As you make your way to go south Hemlock asks if there is any reason to not clean up the crime scene at this point.
The sanitorium is about a day south (by horse), if you leave now you would get there a little after midday tomorrow (assuming you camp) or you could leave at first light and most likely get there at sundown.
Kno:Local DC 15:
The Saintly Haven of Respite, better known locally as Habe’s Sanatorium, is run by Erin Habe an expert on disease and mental derangement who is as well traveled as he is knowledgeable. Independently wealthy from his years as a doctor in Magnimar, he chose to build this sanatorium in a remote dale south of Sandpoint for precisely that reason—its seclusion. Here, he hoped his wards would find the peace of mind they needed to heal, and he himself would find the peace to continue his own experiments into what caused their respective dementias without worrying about other folk misunderstanding his sometimes necessarily bloody methods.
I am going to assume that the conversation about the book happen afterward so I will proceed...
Wil?: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Base Kno: Arcana: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
For: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Like before Vidar focuses on his question and with his intentions firmly in hand the books pages turn from blank to profuse with images, diagrams, historical snippets and iconography that bear not only the rune but many other symbols, names and places that the wizard can barely contextualize.
Almost compulsively Vidar flips from page to page. At times, it seems that some of the information is coming from the page but other times there is the sense that Vidar is recalling things he may have seen before or known from places previously. This is perhaps the most disconcerting sensation; what is from Vidar's own mind and what is being put there by the book?
Examining the pages it is clear that, were he so inclined, Vidar could continue to follow any number of suggested threads of explanation about magic theory, dark magic, history and other subjects and the compulsion to follow them is strong. Think whispering Wikipedia links in a book However Vidar remains focused on his task.
In essence the Sihedron Rune is typically more of a tool than anything else. Its presence in relationship to things of darkness or evil are more a reflection of the overall corruption of Thassilon more than a mark against the rune and other runes like it. (Which the book suggests there are more than a few.)
At its root the Sihedron rune is a tool for power. It is used to amplify and in a certain metaphysical sense anchor or "declare" an act in a way that might be more "noticeable". In some contexts (like Nualia's necklace) the symbol serves to hold the protective magics and amplify them (permanently). However this is not the only method such things could have been done and as the society around Thassilon eroded into the darker excess that the party has seen, the symbol of the rune was often co-opted by some of the Runelords and their servants to represent their agenda or their metaphysical allegiance.
In this way the Sihedron rune occupies a space that is uncommon in the current age in that it might be considered a magical component or container, a sort of metaphysical or spiritual symbol (like a holy symbol in a sense) as well as a cultural reflection of a certain age of Thassilonian history thus used for its power but also co-opted for a social agenda. The book can't tell you which combination of reasons the symbol was in the mill. You would need to know more about who or why it was drawn.
(Although to be clear it would not appear the rune was used in any attempt to raise or compel the victims or do something -at- the site other than serve a ritualistic purpose or affect magic somewhere else using the murder and the rune as components of a spell.)
It only takes about 20 minutes to collect all this information and other than the disconcerting sensation of where the information "came from" Vidar feels just fine.
Rune was carved with a sharp instrument of one type or another.
If the stench is enough to make a barbarian warrior think of turning his stomach the much more keen sense of a dog will definitely try to avoid this smell. Occasionally dogs are not the best choice for tracking. This is one of those times.
Is Vidar going to consult the book?I just want to confirm before I imperil the wizard, I mean, roll his check for him...
The Sandpoint Lumber Mill lies on the shore of the Turandarok
DC 10 Knowledge (local):
he mill was working the night before last. Harker and Thorn, the two millers, often worked late into the night,which had become a bone of contention around town as the noisymill and its infernally creaky log splitter kept neighbors awake.
The mill is a well-built wooden structure with very thick walls.
The Timber Pier: Timber is delivered to the mill via a small
Perception DC 15:
anyone investigating the pier reveals a set of
muddy footprints that leads from one end of the pier up to the
If Perception, DC 15 Survival:
A barefoot human man clambered up from the mud under the pier, crossed over to the mill, and then scaled the wall to an upper-floor window.
The Murder Scene: The mill interior is coated with sawdust
DC 15 Survival:
A desperate struggle took place here several hours ago. While that much is obvious you can tell that there was honest struggle. A fight with footprints throughout the production floor and so on. This was not simply a "surprise" but an out and out fight to survive.
