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Shadow

Celestial GM's page

1,438 posts. Alias of Celestial Healer.


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Train Group:
That's what I'd like to know. The rearmost car stands before you.

Overland Group:
Gregory leads Jerry to the stable where Luce can remain, sheltered from the storm. The rain is beginning to fall heavily and the peals of thunder are quite close as you hurry back to the cottage.

The common room is cozy. A crackling fire upon the hearth spreads warmth throughout the little room. A wooden table with four chairs occupies the center of the room, where Elise invites you to sit. When Gregory walks in, his eyes seem more intent upon Elise than upon the guests. He crosses toward her, and Elise requests, "Gregory, can you fetch some more firewood? I hate for the fire to run low while the storm rages." He stops and turns to fetch the wood from outside.

A scrappy dog displays a keen interest in the visitors, sniffing you both and jumping up in excitement. Elise chastises the dog and orders him to lie down, which he does obediently.

A kettle begins to spout its steam beside the hearth, and Elise prepares her teapot with a blend taken from a canister upon a high shelf. She adds the hot water and the scent of lavender begins to fill the room. "Do either of you care for sugar or lemon?" she asks politely.

She has also prepared a dough, and is shaping it into neat circles upon a sheet. You believe there will be warm crumpets in short order.


You settle down for the night in the clearing. Leclerc continues eying you all with suspicion, and sits upon a soft tuft of grass, rocking himself and muttering a constant stream of nonsense under his breath.

You take your turns on watch as the night progresses, the air still and oppressive. Leclerc sleeps fitfully, his limbs spasming and his lips chewing some dreamt conversation. He stirs at first light, and awakens those not on the final watch with an exclamation of, "The swamp-alligators will not steal my divine power! I will smite them in my terrible wrath!!"


Proceed with any interactions you might have, but can you also give me Perception checks for your respective watches? That way I have them in advance.


Overland Group:
Elise is clearly startled despite your best efforts to the contrary. After a brief gasp, she says, "My! You are full of surprises aren't you?! Best we keep this to ourselves; I hate to imagine my reputation in the village if it got out that I rode home on an elf."

A man of some 30 years comes around from rear of the cottage. He regards Elise fondly. "You are back!"

Elise addresses him curtly, "Gregory, can you assist this gentleman with his lioness. She should shelter in the stable."

"Of course." He looks with some suspicion at the newcomers and then looks back at Elise. He says nothing else, but motions for Jerry to follow him to the stable.


"The sap keeps us safe?" Leclerc says to Tybalt with genuine interest. "Sap. Sap keeps us safe."

He leads you on through the swamp, muttering to himself intermittently. The progress is tense, as you look out for more of the natives. You see no others, however, and the afternoon draws into evening. You come to a clearing that is dry and sheltered by the nearby trees.

"I like to camp here," Leclerc says hoarsely. "The trees protect you. It's the sap. The sap." He begins picking at the bark from a nearby tree.


Train Group:
The passengers in the car you were riding in seem unconcerned. They chatter idly while the train waits.

You gather your belongings and make a quick exit once again, hurrying along the length of the train to the rear. A windowless door stands shut on the rearmost car, through which you saw the bandits enter a few moments ago.

Overland Group:
"Of course!" Elise says. "I am glad to hear you say that. We have a dear dog that distrusts other animals. I am afraid the merest sight of another animal makes him want to fight. We can shelter these wonderful cats in the stable. It will be good to keep the peace - especially during a storm when he will no doubt be excitable."

She leads you down the narrow lane off the main road. The path winds through the trees. Coming around a bend, you see a quaint wooden cottage tucked in a quiet grove. A thin trail of smoke rises from a chimney. Another building, which must be the stable, lies behind.

Elise dismounts from Caladrel and hurries to the door. "Gregory, we have guests!" she calls out. Then to Jerry, she explains, "Gregory is my brother. We look out for one another."


Train group:
You have two choices (maybe more - feel free to be creative): Are you going to head back, car-to-car, on the train? Or are you headed back on the ground to follow them where they boarded?

