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Celestial GM's page

1,504 posts. Alias of Celestial Healer.


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Overland Group:
"Good sir, I believe the last time a strange ass lodged here he turned out to be a Member of Parliament." He laughs heartily at his own joke.

"In truth, no I have seen nothing of that description lately, but there are many inns and boarding houses in the village. Travelers come through frequently on account of the University."

He quotes a reasonable rate of 2 silver pieces per night.

Train Group:
Professor McPherson adjust his spectacles absently. "Cosmology, perhaps. Or..." He considers. "Professor Laveness in the antiquities department has been a resource on arcane symbology for the last couple of centuries. She may have insight, but sadly she has not been seen around the campus for the past fortnight or so."

Leandro fails to strike the wight. The decaying creature lifts a rusted old sword and swings it at Andzrej. 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17



Save vs channel: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17

Nice start!

Res's channeled energy, Anuqa's spell, and Eliva's arrow all strike at the foul creature. It shrieks at the assault.

Leandro is up.

Train Group:
Smitty remarks to the ladies, "I have no use for these bookish academics. Bessie needs greasin'. I hope ye won't mind if I don't go with ye."

I will probably retire Smitty for the time being. I don't want to run him as a GMPC if I don't have to.

You make your way to the university, which is certainly familiar to Sylvia. Stately brick buildings, their faces fringed with verdant ivy, line the brick walkways that crisscross the parklike campus. You head in the direction of the Department of Antiquities, to see if they have any information on the symbols you found.

As you walk under the heavy boughs of the maple trees, fringed with the first tints of autumn, Sylvia sees a familiar face approaching. It is Professor McPherson, a respected professor of alchemical philosophy. He sees you approaching and calls out, "Miss Pari! I did not think to see you here again. Have you resumed your studies?"

Professor McPherson is wearing the same tweed jacket he wears nearly every day. His hair and fingernails are fastidiously groomed, and he fidgets absentmindedly at his buttons. He is an effete and mild-mannered academic, but one that Sylvia never had any particular conflicts with.

Overland Group:
The main street of the village does have a small bank, which you can avail yourself of at any time.

You find an inn relatively easily, as visiting academics and students come to Milton with some frequency. You arrive at a wholesome looking inn, under the proprietorship of a heavyset man who seems to sweat constantly, even though it is not hot. Still, he smiles warmly as you enter, and seems to pay no head to Luce.

"Welcome sirs," he says. "If you are looking for lodging you have come to the right place. I hope you will forgive us - it is somewhat early and our rooms have not been prepared yet. Still, if you wish to stay the night, we have rooms to let."

He looks over Jerry's shoulder at the lion. "Will you need help making arrangements for the noble beast?" He smiles and goes on, "We know good folk are doing all manner of research at the University, so it is certainly not the strangest thing we have seen come through the inn."

Foe init: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4


The undead creature stumbles forward, but is not so quick in its reactions.

All PCs may post at will in any order, since you all go before your enemy.


Undead foe

Knowledge (Religion) DC 15:
The creature is some manner of wight. They spawn more of their kind by slaying the living. Their very touch drains the vitality of mortal souls.

Overland Group:
The weather is fairer today than it was yesterday. The village of Milton is a quaint collection of storefronts and row houses, occupied mainly with the support of the University. Tea rooms, tailors, and booksellers line the main thoroughfare, while boarding houses and taverns stand tucked away behind. The cobblestone streets are clean and clear following yesterday's heavy rains.

Where are you headed first? It is mid day.

Train Group:
The evening passes quietly, and the night is mostly quiet at the inn. Some of the visiting students keep odd hours, as students are wont to do.

You expect the others to arrive today. It is morning.

As you approach, you see that there is a stone staircase behind the altar which descends to a lower level. You could not see it from the entrance, as your line of sight was blocked.

Leandro uses the length of his polearm to carefully lift the cloth. The musty sheet rises slowly with the butt of his weapon, and takes some time to reveal its secrets. At length, you make out a small corner of what lies beneath, as a shaft of light from a broken windowpane reveals a withered and rotting finger, which ends in a foul, blackened claw.

The entire shape suddenly springs into motion, as the figure is uncovered in even a tiny amount. The mostly skeletal figure is hunched and gnarled. What remains of its flesh is blackened and withered. It tears forth from the sheet in fit of rage at the disturbance.

Roll initiative, please. Hide from Undead stops working if you touch the creature, and lifting the sheet it is covered with to see what lies under it certainly qualifies in my estimation.

