that strange things are happening in or around town? People? Events?"

Grand Lodge

Dragomir pulls back the bottle extended to Flori and sucks at it sourly as he listens.

Sense Motive - not sure on the DC, call it 15. Hunches for somethings 'wrong' are DC20.

Spoiler:

If you had to guess at it, Dragomir is a bit confused by what Karrik is saying and a bit resentful about that.


F Half orc Slayer 18/Sorcerer 18

Arcana: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18


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

Did Flori take a hit from the bottle?


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Theron Adrezi wrote:
This wasn't the first time Theron had seen a wizard cower in fear because of an inquisitor, but this was the first time he had seen one whimpering at his feet.

Eh, don't get too used to it... ; )

Theron Adrezi wrote:
"Invisibility, gaseous form and expeditious retreat... saved for just in case you need to make a quick escape when your tricks caught up to you I assume?" Theron says outloud before turning towards Raj, "Tell me if you see him making a move for these."

Alendru eyes Raj, and looks as though he's chewing on a toad.

Theron Adrezi wrote:
Next Theron looked at the book. He didn't reconize the writing, even with read magic, and couldn't tell what the book's magic was supposed to do, but he could read the nameplate. "Property of Montagnie Crowl of Lepidstadt University... I happen to be planning a trip to the university. I wonder what would happen if I told Montagnie Crowl that you had this book in your possession? I hope for your sake that you have permission to be borrowing this."

Alendru turns green. Perhaps he's swallowed the toad. Well, in actual fact, master Inquisitor...sir...I...ahh...well, you see, that particular tome, I bought as part of a bulk lot from one of my usual contacts--although I will admit he is one of the...err...perhaps less-than scrupulous merchants with whom I contract.

In any case, when I came across this nameplate, I thought perhaps I should return the book--but I simply haven't found the time... Alendru looks at Theron's face, and finds it (Theron's Bluff 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16 vs. Alendru's Sense Motive 1d20 - 1 - 5 ⇒ (8) - 1 - 5 = 2) completely impassive and uninformative.

You are going to Lepidstadt? Alendru ventures into the silence Theron deliberately leaves. Then perhaps...you could return it for me? Alendru sounds hopeful. Most likely he's just hopeful he'll get Theron out of his shop.

Theron Adrezi wrote:
"Where did you get this pearl, and what are you selling it as? This seems to be a bit beyond the rest of the magic you have here Enchanter."

Alendru hesitates before answering. That, he says carefully, but with more conviction, is a bead of force. I obtained it during my adventuring days, but have not yet found anyone interested in buying it. Over the years it has become more of a curiosity than a sale item. I don't suppose you'd be interested...?" Alendru's new-found bravado is betrayed by his hands, which he is wringing desperately.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Carrion Crown GM wrote:

Eh, don't get too used to it... ; )

Hehe, yea, this guy is probably the most cowardly wizard we're ever going to run into XD

Carrion Crown GM wrote:
You are going to Lepidstadt? Alendru ventures into the silence Theron deliberately leaves. Then perhaps...you could return it for me? Alendru sounds hopeful. Most likely he's just hopeful he'll get Theron out of his shop.

"Yes, I believe that would be for the best," Theron agrees and puts the book into his pack (assuming Alendru doesn't change his mind) before checking the rest of the building.

Carrion Crown GM wrote:

Alendru hesitates before answering. That, he says carefully, but with more conviction, is a bead of force. I obtained it during my adventuring days, but have not yet found anyone interested in buying it. Over the years it has become more of a curiosity than a sale item. I don't suppose you'd be interested...?" Alendru's new-found bravado is betrayed by his hands, which he is wringing desperately.

"I'm not here to shop. At least, not after what I saw you doing." Theron says forcefully to make sure the wizard doesn't think that his tricks have been forgotten. He's a bit surprised that the wizard was actually an adventurer, but doesn't press the issue. Theron leaves the pearl alone and decides that this has gone on for long enough. He turns to speak to the 'commoner' and Alendru, "Well, even though it seems you have questionable business practices, I haven't found any signs of necromancy or other sorts of dark magics. I'll hold off on reporting this incident as long as I don't find any more spells being cast on your customers. Though, I suppose whether or not this poor man reports you himself depends on whether or not he's satisfied with the amends you're planning to make to him..."

