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Soulbound Doll (Bear)

GM Helaman's page

1,433 posts. Alias of Helaman.


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Will wait on one or two others...


We'll say 5 minutes? Everyone needs about 5 minutes to get kitted up? Anyone rushing out sans equipment?


He makes a sign against evil.

Who are you?, he whispers.


My bad as well - work etc.

Looks seems to me some of you are enjoying being a badass. Thats cool. Act like a badass... but you guys have a job to do - find out whats happening in the commons and report.

I don't get the walk into the bar and give them the silent treatment thing is all. Agatha is pretty cool so and she's making her own fun.

I can just make it a series of rolling encounters too. I remember asking you if you wanted the social/plot experience.


The sarenites cluck their tongues in fear of the huge arachnid and continue to lead you through the tunnels.


The AoO drops the spider... ignore the hit/save.


Guys - far be it to rail road you too much but you may want to ask the guy for information on missing people etc. You are here to investigate.


Your sleep is... disturbed and your dreams are vaguely unsettling and dark.

These dreams evaporate when a distant repeated screaming pierces your consciousness. Awake now, you can hear the commotion of people. A noise that only gets louder... something is happening outside, and towards the river.


Just a reminder that the clues are being placed in one area in the Wiki on the Obsidian Portal site.

Items.


Simeons reading will take him past midnight...

He finds that he is able to skim the text looking for clues or mentions as to the Whispering Way.

He is able to identify these entries.

Ten Years Ago:

The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers. I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivation does not place me at ease as I thought it might. Their desire to be eternal simply makes them more dangerous. The Tyrant was not the founder of this sick and twisted order, but he was the most powerful of its number and is definitely considered the ideal of what their Way can accomplish.

Thank goodness that certain secrets are kept and certain people kept hidden – who knows how the Way would react if it were otherwise?

Seven Years Ago:

The WW seem to be both more and less of a threat than thought. They are growing in activity – It may be some sort of overall design or it could be shifting politics within their ranks. It seems to be distracting them from their usual harmful enterprises. What could be causing it and what can be leading up to it?

My trip to Last Wall was not wasted. They remain vigilant of Gallowspire. I know that I myself would never attempt a visit – simply too dangerous. One thing that fascinated me was the Ley Line array proceeding through Ustalav and Gallowspire. One theory is that the Whispering Tyrant chose the site for that reason. Another theory is that the lines have been harnessed to ensure his dormancy. The native Kellid used to center many of their religious sites on purported ley lines in their worship of their strange gods.

If it is the case that they have a connection to the strength of the Tyrants prision, I shudder to think what would happen if certain of these power nexus’ were to weaken or be disrupted.

Five Years Ago:
My first and hopefully last direct conflict with those madmen who favour undeath over life. Even fully prepared and with several trusted agents it was a hard won victory. That both Piotr and Midisielle have fallen saddens me greatly. We saw to it that they were given full rites and a proper farewell. I’ve arranged for a sum of money to go to Piotr’s wife and children – no replacement for a Husband and Father but used with care, will ensure that they live comfortably for many years. M never spoke of her family or homeland so the best I can do is bid her speed through The Bonelands to Pharasma’s throne.

I dared not record my investigations even in my journal earlier for fear that the agents of the Way may somehow know of my suspicions and plans… I must make a fuller account of that now that the crisis has passed. With all the events and terrors, it may make an interesting book.

I do not doubt that today’s events only ended a cell of the Way… the larger Cabal will be only inconvenienced I dare say.

“Retired”? – I haven’t worked harder in years. I will be certain to take a few months for myself, and for Kendra, whom I neglected in this time, for some sort of holiday. With this cell gone and their presence disrupted I feel more comforted for her safety and that of every person in the area.

The journal ends not long after that.

At length, his eyes heavy with fatigue, he is forced to retire to his bed or fall asleep at the desk.