Train Group:
The innkeeper looks somewhat confused by Sylvia's question. "Chanticleer? You mean your packmule? You most certainly cannot bring it inside!" She takes a breath and then smiles broadly. "He will be well looked-after at Mr. Gelsen's stables. He's been tending horses and livestock for going on three score years."

So, the Overland group is chronologically ahead of you. What do you plan to do with the couple of hours remaining in the day?

The desecrate effect continues in here. You also detect a faint aura of abjuration somewhere behind the altar.

You proceed into the chapel. The shape before the altar is still indistinct, covered as it is by an old, dusty sheet. The altar itself is unmarked and undecorated, as if dedicated to no god at all - an abandoned shrine to the absence of faith.

Train Group:
The innkeeper speaks quickly, so as not to lose your interest. "There's another room up on top, and I believe a third is opening tomorrow. I'm sure we can accommodate you all during your stay." As if to stave off further argument, she speaks as if the matter is settled. "We serve warm breakfast each morning, and there's always fresh bread and tea in the evening. Let me show you to the rooms."

Overland Group:
Having settled the bill at the inn, you set off at speed toward the University. The weather is certainly fairer than the day before.

I might have to move a little bit slowly, because you're chronologically ahead of the other group and about to get there. Feel free to dawdle.

You inspect the lock carefully, and see that it is fitted with a trap for those not using the proper key. It seems that some type of blade would come through a crack in the door, if you were not careful.

Noting the trap, however, you can see clearly how to disengage it while proceeding to pick the lock. The door opens with a satisfying creak.

Tybalt fiddles about with the lock for a bit, but Res sees nothing stir within the chapel. Finally satisfied, Tybalt is able to open the door, and it pushes open with a heavy groan.

Within, the ruined chapel lies under dust, and you are no closer to identifying the form by the altar than you were before.

Train Group:
While Sylvia dithers in the doorway, a young man who appears to be hastily dressed and more-or-less ungroomed bustles out of the inn while an old woman bellows behind him, "I'd have more patience for your shenanigans if you paid your lodging on time! Be gone with ye!" The woman appears in the doorway to see that he has truly gone. Seeing you all standing outside, she brushes some stray hairs back in the general direction of the bun on the crown of her head.

"I'm sorry you had to witness that. Are you lot looking for lodging? I've just had a room open up."

Overland Group:
The name of the village is 4 posts above your question. Chesterbridge. You've also traveled a bit since Elise's cottage, so it's not exactly up the road. Still, gossip travels...

It is not easy to find anyone interested in talking about the strange lady. Decent folk don't trust her, but regard her as an unsavory figure and seducer of men. One particularly gossipy housewife gladly tells the tale of how a man named Gregory left his family for that slattern of a woman, and now mothers and wives do not let their menfolk go anywhere near the place.

Peering through the window, Res sees a great many of the spider webs Tybalt predicted. The chapel is dim, but with what little light which manages to enter, he can make out dusty pews and a ruined iron chandelier which lies smitten upon the floor. An unidentifiable shape lies under a sheet close to what must be the altar, although Res can make out little of that area of the chapel.

Examining the door, Tybalt is fairly certain that he will not be disappointed at the creak it will generate when opened. As suspected, however, it is locked. The lock is a ponderous old-fashioned affair, however, and he suspects it may be within his talents to open.

You said you were checking for traps, then unlocking. That will need a Perception check and Disable Device.

Overland Group:
You are able to find lodging at a small bed & breakfast. Luce gets more than few alarmed looks, but the villagers are for the most part quite warm to strangers. While it may be a provincial place, the folk are not close-minded.

You lodge for the night and awaken to the smell of bacon and fresh eggs. A spread has been laid out of these, plus the usual muffins, tomatoes, and blood pudding.

Overland Group:
You do not get as far on your first day of travel as you probably intended, since Caladrel must walk and your progress was interrupted by the ordeal with Elise.

You get as far as the village of Chesterbridge as the sun sets. The village is like so many others in this part of the country. It was once an important way-station for travelers along the post road. Visitors are fewer now that the railroad moves people about in a fraction of the time, and villages like this one seem to now exist outside of the passage of time. People here live much as they did a hundred years ago or more - tending their livestock and crops, practicing trades, and so on.

Do you want to stay the night in the village, or in the wilderness?

If the pedestal ever bore an inscription, it has long since been worn away by the elements. Indeed, none of the markers or monuments nearby bear any readable inscriptions as to who is interred here.