Overland group:
Elise rocks unsteadily at first, struggling to keep her balance on Caladrel's back, but she quickly rights herself. After some initial difficulty, she begins to enjoy the ride, and wears a big smile. "This is amazing!" she says happily.

You make your way along the road as the stormclouds gather overhead. Flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder are getting very close. It is not long before the first drops of rain fall upon you. The howling wind scatters clusters of leaves across the dirt road. After you have gone on for a mile or so, she points to a lane headed into wooded area. "The cottage is just here. Please, let's take shelter."


Andrzej, you know what a vampire is. Dr. Savarre brought you all up to speed on them a while back. Link. Hard to believe that was a year and half ago!

Also, to Res and anyone else thinking that way, you were told that you were seeking Monerre, a necromancer, who has no connection to the Crimson Court that you are aware of. Of course, the reason you are here is that you believe Monerre possesses Harrag's Skull, which the vampires want to get their hands on. While the presence of a vampire in the swamp may be a coincidence, it could also be a sign that some agent of the Crimson Court has passed this way.

Res does not find anything of interest on the corpse.

Tybalt calls out into the wilderness, and receives only eerie silence in reply.

"I don't like this place. The trees - they bleed." Leclerc looks around in dismay. "This way, devils." He begins to lead you onward.


Train group:
You are a perceptive bunch.

As you watch the workers clearing the debris, a movement draws your attention in the other direction - to the rear of the train. You count four figures hurriedly clambering up to the rear-most car. Their faces are obscured by kerchiefs drawn up, leaving only their eyes exposed. You have never seen a train-robber, but you have likely heard of them and this is about how you would picture one.

What's more, turning back to the tree, you can now plainly see indications that the bough was cut with tools.

Overland group:
Who, me? I don't know what you're talking about. Her mother had a cat, that's all.

"Very gracious of you!" she smiles as she carefully gets astride the cat. In her awkward position, a tear in her bodice reveals an arresting view of what is concealed beneath. She straightens herself up and is ready to proceed. "Just up the road," she says cheerily, pointing ahead.


Leclerc spurns Res's helping hand and tries to get to his feet. "It's because of him; he got in my path to trip me up. STOP LOOKING AT ME!" He yells. It takes you a moment to see what he is yelling at. Half-submerged in the muck is the sodden corpse of a man, with the coloring of the swamp natives. His clouded eyes are open, as is his gaping mouth.

Heal DC 12 or Perception DC 17:
The corpse is recently dead, and has the tallow look of one who has been exsanguinated. Two small marks on his neck appear to be the only wounds.


Train group:
"Might as well," Smitty interjects. He has been quiet on this ride - so quiet you could almost forget he was with you. "As long as this iron carriage doesn't leave us here. The rain's still comin' down steady."

Since the staff seems otherwise occupied, no one is there to try to stop you. The other passengers regard you as if you are all quite strange. Without a platform, the lowest step at the doorway is still a good 2 feet off the ground, but you have no trouble.

The rain is steady, but no longer a raging storm. The track condition is as you were told: several people are busy clearing debris from the track and securing a large bough to a rope so that they can haul it aside. A stricken tree stands beside the track, looking oddly asymmetrical with such a large branch shorn from its trunk.

Perception checks, please.

Overland group:
The young woman regards you with some curiosity. "Your cheetah seems remarkably intelligent, milord. Does he understand speech? Remarkable animal, that."

"I would be most grateful for the assistance," she goes on. "It seems a great deal to ask. If the weather is turning foul when we reach the cottage, I insist that you shelter yourself inside. I remember when I was a girl, my mother had a pussy that hated to get wet. I would hate to see the temper of these great beasts. And no doubt some tea and crumpets would do you well before you continue on your journey."

She is light enough that the cheetah form could support her, I would think.


Tybalt's owl is able to follow the girl, and nothing unnatural seems to happen; she just keeps running.

"I don't know who They are yet," Leclerc says to Res, "but I'll find out. They've been after me for too long." He grimaces for a moment, then calls out, "Maybe the girl knows! We should run after her!"