Survival DC 25:
You can tell that one set of prints within the mill and the area of struggle in particular is not only barefoot, but reeks of rotten meat.
Katrine’s Body: Poor Katrine was killed instantly when pushed into the log splitter. Her mangled, ruined remains lie on the mill’s lower floor amid heaps of bloodstained firewood. A pale-faced, obviously upset guard stands at attention nearby. The log splitter itself is powered by a waterwheel and consists of a chute in the floor with rotatingsaw blades that cut logs as they are fed in.
Harker’s Body: Harker’s body has been horribly desecrated. The
Kno:Arcana DC 30 or Vidar:
The Sihedron. Ancient Thassilonian magic. You've seen it before. On Nualia's medalion and elsewhere.
DC 15 Heal:]
There is a presence of several additional wounds. Unlikethe deeper slashes on the body, these smaller gashes almost seem
to have been made by a claw—a five-fingered, human-hand-sized
claw. The rotten scent seems stronger near these wounds.
The body is only recognizable as Harker’s by a faded tattoo of a raven
The Suspicious Axe: A handaxe is embedded in the floor near the log splitter, as if it had been dropped there. The handle
First, smears of what look like rotten flesh and fragments of bone are caked on its blade.
Second, the rotten meat stink is strongest on the blade more so than anywhere else in the room. So much so in fact that prolonged close proximity makes all but the most stalwart want to throw up.
DC 20 Knowledge (religion):
You can identify the lingering stink of corruption as beyond that which a dead body can normally produce—the axe was likely used within the last 48 hours against some form of corporeal undead.
I've included the most obvious checks but feel free to let me know if there are other things you want to check.
Bart moves to the center of the room and using a nearby stool steps up and "unhooks" the man from the chain. Bart is actually familiar with the set up having been threatened to be thrown in one more than once as it of Chelaxian make; a more "civilized" device designed to ensure a more "proper" hanging than a basic rope.
With his arm around the body the tall brawler lifts the body from the chain and drops it unceremoniously on the floor. Disturbing to everyone is the part where the body doesn't fall but stands completely erect in place, emits a sort of warbling gasping hiss/scream type sound and promptly jumps onto Bart.
B 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
M 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
H 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
A 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Q 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
F 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
B 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Wight Sucker Punch 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
The creature's sudden strike falls thankfully short as Bart is only now too keenly aware that this "person's" hands and nails reek of decay. Probably not a good idea to get touched by them.
Most of the group, still adrenaline primed and wary from the day's earlier activities are caught off guard at the sudden outburst but are ready to act. The sorcerer and wizard however, too overcome by the putrid stench and sudden flurry of activity, fail to find the reserves of energy to spring into action as quickly.
Formerly Hanging Undead [Acted]
There is your initiative, Mel is up with others to follow. Standard actions only then we shall move on to "Round 1"
Belor shakes his head at the question about another man, No one knows of any other daliances, at least not any with no clear alibi's. Rumours die hard in a town like this, we could chase "leads" for months on that front. Ibor Thorn, one of the owners found the bodies, and I have him in a cell because I can't confirm his whereabouts that night. Poor man is in shock from the finding and is in no state to be approached too aggressively, I hope you take my meaning on that. I'm holding him as a matter of dilligence but I doubt he is the guilty party.
To Kerrec Belro responds, Banny Harker, one of the mill operators and Shayliss Vinder, daughter of Ven the shopkeep. She's been at the cathedral working on learning to be a cleric of Desna, I believe you've met her...she has a reputation with the boys. There's been some rumor she and Harker has had a fling of one stripe or another...
Hemlock nods at Kithian, Aye hounds but the mill is worked by dozens in and out, traders, businessmen, merchants and the owners too come round regularly. Add the milled wood and its waste, the varnishes and other finishes and oils for tools...all a mess for the dogs it seems. Plus... Hemlock pauses just a moment and almost seems disturbed but quickly regain's his composure. Let's just say there are other things you'll see that would explain a dog's confusion looking for scents.
Hemlock looks to Rullis, Three con men from the town of Galduria
Hemlock raises his hand before him as though to wave off Kerrec, Of course we all here know that you were nowhere near the mill. This is more about the sad politics of a small city that has had its heart hurt far too many times in recent memory.