As you progress, you see glimpses through the trees of a large stone building occupying the center of the necropolis. Reliefs and statues adorn the crumbling visage of a gothic chapel. A spire at one end has broken and crumbled like a rotten tooth. A foul draft whistles through the broken stained glass windows, although the air outside is still.

A pair of wooden doors stands firm at the entrance.

I almost forgot about your hide from undead! Good show.

The zombies shuffle along, evidently unaware of your presence, but answering some unseen summons that brought them to the courtyard.

It is your choice whether to engage them or bypass them.

Zombie Init, if it ever comes up: 1d20 ⇒ 4


Train Group:
The village of Milton is a quaint collection of storefronts and row houses, occupied mainly with the support of the University. Tea rooms, tailors, and booksellers line the main thoroughfare, while boarding houses and taverns stand tucked away behind. The cobblestone streets are pooled with rainwater from the recent storm, but the townsfolk bustle about seemingly unconcerned with the dampness.

Were you heading directly to the University, or waiting for your companions to arrive tomorrow? You could either arrange lodging after speaking with the University, to see if they will house you, or you could arrange with an inn.

Overland Group:
You see off the two poor men, and then set off along the road. Murky puddles mar the path, as you find your footing along the sodden track.

Following your delay, you are able to make relatively good time along the road.

Is Caladrel shifting again into a faster form, or walking as an elf? That will impact your time of arrival.

Tybalt and Leandro see movement in time to warn the rest. A number of shuffling forms approach from the other side of the clearing. Horrid corpses, rotting flesh falling from their bones, they move with an unnatural, shuffling gate, but do not seem to want for speed.

Roll initiative.

Train Group:
The train continues across the countryside. In the aftermath of the storm, a brilliant rainbow stretches across the distant hills.

The train makes only a few stops before you near a station and hear an agent call, "Milton Station. Approaching Milton." The train comes to a halt, the brakes squealing with the sound of metal against metal. The doors open upon a quaint platform, sheltered by a wooden overhang.

Overland Group:
Gregory regards the pouch with wide eyes. This sum of coin is most likely more than he has seen in his life.

Caladrel does not see any signs of previous victims, and Hendrin does not know of any others apart from the one who took his life many years ago.

The rain finally slows and then stops. A stillness settles over the cottage in the wake of the turbulent weather, and in time a rainbow appears in the sky. The two men are grateful for your assistance, but neither will let you accompany them when they reconnect with their people. As Gregory says, "This is something I must do myself. No one can do it for me."

Train Group:
The agents are satisfied by your accounts, and grateful for your intercession once all the facts are learned. They allow you to stay in a staff area of the train as it begins to move again, the pathway cleared.

Overland Group:
Gregory finally speaks in response to Caladrel's question. "I was married. I had a family. But once she... she had me in her grasp, I... I left them all. I have shamed them." He begins to weep.

The halfling introduces himself. "Thank you, lords Caladrel and Roberts. I am Hendrin Pestlewit. She fed us those concoctions. Bent us to her will. She kept me as her plaything until she got bored and found another, and then kept me on as a faithful pet. There was one before me - he took his own life. Perhaps there were others, earlier still, but you have put a stop to it. Truly, you are heroes as of old."

The archway is free-standing, leading to more swamp beyond.

You make your way onward. Beyond the archway lies the overgrown grounds of the necropolis. Ancient crumbling monuments stand overgrown with moss and ivy, while thick roots split the foundations of squat mausoleums. The branches of trees twist and stretch at improbable angles, their leafless boughs drooping with faded brittle moss.

The air in the place is oppressive, and seems to draw the very light from the air. Gloom pervades the atmosphere and an eerie quiet is disturbed only by your own steps.

Ahead, a tall statue of a woman stands in a small clearing. The limestone is pocked and weathered from countless years of neglect, but somehow her visage continues to express a beautiful, unspeakable sorrow.

Perception checks please.

For the record, you are looking for an ancient necropolis that is the base of operations for a necromancer. Unhallowed ground kind of comes with the territory.

Also, there was no conjuration magic detected that would indicate a portal, nor were there traps. This could just be the entrance to the necropolis. If the ground beyond is unhallowed, that might explain why the raven won't enter.

The gateway emanates an aura of faint evocation. The aura seems to pervade the entire ground beyond it as well.

Spellcraft DC 17:
The grounds are imbued with a permanent desecrate effect.

Eliva does not detect any traps, however.