He takes off in her direction, but trips and falls some 20 feet off.

Perception checks, please.


Res sees no signs of an ambush.

The girl continues to stare blankly. Her face is slack, but her eyes - one brown, one blazing golden - stare with an otherworldly intensity.

Leclerc sneers. "Devil child!" he blurts out. "Go back to hell and tell Them I'll be waiting for Them!" A strand of spittle wags from his coarse, trembling chin.

The girl stands still a moment more, and then takes off at a sprint, headed away from you.


Train group:
Another railroad agent hurries in from the front of the car - a young man with pock-marked skin. He speaks in a loud voice to everyone assembled. "Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay. It seems the storm has brought down a bough on the tracks ahead of us. We are moving it out of the way as quickly as possible. Please stay here, and we will be on our way shortly."

He begins to move back, toward the next car.

Overland group:
The young woman looks wary of the great cats, but is put at ease by Jerry's good manners. "Surely they won't," she chuckles with good humor. "I am Elise. Really you needn't bother yourself." She gives Jerry a coy grin and sweeps a stray lock of hair away from her eyes.

A peal of thunder lumbers across the countryside and she looks alarmed. "Although - that is a cause for concern," she says, her eyes regarding warily the gathering stormclouds. "I should be making my way home. Perhaps a carriage will pass by, and I may be able to get there sooner."


Train group:
Through the windows of the train car, you see the countryside passing by at a steady pace. The train makes its way through pastures and fields, past woodlands and church yards. It is like a moving picture; a series of images presented in succession of the rustic countryside.

This is quickly marred by the onset of the storm. The sky grows grey and a driving rain begins to pelt the car. The workers and passengers begin closing the windows to keep out the driving rain. Rumbles of thunder compete with the chugging of the engine as distant bolts of lightning pierce the sky. The train slows somewhat as the weather worsens.

As the worst of the storm passes, it leaves in its wake a steady rain, somber and monotonous.

You feel a sudden lurch and hear a screech of metal upon metal as the brakes are applied suddenly. A nearby passenger who had been out of his seat has to grab onto a table to avoid falling to the floor. The train comes to a complete stop, but you see no station or platform. The ticket agent hurries by with a look of purpose - he glances at his pocketwatch in consternation as he passes.

Overland group:
The young woman is alarmed by the great cats, but somewhat assured by Jerry's words. "Milord, I don't know if you can," she says. "The heel of this shoe has come off." She points to the shoe she had cast at the ground. "I was meaning to have it mended, and now it's gone and fallen off and here I am a mile at least from our cottage. You needn't worry yourself." This last statement is belied by her gait as she walks back toward the road, hobbling on one thickly-heeled shoe and one stockinged foot.

The rainclouds continue to gather in the west, as a distant rumble of thunder rolls across the countryside.


"Lead on, yes, lead on," Leclerc mutters to himself. Under his breath he adds, "The entertainer - he understands me. Maybe they are after him, too..."

He leads on, grumbling and muttering as he goes. The progress is slow, as the swamp is growing increasingly treacherous. Finding solid ground on which to walk is more and more difficult, but Leclerc continues, finding the most stable path, such as it is. The travel is seemingly endless, and the scenery changes little. You are sure it is well past midday when Leclerc stops suddenly.

Ahead of you, at a distance of less than 100 feet, stands a little girl. Her black hair lies in stringy tangles about her shoulders and her dress resembles an old rag. Her fingernails are dark and grimy, and her bare feet soak in the muddy earth. She regards you with a blank, vacant expression and says nothing.


"Honeyed words," Leclerc says to Res with disdain.

Sense Motive DC 22:
He seems delusional. He is spouting off a half-baked conspiracy theory that seems rather improbable.

You do not remember him saying things like this when you first started traveling with him.


Andrzej observes that the knife blade is made of salvaged material, and is beginning to rust, having lain here for a year or more. The arrow is made of simple materials, and appears to be a hunting arrow, not a military arrow.