At this point, Theron lets Raj get whatever he wants out of Alendru (as in, the books and lolis you already mentioned), and then escorts him out to "make sure there aren't any problems".


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Knowledge check results on stirges:

Karrik:
Your roll of 23 exceeds the DC of 6 by 15+, so you get four pieces of information about stirges:

1. Stirges are magical beasts native to swampy areas that suck the blood of their victims, be that wild animals, livestock or unwary travellers. They are essentially enormously oversized mosquitoes. Individually, stirges are no great threat (CR ½, AC 16, hp 5) but when they swarm they can present a serious danger (Organization solitary (1; CR ½), colony (2–4; CR 2-4), flock (5–8; CR 4-6), storm (9–14; CR 6-7), or swarm (15–40; CR 8-11). Giant stirges (CR 2, AC 14, hp 22) are also said to exist, but they don't swarm like their smaller brethren.

2. Stirges feed by attaching themselves to a victim with their barbed legs, then inserting their sharp proboscis into the victim's flesh to drink their blood. Getting an attached stirge off is not terribly difficult (CMD 9) but if it's not done quickly then death is a real possibility, especially if there is a swarm of them around; a stirge's attack drains the victim of blood and significantly weakens them (dealing Constitution damage).

3. Stirges--both the common and giant variety--are almost completely mindless (Int 1).

4. Despite their mindlessness, stirges do have a natural hunting instinct; they usually use their significant skills in remaining undetected (Stealth +16) before surprising their target with a sudden attack.

Flori:
Your roll of 18 exceeds the DC of 6 by 10+, so you get three pieces of information about stirges:

1. Stirges are usually focused on one thing and one thing only--feeding until they are satiated. Once that's done (4 points of Con damage for the common variety, 8 points of Con damage for the giant) they will usually fly off and find a place to lay their eggs and rest.

2. Stirges often carry disease; it's a good idea to take them down before they can touch you, if possible.

3. Stirges are fast in flight (fly speed of 40ft.) so seeking to escape them usually isn't an option, unless there's some sort of barrier you can erect to prevent their pursuit or limit their numbers somewhow.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Theron Adrezi wrote:
At this point, Theron lets Raj get whatever he wants out of Alendru (as in, the books and lolis you already mentioned), and then escorts him out to "make sure there aren't any problems".

Great. I consider this little event done and dusted. Thanks for playing along!


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Carrion Crown GM wrote:
Theron Adrezi wrote:
At this point, Theron lets Raj get whatever he wants out of Alendru (as in, the books and lolis you already mentioned), and then escorts him out to "make sure there aren't any problems".
Great. I consider this little event done and dusted. Thanks for playing along!

No problem, sorry if we made it go on for longer than expected. Oh, I might as well add in that Theron is taking a 10 (10+6=16) to make sure our shopkeeper stays properly intimidated for a while. We can't let him think he was able to just wriggle his way out of this without any problems ;)


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Regarding the stirge rolls: I got the info and will probably use it when/if the group has a conversation about preparing for the dangers to come.

Sense Motive - Dragomir's reaction (DC 15) 1d20 ⇒ 16.

Karrik, still curious to see fi other people have any thoughts on his posed questions, cuts his eyes over at Dragomir. His black eyes squeeze to slits for a second as he weighs the man's reaction. Whatever it is Karrik sees, he clearly doesn't like it, though he holds his tongue.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Karrik wrote:
"Are there any indicators that strange things are happening in or around town? People? Events?"

Maybe Theron noticed something when he walked into town with his godly sense motive roll of 27. That would be up to Cyn though ;)


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Just wanted to say I'm following along and will post later tonight.


female human diviner
Karrik wrote:
He pulls off his bowler hat, rubbing a hand across his gray, tattoo'd scalp as another thought occurs to him. "Something else that has been worrying me... do we believe all these danger are still in Harrowstone? Because, if there is a way in, logic would dictate that there is a way for anyone or anything trapped therein to get out. Should we be outfitting ourselves, Miss Kendra, and this house against the possibility that some of these dangers of the Harrowstone may already be in the village itself?" He looks at the different groups who ventured into the town that day, "Are there any indicators that strange things are happening in or around town? People? Events?"

Walter:
Assume Kendra has spoken to you upstairs, thanked you for your help, and given her permission--as many times as necessary!--for you to use the ledger in whatever way you see fit.