Train Group:
The agent sizes you both up. "I see," he says noncommittally.

The former hostage speaks up, "It's true, sir. There were robbers. Four of them. These people came and stopped them. The robbers were going to kill me."

Satisfied, the agent addresses you, "We owe you a debt of gratitude, then. Still, we will need to take written statements for the railroad inquiry."

They show you to a private area of the train where they can take down your recollection of events. Are you cooperating and recounting things as they happened?

Overland Group:
The halfling shudders and begins to weep. "Thank you. Thank you both." He struggles to sit upright, as if his limbs will not cooperate. "It's been... It's been... I don't know. Years. Seven? Eight?"

Gregory seems less talkative, and looks about with some confusion. "What is going on? What happened to me? That... That thing... Is Elise?"

Anything you want to do before you proceed inside?

Train Group:
The remaining bandit eagerly accepts Trina's offer. He quickly flees to the countryside.

As you begin to tend to the passengers and the slain bandits, two of the railroad agents appear at the outside door. "What has happened here? We heard shots," one of them exclaims. When he sees the carnage, he grows even more alarmed. "Explain yourselves!"

Overland Group:
His sword at hand, Jerry finally cuts down the foul hag. She shrieks as she clasps her wound and crumples to the cottage floor.

Gregory seems almost pained to watch it, and then slumps to the floor in a daze, holding his head.

More surprising is what happens to the faithful dog. The beast begins to twitch and tremble. Before your eyes, the dog begins to transform - fur receding, flesh and bones moulding themselves into a new forms. In moments, the form of a naked halfling man lies curled on the floor.

Overland Group:
"You will die, fools! Nothing can save you," the hag shrieks. She is clearly not persuaded.

Jerry, you can act still, and you have your weapon now.

So, after this excursion, we are going to have to evaluate our player base. At this point, we have Eliva, Angalia, and Anuqa accompanying you, all of whom we will have to adjudicate in their players' absence. Once we are through this leg, I will find an opportunity to leave them all, and will also see about recruiting a new player or two.

You say your farewells to Chickenbone, as he watches you depart from his porch. His expression turns stoic and difficult to read.

As promised, the raven keeps pace ahead of you, leading you on a dry path through the swamp. The raven seems to know how to avoid the mires and keeps you on a path that is easy to walk on.

As you continue, the sounds of the swamp - the buzzing, chirping, and croaking of tiny creatures native to the wetlands - seems to die away around you. An unnatural stillness has settled over this area of the swamp, and the living things seem to avoid it. The trees are mostly dead, with clumps of grey moss hanging limply from their blackened branches. Brittle reeds rise from the sodden earth, and snap like twigs underfoot.

Almost without warning, you come upon a stone archway. The stonework appears to be incredibly old, and sickly clumps of creeping vines and rotting moss cling to its supports. A massive wrought iron gate stands aside within the archway, fallen from its hinges in every place except one, and no longer serving any useful purpose.

The raven alights on the top of the archway and moves no further. It is just past mid-day.

Train group:
Trina's blow eviscerates the bandit. He clutches at his abdomen and crumples to the floor in a pool of blood.

The eyes of the bandit behind him open wide. Speechless, he drops his pistol on the floor and raises his hands in surrender.

Overland Group:
That hit. I will roll damage. I will treat it as a heavy mace.

1d8 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12 Wow.

Jerry smashes the chair over Elise in a blow that is more effective than he was probably expecting.

She shrieks and claws back at him.

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Another save.
This round, Caladrel can return and you can rearm.

Is there anything else anyone wants to note about their actions at the bonfire? Anything else you want to ask Chickenbone before you go? If not, we will proceed with your journey following the raven.

Train Group:
The door bursts open as a grubby-looking man bellows, "What's all this racket now, Dottie?" He and another, younger bandit behind him both hold pistols at the ready.

He reacts in surprise as one of his comrades lies dead on the floor and unfamiliar faces stand before him with weapons drawn.


Trina has a readied action.

Bandits initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Trina (readied action)


Overland Group:
Caladrel makes a break for it and is able to get to the stables. The rain continues to pound down upon him as he gathers Jerry's gear and mount.

It will take a total of four move actions: One to get there, two to get Jerry's weapons and release Luce, and one to return. By the end of your second round of this, you will be back in the cottage.

Gregory seems pained at having been addressed directly. He looks back and forth at the hag and at Jerry, but does not act.

Elise swats away the chair and strikes at Jerry again.