Hemlock pauses for a second, None in the town that I can think of have an eye for handwriting but I know enough to say that is a well learned hand. So either a professional of some sort or a noble child or merchant family heir. Sadly that makes for too many leads and not enough specifics. I have had the mill left untouched, gruesome as it it, so that you might look it over and see if you can find anything that I have missed.
The smith gets a bit red in the face (who knew it was possible) and looks at his feet a bit. Well its, if you have time I mean, I have a problem see with a ghost?[/b[ The smith continues on heedless of Kithian's response, [b]Its of my boy, see. I lost him in the troubled times years ago to that mad man Chopper, ye heard of im yah? Anyway my boy comes to me occasionally and says dark things about revenge and pain and what not...I learned to live with it, worried it was more my tortured soul but it got worse when ya's was under the town so I think there is somethin to it. I was just hoping you could maybe see about puttin him to rest? The smith looks back at you surprisingly vulnerable.
Hemlock raises an eyebrow at Vidar as the others arrive, They look terrible. Waving his hand he has the group walk with him as he urges his men to get back to work. “First, let me thank you again for all you’ve done for Sandpoint. It’s fortunate that you’ve proven yourselves so capable,because we’ve a problem that I think you can help us with—a
Hemlock leads you inside to the conference room near his office, sure to close the door before he continues, Put simply, we have a murderer in our midst—one who, I fear,has only begun his work. Some of you doubtless remember the Late Unpleasantness, how this town nearly tore itself
Last night, the murderer struck at the sawmill. There are two victims, and they’re… they’re in pretty gruesome shape. The bodies were discovered by one of the mill workers, a man named Ibor Thorn, and by the time mymen and I arrived on the scene, a crowd of curious gawkers
Hemlock runbs his forehead for a moment then continues, I come to you for help in this matter—my men are good, but they are also green. They were barely able to handle themselves against the goblins, and what we’re facing now is an evil far worse than goblins. I need the help. But I’m afraid you’ll need the help too. You see, I’m afraid that this particular murderer knows one of you as well.
Hemlock produces a small folded piece of parchment which looks to be splattered with blood. On the outside in elegant but grisly handwritten blood the word "Kerrec" is easily seen. The sheriff passes the note over the table to the paladin.
Written within, in a fine hand, You will come to love me, desire me, as she once did. With all my heart. It is signed only Your Lordship
Hemlock frowns, Obviously this was planted to implicate our paladin here but I know you were gone and spoken for. All the same the town is on edge and the taste of recent bitter betrayal linger here. It would not take much to push the fragile people of this town into thinking something sinister when presented with evidence such as this. To that end I mean to keep this quiet and have you help me if you will.
Roll a diplomacy check for me, I would like to see what the dice gods think of your request :p
Cam winds his way back through the streets and towards the garrison.
The guards take Vidar's notes meekly but warm greatly as they see the extensive notes, diagrams and other notations that mark the wizard's eye fo detail, though they seem daunted (and afraid of messing up Vidar's book) the men spend the next few minutes appreciating the account of Magnimar.
As Vidar recounts the trip in such dire detail with deadpan tone, Hemlock takes a look of doubt mixed with consternation. He narrows his eyes for a moment and then he too offers an equally deadpan response, Unfortunate. Well I guess I will just have to rely on the pair of you then?
Cam and Rullis meet up in the streets and make their way to the gates to see Vidar and Kerrec talking to the Sheriff while a group of soldiers, partially undressed and sweating from heat and effort seem to be crowded around each other looking over a book.
Ameiko gives a sort of "its stupid, who cares wave" at the comment about the estate, Maybe if you go back soon. Gods know I don't plan on making my way there if I can help it. As Cam moves to leave Ameiko's tone softens, Be careful, if Belor can't handle it its either dangerous or requires a more diplomatic tone...either way its trouble for you. Ameiko offers a wink as she shoos the bard out the door.
Ameiko lets the moment pass apparently opting not to clobber Camillo for now, her eyebrows raise at the mention of a letter from the city and takes the envelope from Cam. Tearing it open she hastily reads through the single sheet contained therein and her light mood turns to irritation, Apparently my father left the family estate in disrepair and the city is threatening to seize it. Something about vagrants and concerns over unseemly property...Agh! Ameiko throws up her hands and starts to move about the bar dealing with various things as she rants, This is exactly the reason that I didn't want to ever be head of the family! Its why I left Sandpoint...well one reason at least! Who has time for such petty expenditures of their time?!?