Just as Karrik finishes his question, there is a demure cough from the doorway. Kendra stands there, looking somewhat dishevelled. She smiles to show she's all right, although she still looks rather wan.

I think Dragomir has the right of it, she says. Best to send to The Laughing Demon for some food. And then we can talk about other things.


male human expert

Kendra won't hear of you paying, though, and presses some gold into your hands before sending a couple of you to the tavern to get some food (Dragomir being one of them). (Map updated.) The Laughing Demon is a cheerful place run by a bulky man named Zokar Elkarid, who was one of the mourners at the Professor's funeral.

Zokar greets you warmly and sets about getting some food organised for you to take back--and readily agrees to send a hogshead of ale back free of charge. He says it's his small contribution to the Professor's memory.

While you wait, you peruse the menu, scratched out on a chalkboard above the bar. Vampire steaks, corpse chowder, wolfballs, liquid ghost... Most of the meal titles are outlandish, but in keeping with Zokar's somewhat off-kilter manner. Dragomir wonders if the rumours he heard at The Outward Inn are true.

It's not long before Zokar has you loaded up with food and drink and ready to head back to Kendra's house.


female human diviner

I am adding a fair bit of straight exposition below to help tie up a few dangling threads, and then move on to the next bit of the plot. I hope you don't mind--none of the below is meant to indicate any propriety on my part in terms of your characters' actions. If you want the information related below to have come via a private conversation with Kendra rather than an open chat around the dinner table, please assume that's how it happened.

Back at the house, everyone is enjoying a meal of corpse chowder (unidentified pieces of meat floating with vegetables in a red broth) while Kendra is updated on the events of the afternoon.

She expresses support for Lem's idea to sway Iona to their cause, allowing Walter to explain to the group what he has found upstairs.

If/when she is told about Raj and Theron's encounter with Alendru, she shakes her head and says that Alendru isn't inherently bad--but he has an almost total lack of self-control and self-confidence. She is very disappointed to hear of his treatment of her new-found friends, though, and is glad everything worked out. She says that perhaps she might go speak to him tomorrow--but promises to act in accordance with Theron and Raj's wishes on the issue.

Kendra thanks Karrik for dealing with the alchemical experiments in the basement, and reinforces that the five flasks of acid, six flasks of alchemist's fire and three oils of command undead are the party's to do with as they wish.

If Rose asks about the significance of the Professor's notes on Ramoska Arkminos, Kendra will say she has no idea--although she knows her father worked with many unsavoury characters in service to the greater good. (In game terms, Petros was NG.)

If anyone raises the issue of how the horrors the Professor described as residing within Harrowstone are being kept at bay rather than stalking the town, Kendra confesses she's unsure--but that since it's been more than fifty years since Harrowstone burned, she makes the observation that whatever is keeping them locked up must be pretty stable.

###

Talk then turns to discussion of what remains to be done. Kendra says the temple records would be the best place to research the five prisoners, and if apprised of the Piper of Illmarsh's history, she shudders and says she's more than happy that all happened in the past.

Speaking of the cache of materials at the mausoleum that ostensibly belong to the Church of Pharasma, Kendra advises speaking to the clergy about it; the party is just beginning to find their feet in Ravengro and if they were found to be robbing a Pharasmin tomb--however good their intentions--their handful of hard-won friendships might count for nothing. She says Father Grimburrow would be the only one in a position of authority on the matter--no need to go through Iona for that--and didn't someone say that Father Grimburrow was busy until vespers? Vespers should have been around an hour ago.

As far as other, weird events, Kendra says that not much has been happening beyond the usual, as far as she can tell--crops have gone bad and livestock have become sick, but that happens all the time. There's nothing particularly strange going on right now that she is aware of, and any unpleasantness from the locals is more easily ascribed to the insular nature of the town than any evil influence.

###

I think that about covers everything that's left. If I have missed something, let me know.

Presuming there are no more threads that need tying up, I will make a post tonight or tomorrow morning that will move the plot along a bit. Otherwise, feel free to decide whether you are posting watches, sleeping in shifts or whatever if you believe there is a clear and present danger to Kendra's house--whether from Gibs or more malign, otherworldly sources.


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Gah!! My post got deleted again! And I hit Ctrl-C to copy and everything. Grrr, let's try this again...