Leclerc looks at Leandro and Res with narrowed eyes. "The enemy works through the eyes of many agents. It could be any of you. The savages are in league with the authorities and with you mercenaries. They make sure someone is watching me wherever I go. Even when I am alone, they scry. I feel their eyes on me."


Train Group:
The uniformed railroad agent looks puzzled by Sylvia's question. "Motivator? You mean the engine? It's up in front, and passengers ain't allowed." He narrows his eyes. "You lot have your tickets?"

The car you are in contains seats alternating with small tables, so that four can sit at one of the tables, two across from one another. Some 13 or 14 people occupy the car, but it could easily hold 3 dozen. As you converse with the ticket agent, a young woman has entered the other end of the car selling a variety of cookies from a satchel hanging from her shoulder.

With a lurch, the train begins moving. The steady *chug chug* of the locomotive starts slowly but becomes increasingly rapid as the train picks up speed.

Overland Group:

Passing out of Markshire, the road narrows as it passes the cemetery and church-yard. Stone walls hem in the lane on either side as it winds its way into the countryside.

You continue for about an hour. The distant clouds are growing closer and promise to bring some severe weather. As the lane winds through a lightly wooded area, you round a bend and see a young woman standing at the side of the road upon one foot, as she fiddles with the shoe of the other, frustration plain on her face. The hem of her dress is soiled and her hair has come undone. Still, as you draw closer, it is apparent that she is quite beautiful, despite her disheveled state. She throws the shoe to the ground with an exasperated sigh.


Shaken, Leclerc makes his way onward. He seems somewhat cowed by his experiences and makes his way with some resignation. He continues to eye you all with suspicion.

As you proceed, you see increasing signs of human presence. A spent arrow sticks out of a tree trunk; later, a broken knife blade lies discarded in the muck, its craftsmanship primitive but sturdy.

Each of these sights seems to set Leclerc on edge. When you pass the broken knife, he begins mumbling under his breath, "The weapons of the enemy. They leave them here for me to find..." He looks about with wide eyes.

Res:
At that moment, you spot movement, far away and only briefly visible through the trees. You think a figure passed quickly out of sight, headed away from you.


"Savages dwell in these swamps," Leclerc says, his eyes fixed on the strange fetish. "They watch you. They always watch you. Like the eyes on that face. They see into my soul." He is visibly disturbed by the sight.


Train Group:

I assume that Sylvia is arranging passage for Chanticleer as well.

After you have booked your passage, you have a short time to wait upon the platform. There are few passengers at the Markshire station. The morning is breezy and comfortable, but clouds are beginning to gather on the western horizon.

The train arrives a few minutes behind schedule, but no one seems terribly concerned about it. A noisy steam engine blows clouds of exhaust into the sky as it pulls the dozen-or-so cars into the station. The trains screeches to a gentle stop, the sound of metal against metal as the brakes grind against the heavy wheels. Most of the windows along the passenger cars have been opened to allow the late summer breeze into the compartments.

A conductor steps down from a nearby car and calls out, "All aboard," to those gathered. After a scant few travelers step off the train, the assembled passengers climb up into the cars.

Overland Group:
You weather the stars of startled, curious onlookers as you pass through the village of Markshire on your way from Wallingham Manor. You pass the train station where you know your other companions will be boarding the steel contraption in a few hours. The iron tracks break the confident stride of the lion and cheetah. Soft ground is the best, smooth roads are convenient and familiar, but iron tracks running perpendicularly to your path require careful footing.

The village and train tracks behind you, you continue along the post road. A sign-post points the way to many destinations, with an indication in miles of how distant the indicated settlement will be. Milton is indicated at a distance of 74 miles.

The weather is fair and breezy on this late-summer morning. Clouds are beginning to gather on the western horizon as the day stretches to mid-morning.

For both groups, Knowledge (nature) or Intelligence DC 10:
It's gonna rain.


If anything, Leclerc is even more quiet and sullen than when he was yesterday. He regards you all with open suspicion and says nothing, apart from basic direction as to where to step, what pitfalls to avoid, and so on.

He leads the way back into the swamp. The twisted branches of the darkened trees are crowded with moss, which blocks out much of the sunlight. A faint stirring of a breeze brings little relief from the oppressive humidity.