The rest of you are tired as well, and one by one you head to bed or your couch as the case maybe.

To sleep, perchance to dream...


Jaru Toth wrote:


I think Simeon is bogarting the journal

LMAO


Ahhh ha! Well then, you've come to the right place - Old or young, we can get 'em for ya. We even got a few cribs in back so it don't ruin your drinkin' rhythm any - whats yer preference?


Hah


So who is reading the older diary? Anyone else having other actions?


Baradlon"Nighteyes" Vontarfonel wrote:

[dice=Knowledge (Religion)]1d20+6

Baradlon rises and goes up to the library when he hears Jaru and Simeon talking. His keen ears pick up their conversation on the way.

"So, it seems Petros intended us to find out something before we go to the prison where he died. This can't be the only library in town. Jaru, didn't you befriend the old priest? Perhaps you could ask him if the temple has any books or records. We might be able to discover more about this...Whispering Way and the prison and town itself."

That and it'll let our sour sage keep this library all to himself.

Both you and Jaru get what Simeon gets - consider it to have jogged memories etc. The Whispering Way isn't unheard off in Jaru's part of the world with Geb not all that far from Osirion


Nice work there Nighteyes!


Great stuff


I'll take your rolls - no idea you were lurking!

The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years. Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. The Whispering Way’s most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.

The Whispering Way itself is a series of philosophies that can only be transferred via whispers — the philosophies are never written or spoken of loudly, making the exact goals and nature of the secretive philosophy difficult for outsiders to learn much about.

For the record, when I say Skill X, OR Skill Y, you only get one bite at the apple. Choose your best skill and roll. In this case it makes no difference as you used your re-roll

Its going to take time to get to grips with this library and its going to take time to read this older diary... you may need some help


Knowledge Checks - Knowledge (arcana) OR Knowledge (religion) - removed rolls as Simeon has posted


We've had a slow week - in the interests of speeding things up a little I post the following

On examination the book seems to be an old diary... it starts roughly 10 years ago and a page is marked with a book mark.

It reads, The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers. I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivation does not place me at ease as I thought it might. Their desire to be eternal simply makes them more dangerous. The Tyrant was not the founder of this sick and twisted order, but he was the most powerful of its number and is definitely considered the ideal of what their Way can accomplish.

Thank goodness that certain secrets are kept and certain people kept hidden – who knows how the Way would react if it were otherwise?

You'd have to scan and read through it for more.


I've always played tremor sense as no penalty to melee but applied full penalties to missile. You raise an interesting point on the flat footed vs. attacks. I'll retro Azoths hit and Takahiros crit conversion


Round 2 - back to you. Azoth still has his AoO.


Conversion doesn't work though your hit is solid


Azoths hit bounces of its armored chitin.

The creature bunches up under the attacks, backing away (go for your AoOs) then lashes out.

1 Takahiro, 2 Azoth
1d2 ⇒ 2

It attacks the sea reaver with a vicious bite.

1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
2d6 + 12 ⇒ (4, 5) + 12 = 21 + DC 21 save.


Whether or not Simeon grudgingly accepts the priests presence I will leave up to you both

The library, for such a modest town, and for a single mans use, is very impressive. It has books, scrolls and manuscripts stuffed into shelves in a seemingly chaotic system that you can only hope its owner understood. The room has the smell of dry mustiness prized by bibliophiles everywhere.

Four large book shelves occupy the center of the room with more shelves on the walls at various heights. It would take a skilled librarian days just to sort it by topic or by author... it will take hours to find things as it is but as one works with the library the effort needed to find something should improve in time.

The exception to this scholarly disaster site is the credenza. It is neat and orderly, as if it has been cleared by its owner. An ink pot and a number of prepared quills stand in regimented order, as does a stick of sealing wax and a jar of fine sand. A battered book sits to one side, without any indication on its spine or cover as to its purpose.

The key a that would open the desk still sits in the lock where Kendra presumably just placed it. You can assume the same key would open the top draw as well.