Corpse Chowder, huh? Lem chuckled, eating the soup. Laughter is healthy for the soul, and a sense of humor must be rare in these parts, and much appreciated. He ate slowly and methodically, listening to everyone's news. He speaks up when Kendra mentions the church of Pharasma.

I think I'll go back to the temple tomorrow to entreat Iona to let us view the records, as well as asking Grimburrow for access to the hidden cache. He might be done with his duties now, but I think we'll have more success getting his permission after a restful night of sleep. Unless you all have differing opinions?

Re: sleeping arrangements--Lem will insist on sleeping on the floor in his bedroll, preferably near the door or a window. He will also try to construct a lean-to out of the wagon tarp for Cloverleaf to sleep under (not sure if I mentioned this, but I'd like her to stay in the back yard). If Rajuna or someone wants to help me build it a bit more permanently, it would be appreciated. Lem will also volunteer to take one of the late night watches, and he will spend some time writing. He wants to write a list of all of his contacts--the names of small villages and towns he travels to on his circuit, as well as names and descriptions of trustworthy people in these places. In the event that he does have to stay here long-term he'll want to send this info and money to get someone to deliver supplies and other things, but more of that to come later.


F Half orc Slayer 18/Sorcerer 18

Flori can help Lem with the lean-to. She'll take 20 on some knot tying. (sailor)


Raj emerges from the kitchen in time to see Dragomir waggling the bottle for Flori's benefit. Taking it as an invitation, he swipes the bottle long enough to sneak a small pull off it before handing it back to the massive warrior. "Ahhh... mother's milk."

Raj is about respond to Lem's nearly silent appeal for help building a lean-to when Flori jumps in to assist and ushers the stout halfling outside. Raj wanders over to the window and sits in the sill watching the odd couple at work. He hitches a thumb towards the two-some. His tone brims with respect. "Handy with a rope, that lass... Likely to come in handy later."

Sense Motive DC:15 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5


Karrik wrote:
"Something else that has been worrying me... do we believe all these dangers are still in Harrowstone?"

From his seat in the window sill, Rajuna shrugs. "Doc took it serious enough to warn us... I'm takin' it dead serious based on that."

Kendra wrote:
If/when she is told about Raj and Theron's encounter with Alendru, she shakes her head and says that Alendru isn't inherently bad--but he has an almost total lack of self-control and self-confidence. She is very disappointed to hear of his treatment of her new-found friends, though, and is glad everything worked out. She says that perhaps she might go speak to him tomorrow--but promises to act in accordance with Theron and Raj's wishes on the issue.

Raj mulls it. "I dunno, Miss. Letting him know that Master Theron is a friend of yours might help out. But if he knows that Theron knew me before our little run-in... well, it might make him feel played and resentful. If he's got no self-control, I worry about what dumb decisions he might make. Having an angry mage ain't a good thing. What do you think, Theron?"

Kendra wrote:
Speaking of the cache of materials at the mausoleum that ostensibly belong to the Church of Pharasma, Kendra advises speaking to the clergy about it; the party is just beginning to find their feet in Ravengro and if they were found to be robbing a Pharasmin tomb--however good their intentions--their handful of hard-won friendships might count for nothing. She says Father Grimburrow would be the only one in a position of authority on the matter--no need to go through Iona for that--and didn't someone say that Father Grimburrow was busy until vespers? Vespers should have been around an hour ago.

The thief looks like he's sitting on a tack. Good people view things in a positive light. What happens if the Pharasmins say 'no'?

"I appreciate what you're saying, Miss Lorrimor. But we got to weigh what we do 'gainst who might be watching. Way agents could be anywhere. You knew Doc best. Was there anyone in town he trusted to know his business? If he trusted Grimburrow, I can see asking his leave to take those stashed tools. But if he di'nt trust a soul here - we should think hard on that.... Just my opinion and no disrespect meant. Your pardon if I overspoke myself."


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 eats heartily and drinks a goodly share of the Hogshead, previous sour disposition seemly forgotten as good food and good drink work a simple magic of their own.

Lem Longbarrow wrote:


Corpse Chowder, huh? Lem chuckled, eating the soup. Laughter is healthy for the soul, and a sense of humor must be rare in these parts, and much appreciated. He ate slowly and methodically, listening to everyone's news. He speaks up when Kendra mentions the church of Pharasma.