As you go on, you begin to get the feeling that the swamp has eyes that are watching you. Leclerc evidently feels it as well, as he seems increasingly on edge, his eyes darting about as he startles at every little sound.

He stops short as you all espy a strange fetish hanging from a branch in your path. Twigs tied round with moss and decorated with feathers and tufts of fur form a geometric pattern encasing what appears to be a dried, shriveled human head, shrunk to the size of an apple.


Train Group:
You set off toward the village, following the well-worn road from the manor. The quaint cottages and shops of Markshire crowd beside the post road. The carts of the nearby tenant farmers make their way into the village to sell their produce, while a line of uniformed children passes by on the way to the schoolhouse.

The train station is little more than a platform along the tracks with a small building for the ticket agent and a waiting area for those days when the weather is inhospitable. A plump man with generous muttonchops occupies the ticket window. He informs you that passage to Milton will cost a mere 5 silvers. Passage for animals can be arranged for an additional 8.

Overland Group:
You are able to keep a good pace along the well-worn road from Wallingham Manor. Surely a pair of a great cats crossing the countryside of Leyland raises some eyebrows among the populace.

Are you sticking to the road or crossing overland? Are you taking any steps to avoid populated areas, or going right through any towns or villages along the way?


Leclerc grumbles miserably as he returns to the camp. He looks at you wordlessly as he settles down again. He gives a particularly long, suspicious look to Andrzej, seeing how readily the Vistani is ready to turn him out into the wilderness.

The party resumes its watches, being sure to keep an eye on the larcenous fishmonger. He sleeps fitfully, but does not stir again to pilfer your gear.

The night remains sultry, and it is difficult to get comfortable with the biting insects and fetid air. The rest of the night passes without incident, and the air remains still and close in the dawn.


As you arrive at first light, a short man in a wool suit greets you. Tufts of grey hair grace both sides of his bald head, and he squints through narrow spectacles at you. He introduces himself as Mr. Maynard, Lord Wallingham's solicitor, and presents each of you with an envelope.

The contents of the envelope are the same: A letter of credit for 4,000 gold notes. Among other locations, they are redeemable at banks in Milton, by the University, as well as in Greyston, the capital.

Knowledge (nobility) DC 12:
It should surprise nobody that a Lord like Wallingham does not deal in cash, nor would he would handle your payment personally. His credit is good, and the notes can be trusted.

I have never had a patron provide payment to the PCs via personal check before. This is fun.

So Jerry and Caladrel are making their own route, and the others are taking the train?


Anuqa (and anyone else who cared to run after Leclerc) find him sputtering in the fetid pool and struggling to get to his feet in the mud. He looks something like a discontented kitten, and eyes you all with wild fear. "I was just... looking for something I had dropped," he coughs out ineffectually.


Res: The night is dim, so use those rules accordingly.

Tybalt: You can try diplomacy or intimidate. The magic missile might undermine your assertion that he will not be harmed.

The magic missile finds its mark, and the fishmonger yelps in pain. The miserable man is thrown off balance on the slimy reeds and falls face-first into a murky pool.


"He was rummaging through your gear," Eliva says hastily to Leandro. "Mind your arrows, Andrzej, we need him alive, if we do not want to be lost here."


Lord Wallingham accepts Caladrel's letter graciously and agrees to send it on its way. Supper is, once again, a formal affair. Navigating the etiquette, however, may be easier, having endured it once already. After a restful sleep, when you descend from the bedchambers, Longworth greets you and is able to share the train timetable. Trains depart at 11:15 am and 3:30 pm.


The crossbow bolt misses Leclerc, but just barely. He seems startled by it. He runs toward the treeline.

Tybalt, Res, and Angalia could be reasonably expected to stir now that there is more commotion. Are you going after him? Are you communicating with one another?


Eliva: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
Angalia: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18

GM business:

1d3 ⇒ 1
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10

After suitably preparing the makeshift camp, the party tries to sleep. While the sticky air makes it difficult, the exhausting day of travel wins out, as you seek some much-needed rest.