Many of the guards seem deflated by the rather cynical answers of the wizard and his pleading gaze to the paladin to intermediate is easily seen by all the men asking questions. A few stay to exchange pleasantries with the paladin but most skulk off after Vidar's observation. Its only a few more moments before Belor Hemlock walks into the courtyard and he scours and both Vidar and Kerrec, Weren't there five of you when you left?
Zantus does a poor job of hiding the mixed emotions on his face as he waves Rullis to walk with him through the cathedral, Well enough though I have been privy to words between the Sheriff and Mayor that some foul murders have occurred within the town's jurisdiction. I had hoped to be done with such things, this town could use some peace. I thin the Sheriff frets because he is low on reliable men, especially in the warm season when he needs to get supplies, make repairs and so on. I think the Mayor frets for the people...and maybe her job. She is not as politically minded as some but she wanted the job and I am sure wants to keep it. Violence is rarely good for an administrator's record.
Korvut looks over the helmet approvingly, You have some fine craftsmen in your tribe. As the dogs bark and snuffle at each other Korvut rolls his eyes. So. Back in town and intact. Need some new weapons or armor or was this purely a social call?
Camillo, letter in hand, dashes off to the Rusty Dragon and finds the inn ever the way it has been. Ameiko and staff are bustling about on one task or another while a handful of patrons partake of food and drink in the quieter tone of the tavern during the day. Camillo is warmly greet and Ameiko offers the bard a warm smile and approaches him affectionately, So you decided to come back to small town country life eh? Decided there was something better than the exciting city? Her playful tone and half smile invites Camillo to offer her some playful response.
Kerrec and Vidar wind their way through the streets and approach the garrison where Hemlock makes his office. In the height of summer many of the guards are shirtless working hand in hand with laborers on various projects; fixing the door, resetting stones, seeing to cracked mortar and so on. No officers are obvious as you approach the gates but the guardsmen you recognize all wave you into the courtyard and let you know that the Sherrif is due back and minute from a meeting with the mayor. In the meantime you are asked the occasional question about the prisoner transfer, Magnimar, and the Justices.
Rullis splits from the group and makes his way to the cathedral. While not as magnificent as the churches of Magnimar its relative newness and the fact that it is "home" makes it just as magnificent in its own way. Zantus, who is actually in the plaza outside of the cathedral meeting with a variety of passers by, see Rullis and greets him warmly. Taking a minute or so to wrap up his conversation, the priest approaches the newly returned cleric and eagerly shakes his hand, Back from the last of the dark duties around our outbreak of bad luck! I am glad to see you back in town in fine spirits and health!
Kithian winds west to the forge of Das Korvut and finds the building pungent with the smell of smelting metal and burning coal. Like most days, but amplified by the summer heat, the wave of heat that comes from the building is felt many paces before entering. In the forge Korvut's other mastiff excitedly barks and comes to nuzzle and sniff over Reggie who seems equally pleased at the sort of homecoming. The mastiff's attend to each other while Korvut looks up from the forge with his trademark scowl which softens slightly at the sight of the half-orc, Well I see fingers, arms, legs and such. Face is still ugly but unless that sorceress seduced you and turned your nethers to a frog or somethin it looks like you are done and healthy returned! The smith guffaws at his own joke and moves forward with his coal tarnished hand to shake with Kithian.
Sorry I've been a little remiss this last week, just lots of busy stuff but I am back and ready to get us moving again.
***INSERT PLACARD HERE*** CHAPTER 2 THE SKINSAW MURDER
All told it is twenty days before you step foot back in the familiar roads and shops of Sandpoint. Justice has been done, the grand city visited and monuments and a variety of other sites are had. Your return trip is quiet save for a evening or two of the same odd silence that followed you to the city. Travelers pass on little news save for the normal fare for this area; untimely deaths due to accident or roving goblins (thought the latter is minimal for sure), scuttlebutt of one type or another about politics, family disagreements and the boon or bust of some local merchants on a variety of transactions.
Kerrec has been asked to carry one letter from the Lord-Mayor of Magnimar's office to Ameiko detailing a request for her to deal with the Kaijutsu property in the city as it has fallen into disrepair but otherwise there is little outstanding business. Captain Kreese parted ways with you positively noting that his patrols may bring him up this way soon and you have a standing invitation for his aid if you ever need it.