Letter is up on the Obsidian Portal site.

Your first marker is with the Sheriff and the council. Is this a game thing in the module? No. But I think its a nice thing to give you guys and is a non treasure reward.


I'll lock my door when I go back to sleep but for now? I'll sit here in the room with you and start my reading. You are free to go upstairs

She pours herself a generous serving of wine, the last of the wine from the wake, and settles in front of the fire. She turns to the first page and begins reading silently.


Ok... "Markers"

I'm going to give you Markers from time to time. This represents a ONE OFF circumstance bonus with a particular NPC or group. Its a bonus for RP or building relationships.


Will be in a world of crap for the next 24 hours. Posting will be sporadic


No worries and the game slowing down isn't a bad thing


Things haven't moved here much. I will be in a world of crap at work for the next 24 hours. Posting will be sporadic for the next day or so. Not sure if this game is dead or not


Spider Save 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

The samurai rushes forward and attacks it. His attacks cut deep into its foreleg and as well as carrying into its body proper.

Azoth is up.

I will be in a world of crap at work for the next 24 hours. Posting will be sporadic for the next day or so

Map is updated.


Eris the Drunkard wrote:

"Arghhh! Spider! Giant spider!" Eris moves his hands in complex motions, pointing in the direction of the giant arachnid.

Remember that everyone has haste that should last for 6 more rounds. Also Eris casts glitterdust on the spider; she has to make a DC 18 Will save or be blinded.

I've moved you a little closer for that just to give you a clear Line of sight.


It sounds like the stables...

The howler tracks lead to the stable by way of the shattered wagon—its surface is marred by rents from the beast’s savage claws.

On the stable’s outer eastern wall, a narrow staircase rises toward three doors, likely to rooms rather than a hay loft entry.

Map is up... let me know how you are approaching, if you are going upstairs first or into the stable proper. I will be in a world of crap at work for the next 24 hours. Posting will be sporadic for the next day or so


She reaches into her dressing gown and comes out with a key.

Father has a fair sized library on the 2nd floor. Here is its key. You would be able to start some reading now and look through it for other papers.


Kendra comes down holding a letter and clutches a book to her chest. She is not crying but tear marks are fresh on her face.

I decided to open his credenza as well... and found this.

She extends a letter to you, sealed with a blob of wax. It has been opened.

On its outside it is written 'To my friends'.

5th of Calistril, 4714
My Friends,

If you are reading this, I am probably dead and I fear my call for your aid was sent too late. I would vastly prefer to be better prepared to face my foes than I am as I write this letter. It would take too long to explain here – please read my journal to understand what you are facing here.

Whatever you do, do not treat Harrowstone lightly; its remaining denizens do not take kindly to being disturbed. My first foray into that benighted place very nearly met with disaster.

I give you the same advice I always have: knowing your enemy is the key to his defeat. Learn as much as you can about my ‘opponents’, and Harrowstone, before you try to tackle any exploration. I have not had the time to do so, and look where it got me.

I know you will all do well. Stop them. The challenge falls on your shoulders now. I would have loved to lay it all out clear for you but time, as always, moves too swiftly and only allows for regret that more could not have been done with the time spent. I’ve left you enough to find the same answers I did.
—Petros

P.S.: Kendra, if you are reading this, I am so sorry that these words are the last you’ll ever hear from me. I don’t mean to leave you alone. I hope you can forgive me.
—Your Loving Father

Kendra clutches the book even tighter to her chest.

I want a day with my Fathers diary. I want to read it to understand more about him. Tomorrow morning, tomorrow morning I will give it to you.


The Dance

Spoiler:
The Deputy dances with you. One dance turns to another and after that he offers to show you around town by moonlight. He nods pleasantly at the refusal. There will be other nights


Some little time to RP among yourselves, discuss the events of the day etc, Share any bits and pieces you have found or talk about theories. Will move it along in the next 12 hours.