I think I'll go back to the temple tomorrow to entreat Iona to let us view the records, as well as asking Grimburrow for access to the hidden cache. He might be done with his duties now, but I think we'll have more success getting his permission after a restful night of sleep. Unless you all have differing opinions?

Take me along if you will Lem, I'm not all fancy worded and such but I'm a member of the Lady's Flock, even if it be I'm bit lax on my prayers - I'll say what piece I can for you with Iona and then with the Father...

Dragomir thought a moment, rolling his mug around in his large hands, though I gotta recommend you show something to the Father if you are gooona ask 'im for a stash of stuff. I know I'd be not so happy eager to handover my stuff without a good reason. Can't imagine him bein' any different.

I figure I am good for Aid Another Attempts on each NPC and having evidence of concern - maybe the journal? - could give you a circumstance bonus of a point or two. Lets hope that Grimburrow LIKED Lorrimor otherwise we are fighting an uphill battle there.

Sleeping arrangements? I'm taking a bed. Sleep enough on the ground professionally as is :) He sleeps with his big fighting knife near his hand (shealthed)


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Karrik pokes and prods at the curious meat for a while as he listens to Kendra and the group's discussion. Exactly what kind of meat IS this?

Trying to identify the meat 1d20 ⇒ 12.
If he can, it will help him inform his perception of the guy who cooked it (that's why it's worthy of a roll).
Apply whichever skill you deem necessary, from the appropriate Knowledge skill modifier (+6 to Arcana and Dungeoneering; +2 to any others) to Survival (+5).
And let me say: Dear Lord, please don't let Knowledge: Dungeoneering be the appropriate skill for identifying the food we're all eating. :D

With a shrug, he eats while he listens. Whatever it is, i've likely eaten worse…

The talk of which direction the group should take regarding the Pharasmin items perks Karrik's interest the way it seems to for everyone else. Raj's comment makes the half-orc scowl. "Regardless of whether we think it will be successful, I believe respect dictates that we at least approach Father Grimburrow personally first. Yes, he can say no, and yes, that will make our endeavors down the road more difficult, but I don't believe we should steal from the church without at least giving them the chance to do the right thing." Having said his peace, he goes back to mechanically eating his questionable dinner. It does taste good, though, he is forced to admit with some raised eyebrows.

As dinner is finished, and people are making their preparations for the evening, Karrik sees Rajuna standing idle by the window. "Rajuna, would you mind assisting me in finding a secure location for these alchemical agents in the basement? Double the man-power means half the work, agreed?"

Rajuna and Cynarion only:
If Rajuna agrees, Karrik gathers his pack and leads the Varisian into the basement, carefully checking to make sure no one followed before securely closing the door and coming down. He pitches his voice low so as not to carry up to the door, whispering as he begins unpacking the vials.

"While I am highly uncomfortable with the prospect of stealing from the Pharasmins, your concerns have serious merit. If what the Professor wrote to us is true -- and I whole-heartedly believe it is -- then the threat to Miss Kendra, the town, and all of Ustalav must be taken as seriously as we can. If those items were important enough for the Professor to mention specifically to us, then I believe they're worth breaking a few rules to obtain. I believe -- and your words affirm that you do too -- that if we are to take such action, however, we must safeguard ourselves and the group from incrimination… as well as Miss Kendra by association. With that in mind, here is what I suggest. And I trust in your ability to keep my confidence in this. Allow a few of our more socially adept group-members to make their overture to the Father. If they are successful, fantastic. Win. If, however, he rejects our plea for aid, then you and I can wait until the others are asleep and go to retrieve the items. I am not experienced with this sort of job, but I can act as a second pair of eyes… especially the night. The only trick, then, is how do we get in and out of this house without leaving it unprotected? We need to leave when someone else is on watch, but they cannot discover our efforts. Everyone but us -- and I mean everyone -- must have plausible deniability in this." Karrik continues working, but his level gaze expects some feedback from Rajuna.

I don't want to beleaguer the plot progression and do more unnecessary group splitting up, and I certainly don't' want to throw a whole mini-adventure in where only a few members can engage, but in my opinion, this would be Karriks' idea of the best solution in this situation. I'm happy to play it out like was done with the earlier encounters. I'm also fully happy to (if Rajuna agrees to the job) throw a couple of blanket skill rolls up and let Cynarion decide how the heist goes, simply spoiling the narrative or results to us.