You arrive at the city midday and find that though you are warmly greeted there is little in the way of fanfare. The thrill of success has made way for the reality that life moves on and the wounds must heal. One of the guards patrolling the south entrance to town does note to you all that the Sheriff is anxious to see you when you are arrived, but not before you are settled and ready.
Blargh! I'm just gonna rewrite and move things along. I'll skip forward a bit just to help things move on to more interesting items.
You gather in the morning and meet with Captain Kreese who takes you through the winding and elaborate roads of the Naos and Capital districts before reaching the Pediment Building. Littered throughout the twists and turns you all catch glimpses of building old and new as monuments and monumental building peak out from behind one building or another. Alabaster, marble, granite, wood and brick mark the stoied history of a city built by all stripes of exiles, wanderers, adventurers, merchants and foreign princes.
Kreese and his men aid you in keeping your charges (and his man's wrapped body) away from prying eyes and grasping hands as most people go about their business. The Pediment Building is imposing in its own right. Multi-storied and a harsh flat gray the building features a multitude of gargoyles and reliefs of Justices past set about to pass eternal judgement for the seats of the stone hewn seats.
Inside Kreese manages to aid you all further by hunting down the necessary folks to see you routed to one of the Halls of Virtue where each of the judges sit and hear their cases. Kreese has secured an audience for you with Justice Ironbriar known by many in the city to be supportive of Sandpoint's activities. Rumored still is that Ironbriar has been a long time friend of both the Kaijitsu and Foxglove families and is said to even have some financial interest in those houses activities.
After waiting in the wings for a couple of hours (and parting ways with Kreese who goes on to report to his superiors but invites you all to catch up with him later on) you are called before Ironbriar. the Justice is an elf with an ageless face and the pupil-less eyes of his people in a vibrant green color. Reading a short report that has been placed before him Ironbriar recounts his understanding of events and then asks each of you to speak in turn. In truth the questioning of most of you is short with most of Ironbriar's attention levied at Kerrec in his capacity as paladin and higher "status" within the courts by his titles and affiliations.
Each of you recount and clarify as the judge desires. though the elf is often impassive he does occasionally raise his eyebrows at moments such as the confrontation with Tsuto Kaijutsu and the arrival and departure of Toshio. There is much back and forth about the nature of Nualia's intentions and actions and the prisoners are offered opportunities to speak in their own defense.
Unsurprisingly Lyra offers little in her defense but it is Orik who offers an impassioned plea that they both be spared death, noting that the wizard is obviously mentally damaged. Orik recounts much of the wizard's obsession with Tsuto and Camillo confirms her seeming break in disposition upon confronting the group.
Taking into account the titles that have been bestowed upon you at Sandpoint, reviewing the evidence and considering Orik's assistance, Ironbriar decides to waive Orik's potential charges of treason and other crimes against the city-state and sentences Orik to service in the Black Arrow penal mercenary contingent for no less than 5 years with all payment and privileges to be released upon his full service.
Lyra is provisonally charged guilty on all counts and is given a compassionate probation to accompany Orik. Ironbriar makes it clear that he's willing to hear Orik out but that seeing Lyra healed and reformed will be Orik's responsibility while serving in the unit. If Orik cannot convince the leadership of Arrow's to invest in her treatment or she does not make satisfactory progress to some sense of penance then her sentence of death will be re-instated.
Ironbriar also makes it clear that he will not to the Lord Justice and Lord Mayor that he feels, after review that the group might be rewarded in some way and that Magnimar be chastised to some extant for ignoring Hemlock's pleas for assistance. Ending on that note Ironbriar has the prisoners taken into custody and dismisses the court.
Sorry guys, to avoid having the boards wipe my post I wrote my lengthy post in a word document that was then properly eaten by "failed drive" gremlins yesterday. I am running recovery and am optimistic, but if not I can redo it. I should have a post for you late tonight but I apologize for the delay.
insert DM hand wave here
There is no challenge finding rooms, drinks, food, companionship and some prayer (the laegest temple to Abadar sits not three blocks from here and a shrine to Gozreh is only a few minutes more to the west in the Capital District.) You all awaken and meet with Kreese to retrieve your prisoners and to be escorted to the Pediment Building.
Anything else before the escort?