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Another DC 15 Fort save for Jerry

The dog jumps into the fray and bites at his erstwhile mistress.

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Crit Confirm: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 No crit
Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3


Caladrel (second round of gathering gear)

The dog

Train Group:
You don't have to say that twice. The bandit makes for the exit.

Through the door, amid the commotion, Trina hears heavy footsteps approaching.

Overland Group:
The hag actually laughs at you as you attempt fruitlessly to subdue her. You hear a roar and rattle from the stable as Luce responds to your cry, but you do not see how she could let herself out.

Elise claws at Jerry.

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
One DC 15 Fort save please.

"Give in. No man can resist me!" the hag calls out shrilly.

I'm just going to give a hint. I strongly recommend you either make a break for your gear and mount, or find some non-combat way to resolve this. You are not going to subdue her with found objects.

Andrzej adds his own steps to that of the wild swamp folk. The rite continues well into the night, even to the wee hours of morning. The native folk seem to dance until they collapse from exhaustion. No one says anything, or even acknowledges your presence. The glow of the roaring fires seems to keep the suffocating darkness of the swamp at bay.

After the wild night, it is full daylight before Chickenbone wakes you. "You rest long enough," he says, "now's da time for action. It's not wise ta be visitin' a place of the dead while night reigns over da sky. Go now, and you will have several hours o' daylight remainin'."

Train Group:
Smitty picks up the dropped pistol. He turns to the prisoner and asks him, "Where are the others? How many?"

The shaken bandit says, "There are two, up robbing the other passengers." Then he adds, "You said you would let me go..."

Overland Group:
Reflex: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

The hag simply laughs at your attacks as she continues to claw at Caladrel

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
1d4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Two DC 15 fort saves please.

Wow, this is pretty brutal. You guys should probably figure out what you are going to do about her.

At Leandro's question, the witch-doctor says, "De spirits speak as dey will. Nothing so specific."

Now that the sun has set, darkness has settled over the swamp like a stifling blanket. You pick your way carefully in the direction of the sound of the revelry. As you near, you can see through the trees the faint glow of the bonfire. The drumming is ecstatic and the yells of the folk are wild and savage.

The bonfire reaches up some ten feet, and smaller fires surround it. A collection of natives beat hand drums while others dance wildly around the bonfire. Around the smaller fires, some leap over the flames, oblivious to the searing heat. In all, the natives seem to have worked themselves into a frenzy, and scarcely notice your arrival.

Train Group:

Overland Group:
Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15

AoO: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4 DC 15 Fort save vs weakness

Jerry trips the hag as she slices at his flesh with her foul claws. She falls to the floor ungracefully as the flaming sphere sears her flesh. She reacts in anger to Jerry's question. "You will be mine!" She shrieks. "You will serve me or die. You will not undo what I have created here."

She stands up and claws at Jerry again.

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4 DC 15 Fort save vs weakness


Jerry Make an AoO as she stands up. Roll 2 fort saves.

Chickenbone regards Res closely at his question. "It's not easy ta say. It's the spirits. The spirits tell me you got da evil with you. But you also got da good. Beware da evil." He grows quiet and pensive. Then he smiles at Andrzej's question. "They dancin' away the spirits. Ye can go see it if ye want."

While he cuts a mysterious figure, he doesn't appear to mean any malice to any of you.

Train Group:
The glaive makes a vicious wound in the bandit's flank. She gasps as she begins to bleed heavily.

Smitty takes aim with Bessie at the wounded bandit. "Yer messin' with the wrong dwarf!"

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

The bullet strikes her in the throat. She sputters and collapses to the ground. The other bandit drops his pistol on the floor and spreads his hands wide, his eyes constantly returning to Sylvia's blade.

Train group:
We didn't roll initiative, but I will treat the situation as if the bandits were delaying, since Trina has declared a full round of attacks.

The red-haired woman is fast on her feet, and avoids the sweep of Trina's glaive. Outraged, she raises her weapon and fires.

Touch attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 3

The bullet pierces Trina's shoulder and bloodies her traveling clothes. The woman drops her pistol and draws a short sword, crouching and ready to meet Trina's attack.

The other bandit does not move, his eyes fixed upon Sylvia's blade.


Sylvia (can continue with readied action or do something else)

Feel free, either of you, to take Smitty's turn for him.

Overland group:

Reflex save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21

Jerry manages to get a grip on the hag and tries to admonish her for her poor manners. Elise shrieks and thrashes in response. As if to reinforce Jerry's point, Caladrel manages to smack her with a staff.