I certainly don't want to create more opportunities for people to feel left out. Let me know your thoughts, guys. :)


Raj raises a questioning eyebrow but merely nods assent and follows the half-orc down to the basement.

In the Basement of Broken Dreams (Karrik/Cyn):
Rajuna waits for the pitch and isn't disappointed. No way he needed my help to store chemicals...

He listens carefully to the proposal then shakes his head. "Won't work. I like the way you think, Karrik, but this is an either/or deal IF you wanna keep Miss Lorrimor's hands looking clean. What is Grimburrow gonna do when we mention a cache of forgotten goodies? After he tells us 'no', he'll either scoop them up hisself or keep an eye on the crypt. You just don't leave valuable items settin' around, right? If those items go missing, suspicion will fall to the only folks that knew about them - which is us. Miss Lorrimor not knowing about the run won't cut it. The only way a theft would work is IF we can get past any watchers an' IF we can break in and get out with no traces. And then, if Grimburrow gets itchy palms in the next few days, we'd have to make sure the scene looks like that cache has been gone for a good long while. I'm good but I'm probably not that good."

He rubs at the massive scars bisecting his face, "Way I see it - we either make the run without alertin' the Pharasmins or we play this straight up and pray that Grimburrow says 'yes'. Can't have it both ways or we'll definitely get burned. Hell, if someone else already stole that cache, we're gonna be the obvious suspects... and we didn't do it."


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Seven Minutes in Heaven (Cyn/Raj):
Karrik pauses as Rajuna finishes up. He watches the man for a few seconds before nodding. "I'll trust your judgment in this."

He goes back to work stowing the vials, then pauses looking back over his shoulder with a tusks half-smile. "Seriously, though… you gonna help me put these away?"

The basement door re-opens. Karrik -- backpack noticeably less full -- heads back to the gathering room, rejoining whatever conversation is ongoing.


Raj follows Karrik from the basement, chuckling inexplicably.

Take that teaser! I dare you to resist reading the super-secret posts. :p


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

A little GM fiat here to move us onwards.

As the evening continues, Karrik works out that the meat in his soup is a combination of beef and lamb--neither of them the choice cuts, but cooked slowly enough that it doesn't matter.

Kendra remarks that while her father trusted nobody she was aware of--and had been very close-mouthed about his work--she trusts Father Grimburrow to be objective in this and all other matters, but that she will leave the decisions to her new-found friends and protectors. She also promises to refrain from talking to Alendru until any potential issues have blown over.

Lem and Flori return from the successful erection of a lean-to for Cloverleaf in Kendra's back yard. Lem spends some time writing before turning in on the floor next to an open window; at Rajuna's insistence, Kendra rustles up an audible alarm spell to ward the house before going to bed herself; the password being 'melancholy'.

Dragomir stumbles to bed a little the worse for wear (a hogshead of ale being around 220 litres...).

Karrik busies himself with a few of the Professor's books before heading to sleep, and Walter spends time thinking of Vesmera before he turns in himself.

Rajuna and Theron take first watch, pacing the grounds around the house, largely in companionable silence.

Rose has trouble getting to sleep to begin with, Ramoska Arkminos' face leering in her mind's eye as she tries to calm her thoughts.

Flori simply switches off and goes straight to sleep.

Nobody rests well, their minds full of unpleasant dreams--but even that is interrupted by a hubbub from the road outside Kendra's house.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

03:44, Gozran 29th, Ravengro

Perception checks:

Flori 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4
Lem 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Rajuna 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Rose 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 11
Walter 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Karrik 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1
Theron 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Dragomir 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
Kendra 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14

I'm sure some of you were on watch duty, but I am assuming you're all asleep because I simply don't know who's on watch. It makes no material difference to the story, so I hope you'll permit me this indulgence.

Lem, near the open window, is the first to hear voices. He rouses himself and presses his knuckles into his eyes, trying to force himself awake. Over on the couch, Rajuna is snoring lightly. Lem pads over in the darkness and gingerly shakes the man's shoulder, half-expecting a blade at his throat, but Rajuna wakes quietly enough, and rolls off the couch. At Lem's gesture, Rajuna follows him to the window, dropping a dagger into a pocket while he quietly re-cranks his wrist sheath.

As they stand observing a trickle of people going past with torches, heading southwest toward the river, Theron and Walter make their way down from the upstairs bedrooms.