Kreese laughs good naturedly and claps the cleric of Gozreh on the back, You are in Magnimar now, my friend! We know how to handle a sorcerer or two! he continues to chuckle but his face becomes more serious, That said, I admire men who would see their duty done. Of course, it would be no issue for you to stay with your prisoner if you so wish. I will see to it with the knight captain.
Sorry for the delay...
The ride for the remainder of the day is slow and easy with the captain easily willing to talk about the City of Monuments and some of its...eccentricities for new travelers such as yourselves.
He explains that you ultimate destination is the Pediment Building where the Justice Court has its seat as well as being the main building from which all other military and guard related activities originate. This building is located in the Capital District, one of the 8 major sections of the city.
Kreese and his men work from a smaller outpost nestled in the nearby Naos district. Primarily his group is responsible for outer community patrols and the like, with minimal duties in the city walls. Kreese notes this is to his preference as it is often the case that service in the city falls into two categories: Those who kiss ass and serve in the richest quarters and "babysit" the rowdy gentrified youth or those who get cast to the underfunded, understaffed, sections of the city where the day to day can be lethal for the unwary. Kreese is quick to point out its not all bad, just hard in a city the size of Magnimar when the culture is based on escaping over burdensome rules like Magnimar's founders envisioned.
Overall your impression from Kreese is it is a city of marvels and dangers alike, featuring ancient artifacts and monuments that toeer into the sky and make Magnimar a city like none other. The captain even jokes that bards and wizards alike have noted that some of the city's greatest monuments are said to have lasting magical effects on those who can divine a way to unlock them. The captain waves this off as fancy, of course.
Following the Lost Coast Road you come to the northernmost gate of the city, that Kreese notes leads into the Alabaster District and the Capital District of the city. The gate, 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide,is fixed with ramparts, murder holes, a portcullis and so on is nestled in the wall that marks the true start of the city. The wall runs for over a thousand feet to the north before ending at a tower that hugs the coastal shore while, to the south, the wall continues in the same distance before jutting and turning around another bend and continuing for Gods knows how far.
The teeming masses of travelers, merchants, soldiers, workers, and the like get thicker and thicker even a mile out of the city nd before long you see a queue a couple of hundred feet long itself waiting to be checked and let inside.
Kreese waves you past all this and brings you to the gate where he removes his glove and present a ring at one of the gate guards. Salutes are passed and Kreese waves at you to follow him into the city.
Building of all shapes and sizes loom in the distance and block the horizon. Sandpoint could fit a dozen times over in this city or so it seems and you all know from the stories that there is more city to be found on the bluffs and cliffs below where you have entered. Shops, brothels, food carts and merchant stands break to the south where the plaze clearly marks that, to the west is the riches of the Alabaster district where to the south are things far more mundane.
Kreese navigates you through side alleys and streets that no visitor would know and brings you finally to a small guardhouse that features an enclosed yard and stable. The captain mentions that there are a pair of inns nearby The Nest of Naos and the Wandering Minstrel. Having gotten a taste of your road humor Kreese only says of picking between the two that the Minstrel is likely to give Kithian more a taste of the city while the Nest will prove Kerrec's faith in civilization. The captain offers to ride you to the Pediment Building in the morning if you want to stash you prisoners in his stockade for the evening.
The captain idly inspects the official documentation and shakes his head at the description by Rullis, Well if your charge is truly repentant there may be hope for him, the Judges are usually good at discerning true contrition.
Looking to Cam the captain gets an almost absent look, Well I was confident it was a run in with a thief of some kind but your friends have made me realize it may been something far more sinister and unnatural. For now the threat has passed but I need to talk to my superiors about what is to be done.
Eager to put his men on the move so they don't get into a lull the captain sets his two other soldiers on a forward patrol to spot any poor road conditions. The rest of you are able to pack up and move and your prisoners prove to be compliant and even helpful.
Anything else before you hit Magnimar?
Rullis & Vidar:
Kreese, Captain Kreese. The man motion to himself as he lets go of Rullis' hand. Truth of it I wouldn't mind helping you along, something to put my mind on other things. My unit is dispatched from a holding not far from the courts where I am sure you mean to go so I can take you the whole way.
Vidar and Rullis:
The captain shakes his head in numb disbelief but seeing the earnestness of Vidar and Rulls he can only sigh and run his hands through his hair, No, only he was hurt. We had thought that the theives had turned on each other but perhaps the had been attacked and only one of them came back and...ate the other? Its a terrible thought.