Andrzej and Eliva:

As the rest of the party settles to sleep, you keep careful watch of the surroundings. The chirping of birds and croaking of bullfrogs creates a steady background to the night-stricken swampland. The limp tendrils of moss seem to reflect the light of the waning moon, lacing the tree branches with soft silver.

Eliva starts with alarm at a sound, not from beyond the camp, but from within it. She nudges Andrzej to draw his attention to it.

The fishmonger, Leclerc, is skulking among your sleeping companions. At the moment, he is crouched over Leandro's backpack, looking through its many pockets, but at Eliva's sudden movement, he freezes and regards you with wide eyes. He begins to bolt toward the trees.

Leandro and Anuqa stir awake at the commotion, without you having to alert them.

Leandro and Anuqa:
Your sleep is disturbed by a soft commotion in the camp. You open your eyes to see Leclerc sprinting away from the camp. Please be aware that any action you undertake must begin from a prone condition.


"Well," Lord Wallingham says. "You have all been through an ordeal. You are more than welcome to dine once again with my family. If you prefer to rest and have supper brought to your rooms, we would understand."


Eliva, Angalia, Anuqa?


"There has not been a change in Constable Barston's condition, regretfully," Lord Wallingham confides.

"You are all certainly welcome to stay here again. It is the least we can do." To Caladrel he adds, "Of course, I will see to its delivery."


Leclerc produces some cured fish of unknown provenance. It looks positively foul. He eyes all of you defensively. "I didn't bring enough to share." Without further ado, he begins gnawing upon it.

So: Eliva and Andrzej; Anuqa and Tybalt; Leandro, Res, and Angalia. Can I get Perception checks from everyone in advance for your respective watches?


"I see," Lord Wallingham says, taking all of this in with characteristic composure. He joins Jerry with a brandy of his own. "We can certainly put some deputies at the edge of the forest, in case there are any additional disturbances. I would not have considered it while the taint was spreading, but if it has been checked, guarding the area would be prudent."

He goes on: "I am disturbed to hear that this 'rift', as you call it, is still there, however small. I hesitate to ask more of you than you have already done. None of you are obligated to continue your investigations; you will be compensated, as promised, for your efforts. That said, if you would do as you propose and consult with the University, it would be a great service to the realm and her people."

Rhodes chimes in, "My lord, this matter is beyond my ken. Some things, once seen, cannot be unseen. I request you give me leave to return to the capital and be done with this business."

Lord Wallingham is unfazed by the rogue's directness. "You are under no further obligation."

To your inquiries, he responds, "My physician reports that Gindel is stable, but very weak. Time will tell how well he will recover. The same is true of the Smythes. What they have been through has taken its toll."


The windows and doors of the manor exude a warm glow of hearthfires and candles. Longworth the butler greets you and shows you inside to the library. Lord Wallingham and his daughters arrive with excitement at news of your return.

"I am relieved to see you," Lord Wallingham says with a warm smile. "We are glad to see you return and reasonably well. How was your progress?"


The setting sun provides little respite from the heat, which hugs this domain like a heavy blanket. Leclerc seems used to the heat and ready to set up camp.

What are you plans for the night? Setting watches? I need to know the planned order.


I assume you are going into the manor to report your progress?


Leclerc grumpily trudges onward. How he distinguishes any path through this unbroken expanse of grassy mud and sickly pools is a testament to his evident familiarity with the swamp. Twisted trees, each more gnarled than the next, pepper the landscape like regular pillars, holding up a canopy of heavy leaves and sagging gray moss. The laden branches block out much of the sunlight, but provide no respite from the suffocating heat. Steam seems to rise from the pools around you, adding their fetid miasma to the souplike atmosphere.

Even as the day draws on and the sky overhead takes on the warm glow of dusk, the air scarcely cools. "It's right up here," Leclerc says at length, as if this stretch of swamp could be recognizable to anyone. He is right, though. Secluded by the moss-choked trees, a small rise appears before you, like a lumpy tumor upon stretch of coarse flesh. The water-loving trees do not grow upon it, but those growing at the base of the rise amply obscure it from sight. When you arrive, the fishmonger displays a toothless grin. "Here we are," he says proudly.