The hag struggles to free herself from Jerry's grasp.

1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21

She possesses what seems to be supernatural strength, and forces Jerry's arms apart.




"Good, good," the old man says, ladling out some of his concoction in small vessels. "My grandmother's turtle stew. It fortify you for the long journey." He gives a large, toothless smile.

To Tybalt, he says, "Maybe the ravens do that where you come from. I could see a raven takin' to that role nicely. But here, nothin' good come from the places where dwell the dead."

"Night-time is no time to be out in the swamps. You be safe here, and the raven can show you da way in the mornin'."

Outside, the festivities of the swamp folk is growing to a fever pitch. The insistent drumming is punctuated by cries and ululations, and even from this distance you can see the glow of what must be a giant bonfire.

Train Group:
Bumping. Are you taking any action regarding the sounds you heard, or just carrying on with letting them go?

Overland Group:
Reflex save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

The hag screeches and draws back away from the ball of fire. She bounds to the side and then lunges at the elf, swinging with both gnarled, clawed hands.

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Caladrel must make a DC 15 Fortitude save. On a failed save, take 1 point of Strength damage. The hag seems to feed on your very strength and vigor.


(Must make a Fort save)

The old man gives you an enigmatic smile. "The folk is good at stayin' unseen if they don' want to be."

To Andrzej, he says, "I can show you da way. A guide, like the one brought you here - he can take you to the necropolis, but he won' go inside that place. It's a place of evil, and da ravens, dey don' go to the realms of the dead."

He stirs the strange concoction again and peers closely at it. "You wan' some o' this? It give you strength for da journey."

Train Group:
You hear a raised voice from the next car forward. The voice is indistinct, but it may remind you that there were 4 bandits.

"Mule?" the woman asks with a look of utter confusion. "We didn't come here to rustle livestock."

Overland Group:

The western door is to the outside. A doorway to the next room is in the southeastern corner. Gregory is standing there, but does not seem to move to attack or defend himself in any way.

Elise Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21

The hag shrieks with insane fury.


"Aye," the old witchdoctor says slowly. "Our purposes is de same, in a way. It's true, they's always darkness in the swamp, but there was a balance, and the folk survived. Now, they's somethin' new."

He rises shakily to his feet, and approaches the smoldering hearth. He carefully stirs something simmering in a small kettle.

"You lookin' for Monerre," he says, without looking up. "He's a bad man, his mind twist like the mangrove branches. But he always keep to himself - bothers himself with the dead, not with the living." He turns to look at you once again, his old eyes suddenly weary and tired. "Even darker creatures come to see him, though. Unliving, they was. Ever since, something feedin' on the swamp folk. 'N they's scared."

He adds in a low voice, "Whatever come to the swamp to see that necromancer - it don' have no taste for the dead. Now it want the living."

Train Group:
The female bandit looks uncertainly at you.

Smitty will go along with the group. Also, please make Perception checks.

Overland Group:
"Meddlesome elf!" Elise screeches. "You should have finished your tea like a proper guest." Before your eyes, a horrific transformation comes over her. She appears to age several decades within seconds. Her nails extend into fierce, curved claws. Her flowing tresses become straggly and grey. Her firm skin sags and turns a sickly shade of green. "You will never leave this place."

This would be a good time to roll initiative.

Overland group Knowledge (Nature or Arcana) DC 16:
This creature is a hag, although not a particularly powerful specimen. They have the power to change shape at will.

Andrzej finds the walls of the shack to be covered in grimy, greasy soot.

"I guided ye here because ye were lost," Chickenbone says simply. "Outsiders don' last long in de swamp without de guide."

To Res he says, "You here de folk out dere. They's tryin' ta ward off de evil wit their rituals. Dat s$~+ don' work - leastwise not against what they facin'. Somethin's stalkin' the swamps at night. Somethin' dark. And they's scared."

Refresher: recall that you saw the corpse of a native, drained by a vampire and discarded in the mud.

Leandro sees nothing of interest outside, although the distant drumming grows in intensity.

The old man smiles openly, a few straggly teeth all that remains in his mouth. "Only since ye entered the swamps. My eyes don' see beyond the edges."

"You mus' be Res. They call me Chickenbone. I don' remember now when tha' started..."

"You bring de evil wit' ye," here he is speaking to all of you, not just the cleric. "But evil already be here. An' sometime it take evil to fight da evil."

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