The captain look back at his man and the gathered crowd. We should get my man back to the city and see him interred as his family wishes. I need to report to my superiors on this tragedy and assess next steps. I thank you for your aid and apologize for my accusation sir cleric. The captain offers his hand to Rullis.
Untrained Kno:Religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Though Vidar's knowledge is limited on the topic he knows enough to be sure he just saw an undead monster felled by the holy light of healing. Whatever did this man in passed on a cursed existence which, although unknowingly, Rullis has brought to a merciful end.
Out of game...interesting thought. In game it seems like Rullis is having a little bit of a meltdown... Heal says it should have worked. Rullis' religion brain is going blankety blank blank blank.
As Rullis frets over the man the captain shakes himself to follow Vidar's question. We set out to follow a pair of local bandits that had been harassing the roads nearby. We followed their trail for a day, maybe more, through brush and woods. We thought we lost them but on day three we picked up a trail and blood. When we came upon them a few hours later one of them was done in, seemingly by the other. The man had a madness to him and Gerold here, the captain gestures to the body on the ground, took to subdue him. Went well enough for the first day. Bound and gagged the crazy bloke rode ass up across the horses hindside. At some point though he got loose and took to Gerold in a savage way. Must have had a knife or something because you see the cuts. We woke to it in the early morning. Bandit ran off but we found Gerold here bleeding like he was. We did our best to bandage him and came back here. What happened to him, why did he scream like that when you were healing him? I see the symbols of Gozreh, I know you are a true cleric. Why is my man dead?
The guardsmen rush the wounded soldier over and place him on his back, Rullis rushes to his side and sees the man is caked in blood with many wounds that are hard to discern. Rullis channels the energy of his faith and uses it to heal.
The body shudders and the eyes of the man come open as he screams. His back arches and he lifts from the ground ever so much as the sound has an unearthly tinge to it as it crescendo's then fades. The man's bloodshot eyes roll into his head and he stops moving,settling back on the dirt.
There is a gasp from passer's by that had gathered on the edge of your camp and the guards look bewildered though the captain manages to offer a rasping whisper, What? What did you just do to him?
Even off the way a bit the comings and goings and raucous drinking and celebration continue well on into the night. No one intrudes on the camp and neither Orik or the wizard make any attempt to do anything than stay quiet and nearby. The morning comes fast enough though not without its own noise. A small crowd seems to be gathering as a patrol of Magnimar's own guards thunder to the inn, the lead rider (a captain it would appear) thunders out a cry for aid while two more riders escort a third guard slung over a horse, his body covered mostly by his cloak but the thick pooling of blood evident even at a distance.
Healer! A Healer damn you!
The gathered crowd of farmers and travelers all shrug, no one stepping forward to offer any aid.
There are 5 of them, moving at differing speeds (one is encumbered) heading to the trees. Bart and Fjori will overtake Quillin in a round or so. So who is doing what as you run towards the pirates? Mel are you following?
Meanwhile under the water Ajani casts his spell and a squid is summoned forth from the aether. Under direction of the druid it slinks forward obviously in an attempt to antagonize the grindylow. It'll take a round or two for it to get in range and be noticed, I need to know what the others are doing so we will need to play a little back and forth between the two groups...
Fishing ends up being out of the question as the coastal road has taken you further from the coast and you ride high on the craggy bluffs that mark the coast all the way to the city. Camping is another matter and you are not the only group to seek a spot to set up away from the noisy goings ons of the tavern/inn and its patrons. After a few minutes of scouting you find an easy clearing with good space that is far enough away from other caravans so as to not feel like you are sharing camp.
The raucousness of the inn only increase as day laborers and last minute travelers reach the inn as the sun sets. Without the notion of daylight to impede any notion of work the bar's volume increases and the rowdy behavior does as well. That said nothing gets too out of hand for too long, there are enough staff and regular to keep the tone civil.
Anything else for today?
It is the gangly youth who attends to Kerrec and he flushes a bright crimson at the extra coin, Yessir, sir! I mean indeed some news has come about from the city sir! Strange ruomours of a group of masked men, prowling the city on dark nights. Not theives or a gang per se but strange goings ons indeed! A butcher shop emptied including the slop buckets of draining and offal! Merchants here and there missing trinkets and finery but nothing too grand! Mostly things old and rotting, antiqes but too beat up for good profit. Of course the normal murmurings of more crime, more newcomers, not enough guards and the like.