'Intimacy' and the RPG.

Its not uncommon at events like this in the 'old days' to find oneself a bit of rumpy pumpy - back in the day this and other similar events are the premier opportunities for farmers to all be in one place. It allows for 'social' opportunities not normally available. More than one couple will be hooking up tonight. In a pre-TV society there isn't a lot of night time entertainment and people need to make their own fun.

Taking the spotlight off the Faire, don't be afraid of pursuing romantic interests, even if its for the purposes of 'hit it and quit it'. I wont go into a lot of fine details and won't insist (or even suggest) that you do either. Some NPCs will be easy, some will need some woo-ing and some will be unassailable (though half of those may lead you on a merry dance first), but the chase can be fun if you are into that sort of thing.

I am about to wrap up 'The Dragons Demand' and had enormous fun playing an in the background campaign to get friendly with the local farm girls in between being an adventurer.

If its not something that interests you? That's cool too. Adventurers are a solitary lot who lead very very messed up lives.


I'm going to shuffle this on some. Elidal can handle her encounter via retro post. If Eidal wants to 'go see the sights' with the good looking deputy let me know - we'll fade to black for that and you can join the group... or not... later

The dance wraps up and springs waning gibbous moon slides towards its zenith, though it will be some few hours before it reaches it. People start to either head home, to homes of their friends or to sheepskins and bedrolls in the tented pavilions around town. A few people stay drinking around burning braziers set up in the square but even they look like they won't be there that long. The weather is cold and crisp but with the promise of warmer days ahead.

Its a good opportunity for you to head home yourselves.

Vigilance has the fire stoked and appears to have dined himself as no one bought him a plate. The remains of what looks like a meal of some bacon, bread and cheese sits on the table.

Not long after your arrival Kendra stirs.

You can hear her moving around her room and after a few minutes she makes an appearance. She's washed her face and hands but she looks pale and drawn.

I... I'm sorry my friends. It was all too much for me. I think I am better now. She thinks for a bit then says I remember you needed me to get you something of Fathers? Let me get you the key to his study.

She heads back to her room and then upstairs for a bit.


Okay. All act. The spider is aware of you and you of it so initiative applies.

Rikas 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Eris (the amazing fast) 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
Takahiro 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Azoth 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

Then the spider... consider the bottom edge of the map to be a wall.

You guys are up.


Jaru Toth wrote:

Jaru refolds the letter and places it on the table with the pouch feeling a bit guilty for the trespass. He steps out of the room to find Vigilance.

"How has she been? Did she have any visitors?"

Local apothecary. Jominda Fallenbridge. Female Human. Age, mid twenties. Stains on hands indicate that she operates her own business. New dress - materials somewhat expensive. Worth looking into later, is his reply.


Elidal Zemiel wrote:

As the evening wears on and the dancing starts, Elidal spends a few minutes watching from the sidelines and tapping her feet in time to the music.

Everyone seems happy enough...it's almost as if all of the strange things that have happened have been forgotten, at least for tonight. We'd better enjoy it while we can, because it'll be back to life as usual for everyone by tomorrow.

With that thought in mind, Elidal joins the rest of the dancers at the start of the next song. She doesn't approach anyone nor does she seem to expect anyone to approach her; she seems content to dance alone.

[dice=Perform (Dance)]1d20 + 1

Grinning bashfully Trestleblade the deputy starts dancing with you to the cheers of the surrounding villages. He seems quite skilled on his feet and you notice for the first time that he is handsome in a rustic sort of way. He doesn't seem to be mocking you or even making some sort of sleazy approach - it seems to be a genuine attempt to engage you in a dance.


My bad - let me fix.Wasnt intentionally done that way


The trick goes down well with the kids.

The dance goes on. The villagers drink well from 3 large tuns of ale that were specially brewed for the event. They get boisterous and there is some good natured shouting and rough housing but nothing more than that - especially given the deputies are rapid in getting to any potential flashpoints with aid from Nighteyes.