What's going on? Walter asks in a whisper.

Lem merely gestures out the window; the noise is growing louder as a few more people make their way past. Soon, Flori makes her way down as Karrik comes up from the basement. They join the others, crowding around the window.

From up toward the town, a now-steady stream of people are heading past in twos and threes, most of them carrying torches. They are all heading down the road to the southwest, toward the river. The dull glow from that direction indicates they aren't going very far.

It doesn't take much for the group to decide that whatever is going on, they need to find out what it is, and so they rouse the others, make whatever concessions to modesty they must, and follow the other people.

###

Disposition Update
Although torches, lanterns etc usually shed normal light, I prefer for them to primarily shed dim light, especially in spooky situations. So that's what you've got at the moment: dim light. All creatures have 20% concealment and all sight-based Perception checks are at a -2 penalty for unfavourable conditions.

Torches etc still shed normal light, but only in their square. Sunrods and other magical sources of light work as described in the Core Rulebook.

Also, without having slept enough, prepared spellcasters can only access yesterday's spells.

Additionally, you're all a little fuzzy-headed at this time of the morning, and for the next half-hour you are at -1 to all mental skill checks. Depending on what you're wearing, Charisma-based skill checks may take a penalty (or a bonus, depending on your choice of sleepwear!).

###

A group of around forty townsfolk is by now gathered at the river's edge, many of them carrying torches. The flickering orange light gives the scene a macabre glow, illuminating the bronze statue that stands at the river's edge. This must be the monument to the guardsmen who died in the Harrowstone fire. The statue of Warden Hawkran stands imperiously atop a marble plinth, which appears to be embossed with the names of all the dead guards, also in bronze. The sculptor has depicted the warden with his truncheon under his arm, holding up his badge of office as though defying anyone to gainsay his authority.

The statue looks like it has not seen much care over the years; a greenish tint can be made out amidst the torchlight.

What has drawn the Ravengrians' attention, however, is on the statue's base. Daubed in red across the names is a letter 'V'. Everyone on hand is clearly shaken.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Controlling the situation as best he can--along with two men who appear to be under his command--is a man in his mid-forties wearing an oilskin hat and trenchcoat.

Kendra whispers--loud enough for you all to hear it--that this is Benjan Caeller, the town sheriff she spoke of earlier.

Caeller and his men are trying to prevent anyone from getting too close to the statue, and are urging the citizens to go back home so they can begin their investigations.

###

The ball's in your court now. : ) Feel free to ask any OOC questions over in the Discussion thread if you need to. I will be signing off for half an hour or so now, but should be back soonish.


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

Awwwww... Aroden's Balls, swore Dragomir with a practiced casualness.

That can't be good.

He made a sign of that some one told him was effective against the evil eye and and then scratched his own balls, not so much as a benediction towards Aroden's contribution to the conversation as much as it helped him think.

He shook himself slightly, trying to collect his scattered wits. He'd staggered around the house bumping into walls before being led, stumbling, along with the others to the torch lit scene of civic blasphemy, still clad in the clothes he spent the day in and reeking of Zokar's ale.

I am assuming, based on the scene before us that we all went with the Villagers to look


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Dragomir Vuk wrote:
I am assuming, based on the scene before us that we all went with the Villagers to look

Correctamundo. You are now down near point O on the Ravengro map. And if anyone is concerned, I can promise that no actions I take on your behalves as GM will have a negative effect--in other words, because I'm the one who decided you would all leave the house together, nobody's going to attack the house while you're away--for example. That would be unfair--and not friendly either.


Male Human Oracle 2

In the past...

Quote:
She expresses support for Lem's idea to sway Iona to their cause, allowing Walter to explain to the group what he has found upstairs.

Walter held up the admissions record, a leather-bound beaten ledger that looked like it had spent the last couple hundred years gathering dust on a shelf. "If we need something to, um... bribe her with, then this would be it. I looked inside and it's got a lot of names and stuff-- names that, um, might be good for the Church to cross-reference. They could help put some names on, um, unmarked graves." He glanced to Kendra pensively and added "Kendra even said she'd allow it." He personally didn't want to give away even a single thing of the Professor's, but... they needed what the Church had. He wished they didn't.

He considered telling the others about the iconography on the locked book in the Professor's chest-- the one that related to the secret society, the Order of the Palatine Eye.

Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye - Knowledge (history, arcana or religion)1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23

Either way, while it could be advantageous now, as Walter thought, a yawn issued forth and he felt incredibly tired. He resigned to letting everyone else know sometime else-- probably in the morning, over breakfast, so that the group wouldn't have another long conversation about it, and so that everyone could get to sleep.

In the present...
Walter felt as if he'd closed his eyes for just a split second before he could hear voices echoing in the dark outside his window. He woke up with speed, felt himself entirely rejuvenated for the split second it took him to slip out of bed and glance out the window. Walter could see townspeople, most with torches, some without, walking gravely up the road in a procession that seemed to stretch all the way into town. He felt his heart drop into his stomach like a stone as the thought that they might be coming to do something to the people in the house raced across his mind-- but could see that they weren't stopping near the house, moving on beyond it instead. It took him a moment to recover from his panic. In that moment, his rejuvenation disappeared. A cold ache took his legs and arms, and he shivered before pulling on his shirt and slipping into the hallway. Walter looked at Theron-- maybe he had seen the same-- but didn't say anything. He felt like if he spoke, someone might hear.

He came down the stairs, approached Lem and Rajuna carefully and whispered "What's going on?"

Quote:

From up toward the town, a now-steady stream of people are heading past in twos and threes, most of them carrying torches. They are all heading down the road to the southwest, toward the river. The dull glow from that direction indicates they aren't going very far.

It doesn't take much for the group to decide that whatever is going on, they need to find out what it is, and so they rouse the others, make whatever concessions to modesty they must, and follow the other people.

Walter quickly threw on his walking boots and traveller's coat, yawns and sleepy pauses punctuating his actions. He drew a torch from his backpack that sat underneath his window sill and walked out of the estate's door into the cold Gozran night, quietly shutting it behind him. Walter crossed his arms for warmth, pacing or sitting and waiting for everyone else. As he waited, he could hear bits and pieces from the people coming up the road, but he was too tired to truly care. Walter watched, the smothered feeling of being restless and tired covering him. He determined to sit on the porch step.

He felt a bit of his dream come back to him-- falling sideways into a door, helplessly flailing to try to not slip through it, to hold the door shut even as the entire hallway turned sideways and he lost his footing-- and then, forgot it. He wondered if the Avanaki family was going to run up the road, and looked for them until the others were ready to go.

When they were, Walter lit the torch with his flint and steel, though, he didn't want to lead the way. He passed it to the first person to ask, and followed carefully.

Quote:

A group of around forty townsfolk is by now gathered at the river's edge, many of them carrying torches. The flickering orange light gives the scene a macabre glow, illuminating the bronze statue that stands at the river's edge. This must be the monument to the guardsmen who died in the Harrowstone fire...

What has drawn the Ravengrians' attention, however, is on the statue's base. Daubed in red across the names is a letter 'V'. Everyone on hand is clearly shaken.

Walter, torchless, slipped in closer to see, which was simple enough for him due to his height and weight. Whatever it was... he was sure it had to have been made recently, but, second-guessed himself and wondered if it was a waterproof mixture. He made sure not to try to get too close, but he wanted to see. Was it... paint? What did it mean? What was 'V'? Was it an omen? Walter wracked his brain to try to understand.

What is the V written in - Perception1d20 + 5 - 1 ⇒ (16) + 5 - 1 = 20
What it might mean - Knowledge (arcana)1d20 + 6 - 1 ⇒ (19) + 6 - 1 = 24
Knowledge (history)1d20 + 6 - 1 ⇒ (7) + 6 - 1 = 12
Knowledge (planes)1d20 + 6 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 6 - 1 = 20
Knowledge (religion)1d20 + 6 - 1 ⇒ (9) + 6 - 1 = 14

Before he could finish thinking, he was asked to step back, and did so. He kept quiet, whether out of fear, respect, sleeplessness or thought, Walter himself didn't know.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

"Whatever it is, it can't be good," Theron replies to Walter as they head down the stairs.

After making sure that everyone is waking up Theron dons his Studded Leather armor (he was sleeping in normal clothes), grabs his longsword, and leaves with the group.

Before they head out, Theron whispers to Raj, "You might want to hide your face, just in case our friend is out there."

Theron wants his armor and weapons mostly for their symbols at the moment. Hastily donning the armor takes 5 rounds if he doesn't have a full minute to put it on properly.

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