The boy seems breathless to share more, From outside the city we have heard grand tales of a goblin hoard bested by a group of knights and wizards! Rangers and hunters report strange carcasses of beasts killed and rotting far too quickly! I've even heard the Sandpoint Horror was spotted south of the town! SOUTH! That never happens! I am sure there is more but let me fetch your food and drink sir!
A rickety sign noting "The North House" sways on rusting chains with the open and closing of the front door. As those of you who enter stepp up past the sunken stair that serves as doorstep, you are treated with the rush of classic tavern life; stale sweat, loud conversation, warm yeasty smells of bread and beer and the acrid tinge of cleaners, vomit, burned food and harsh spirits.
This is a partying tavern for people who've "earned" it. A wide swathe of weary travelers, mud caked farmers and merchants and a few "exotic" types pay no heed to any of you as you walk through the door. A trio of serving girls and one gangly boy no more than 13 swerve through the throngs of benches, tables, chairs and stools to dish out meals and drinks and clean up messes. A tall man, Garundi from his complexion, wipes up the bar, pours the drinks and distractedly yells at the kitchen behind him.
There is a dice game and a card game, each with a spot or two open. One of the long tables has spots for 3 or 4, though with some other people. A table for two and a line of stools on the far end of the bar sit unoccupied and ready.
Tales are swapped, stories told. A fight or two come close to starting and all in all its booze and people at its "finest".
Gather Info or Kno Local rolls if you like, let me know if there is anything special otherwise assume standard market rates for food and drink.
1. Re: the Horn. Testing shows it needs to be people you can "visualize" in your mind clearly. People you know well or, people you can see on the road, etc. Larger groups would probably require some test of concentration and starts to fall apart as more people get involved. You can also "blank" your mind to a certain extent and the horn just blows out loud.
As far as the sound it is a good shape and decent mouth piece so you have a decent variation of sounds just like a bugle or other brass instrument. You are not going to write an opera on it but you could certainly belt a tune or two.
The distance is pretty extreme, easily in the "more than a mile" category when blown out loud. The selective effect seems slightly more limited, fading somewhere near 3/4 of a mile or so.
2. In friendly conversation the merchants think that you might fetch upwards of 1500 if you could find someone with an eye for "art" in the realm of old artifacts and the like. Most of them think more than 250 would be absurd as it is obviously no "nicer" than any other ranseur of similar quality. This leads a few of them to shrug at each other about the willingness of collectors and the like.
The caravan passes by, eager to push their luck into the dark to make the trip that much faster. The night passes without further incident and the next day starts with sunshine and a decent, all be it cool, breeze.
As you continue to make your way on the road clearing begin to pop up here and there, marking the outlying farms and houses of the city of Magnimar.
At midday you come across a somewhat delapidated roadside tavern/inn, a bit of a crossroads for the farms and mines that criss-cross the landscape and funnel in on the northern road. Even at this time of day there is a sort of rowdy attitude to the various patrons. Nothing sinister just "salt of the earth" type rambunctiousness.
Cam can continue to play with the horn the next couple of days to establish its general limits. I'll let you know once you reach Magnimar which should be another three days or so.
The next day moves without incident save that as the group makes its evening camp, it sees a load of merchants, many of whom participate in the regular visits to Sandpoint, pass them by. The merchants are amenable for a quick chat and are willing to sell you things from their wares, having firmly established your reputation after your recent adventures.
Pretty much any standard good or item is available. They also have a fortunteller and an old "wizard" with them who have some minor skills and supplies if you want anything.
The horn is about a foot long and features a brass looking metal mouthpiece that has been afixed to the bony like shell of a horn that looks perhaps like a ram or some other similar sized creature?
As Cam brings the mouthpiece to his lips he continues to think of Kithian's mocking tone and blows the horn dutifully. In a strange way Kithian seems locked in Cam's mind as he blows. Stranger still only Camillo and Kithian hear the horn blow. To the rest of the group there is only silence.
Rullis can't get a god read on the horn but the necklace is a stone of protection, meant to guard the bearer against harm Amulet of protection +1
The rest of the night passes without incident, the forest alive as it should be but nothing intruding on your camp.
Anything else before you hit the next day