Which will it be? Stables or front doors?


Ok... combat map up. Apologies on delay. Another round of beasting at work this week. Lets go to initiative after Eris gets in his non combat action... our beastie thinks its waited long enough

Takahiro 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Rikas 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Eris (the amazing fast) 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
Azoth 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

Spider 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12

Note this is one of my custom knockups that I used for my last run of PbP for this game. Not sure if its 100% Kosher but it fits the bill

So we are clear... EVERYONE waits for Eris to post his pre combat move then we go into init.


Nah - until we roll initiative I'm cool with you making a rapid update. Depending on what you do, that wont be too far off.


Unlike the Judges who are the focus of some attention and who are expected to to focus on the event itself Jaru is free to move on once the dancing starts.

He is met by Vigilance.

She sleeps, is the extent of his communication.

Quietly moving into her room Jaru can see she is in a state of deep and drugged sleep... likely administered by the tiniture of Valerian, red clover, Skullcap and essence of poppy, a small vial - so marked, sits two thirds full on the bedside table.

On the floor you can see a letter. Something that has likely fallen off the table. Under its edge there is also a fine kidskin leather purse with a small sum of coins within given its weight.

The letter reads,

Dearest Kendra

Allow me to present to you my warmest regards and deepest regrets upon the death of your father. Petros was a man of great insight, with a keen and enquiring mind. It was perhaps inevitable that it would be his curiosity that brought him low, for his questing ways led him to dark places, and what he lacked in prudence he more than compensated for in courage. Regardless, I shall remember him fondly as one who was almost a peer; as a man of intelligence, tempered but lightly by good sense.

My thoughts are with you, my dear. I trust the path you choose to tread in life shall be a safer one than that of your late father – indeed, I would insist upon it.

I may, from time to time, check on your well being and general welfare. Please suffer this intrusion as payment of a debt that this tragic circumstance has imposed upon me. If there is anything that I can do for you, you have only to ask and it shall be done.

With the greatest of respect,

Adivion Adrissant

It is sealed with what looks like his personal seal.

Updating the website wiki with the letter listed under 'Items'


Jaru - Diplomacy +9 with aids / Aid - Elidal + RP Bonus 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 9 + 2 = 26
Lament - Perform + 9 with aids / Aid Jaru 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Baradlon - Perception + 6 with aids 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Simeon - Profession: Lecturer + 5 + RP Bonus 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 5 + 2 = 11, Simeon also keeps a weather eye out for trouble afterwards, reporting in to Nighteyes
Elidal - Bluff + 5 with aid & synergy + RP bonus / Aid Lament 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 5 + 2 = 13

I hope for more with the RP thing - sort of what Jaru attempted but anything more than a sentence or two I've thrown a +2 to for this round.

3 successes - The event rights itself with your assistance. You get some credit for your role as judges in getting the event back on track. There is gossiping on the days events but it's more harmless speculation than a result of superstitious fear.

In short order you get the event moving again. Elidal and Father Toth extol the food, and Laments encouragement of their underlying message does much. Shortly the towns musicians join Lament, and then Elidal drags the villagers into a ragged sing along that picks up strength. In the background Simeon drones on about the festivals of Ustalav over the last few centuries. He draws some audience, generally the 'oldsters', who nod along to some of his points. Nighteyes wanders the crowds identifying the overly nervous or the overly troublesome, also assisted by Simeon when he finishes his lecture.

Before you know it night has fallen and the Ox (and left overs) are served before the evening turns into a dance. Couples pair off and the throng of dancers move to form and reform, twisting and rotating, jumping and crying out with joy.

The Sheriff gives each of you an approving nod at one point in the evening, though you can see him and his deputies keeping an eye on proceedings.

Let me know if you want to do anything in the dance/at the Faire etc

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