The University is some 75 miles away. The distance can be covered via train in under 3 hours. Traveling by road will take considerably longer.

It is located in the country, but adjacent to the town of Milton, the economy of which is largely devoted to the goings-on at the University.


"I, for one, am glad to be rid of that place," Rhodes interjects. He had been conspicuously quiet for some time. "Mankind has no business with alien creatures. I cannot get back to Greyston fast enough. I have done the service for which I was hired, and I have no further inclination to go digging into the sordid affairs of the occult." He seems resolved on that matter.


"We have a few more hours of daylight," the miserable fishmonger says. "I know of a rise in the swamps that is rather dry, but amply shrouded by the trees. I..." his statement is cut off by his ubiquitous, hacking cough. He spits upon the ground. "I have made camp there before. We can make it before nightfall, I think." His shifting eye appraises you all. Suddenly he slaps at his arm and flicks one of the red mosquitos off, leaving a burgundy smudge upon his shirtsleeve.

Slowly, the sounds of the swamp are returning, following the dispersal of the swarm of bloodhaze mosquitos. While the swamp teams with croaks and chirps of every description, all is still. No breeze disturbs the wispy tendrils of moss that droop languidly from the gnarled branches of the trees. The algae-covered pools show no ripples or traces of disturbance.


Many more of the vile insects perish to the torchfire, and a great many dissolve in the splash of acid. Those blood-drinking mosquitos that remain dissipate, too diminished in number to constitute a swarm.

Out of combat.

"Thank you, strange travelers," Leclerc says, catching his breath, for the sorry man had been hyperventilating for much of the last minute. "Those file pests can drain a man dry."


XP:

Decapus 1,200
Gutslug 800
2 blighted dryads 2,400
Ooze 1,200
Fogwarden 1,600
Elder things 3,200

Total xp for slain foes: 10,400
Rescuing Gindel and the constable: 1,600
Closing the rift: 6,000

Total: 18,000
Divided 6 ways: 3,000

That should put you all at 9,000 xp (we are using the fast progression). 1,000 xp to next level.

Please note this somewhere, because I will not remember how much xp you have :)


As soon as you emerge from the tunnel, you can plainly see that a change is coming over the surroundings. The magical darkness that enshrouded the base of the waterfall is dissipating, and breeze of healthful air stirs the branches of the trees.

Even should you detour slightly, you are not ambushed by any otherworldly hunters as you were on your approach. While it is certainly overly optimistic to assume that anything else that emerged through the portal is simply gone, you wonder whether the aberrant creatures can sense the waning power of the void in this place. As for the plants themselves, it will surely take this wood some time to heal.

You are able to find your way out of the wood and across the fields before nightfall. Wallingham Manor is alight with the warm glow of candles and hearthfires.

Please see the discussion thread so that you can note your xp award.


Andrzej: Barring any rules that say otherwise, I would have to include that the Con damage and the disease save are simultaneous, which means that you would be making the save with your original undamaged Con. You are safe :)

Tybalt struggles with the unwieldy burning bedroll, but Res is more successful with his torch.

Leandro, Anuqa, Eliva, and Andrzej are up.


FYI, Studpuffin has decided not to continue with the PbP. The format is not for everybody. I will have Rhodes opt not to join you all in your further investigations.


Eliva tries to burn up some of the vile insects with her torch, but struggles with the effort.

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3

The swarm of ravenous bloodsuckers moves to a new pair of more abundant hosts, swarming over Andrzej and Anuqa. Both feel the anguish of thousands of tiny mouths draining their lifeblood.

Andrzej and Anuqa: 1 point of Con damage and roll a DC 17 fort save vs disease.

MAP

With Tybalt absent, does somebody want to roll to resolve his action? I think his flaming bedroll is good for about 2d6 fire damage.

Leandro
Anuqa
Res
Tybalt
Eliva
Angalia
Andrzej

Swarm

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