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Soulbound Doll (Bear)

GM Helaman's page

3,468 posts. Alias of Helaman.


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Its late morning when you leave - one of the villagers pushing a reed basket of cooked catfish into Jaru's hands just before he mounts up and your journey back to Lepidstadt is tiring but without incident or event. However you find Gustav Keppel waiting for you at the livery stables, fairly hopping from foot to foot.

Tha...than... thank Pharasma you are b... b... back! I n... need you to do an... an... another interview and quickly! First wh... wha... what did you find?


The man spits out some foul juice and then chews some more.

Caretaker? We's takin' care of our own - we's only goin' there when we've someone t' bury. An now? No one be goin' there. You be makin' some round ere nervous... Maybe y'all should just leave.


Grave robbers? Well gods darn! Nope - we's keeps to ourselves an' we's wantin' others t' leave us be - can't say we noticed any grave robbin'.


Lazne is about the same as you left him an hour or so ago and the small village such as it is has come to life with a few people, all dirty and grey complexioned as Lazne is himself sitting outside their huts or fishing, washing clothes in the water and the like. A few children move along the walkways between the huts.

Dint get et by 'gators then? Hows' th boneyard? We's doen us ut' no more.


I didn't think people were using the Wiki - good to see they are.


Nothing that Simeon can see gives him any further insights.


The 'face' has no magical residue.

In short order both boat and its attached bag is pulled ashore.

The sack is very large (big enough to hold a Medium-sized humanoid in fact) and has blood stains soaked into its fabric. The sack holds some rope, a gag, a rusted lantern, a trio of heavy knives, and a rusted shovel.


Jaru Toth wrote:
I'm not getting the set up. do we have to go into the water to untie the boat? Is the nest under the willow?

Elidal could re-enter the boat with you guys holding it so it doesn't drift away, cut the rope and then exit the boat with you pulling it up the shore... I am happy for this to work without momma gator attacking. I reward smart play and combat is always best avoided


Simeon Plavini wrote:

At Elidal's cry, Simeon hurries over to the camp. Puttering about his notes the coracle and the firepit, but lingers over the gory 'mask'.

"What purpose? Ceremony, psychosis? " he mutters as he gently pokes at the dead flesh with his dagger.

Looking up, he stands and takes the vial from Elidal, holding it up to the dim sunlight...

The gory relic has been prepared in some way, else it would have rotted away. The inside of the skin in not a flensed unprepared mess. It is clear that this was designed to be worn as a mask over someone elses features, though how they'd get the mouth and eyes to move is anyones guess.

The contents of the vial, when opened smell vaguely of carrots. It seems to be some sort of alchemical distillation rather than a potion.


The module as written had a damn manticore. I am not opposed to adding such a creature - it would have been an epic battle but it made little sense, even as written (there is some additional text), because Morast would have been attacked or seen the damn think even if it was a mile away (not that far in real terms)


You'd have to pull it up the bank and inland - the tree the boat is moored to, a swamp willow extends out into the water itself and pulling it around the bank would need to go past the nest.


Elidal knows that there is something on the end of that rope from the weight of it when she started to pull it up.

Off to the side Jaru can see a clutch of baby crocodiles near a wild overhanging tangle of tree branches lying on the bank and weeds. Jaru recognises the rough structure as a possible nesting site.


Will answer Simeons questions later


Off to the side, about 20 feet away from the water craft you can hear a wierd sort of 'cheeping' that ends in a gutteral watery sound.


The croc disappears back into the water after it's failed attack.


And that's when A reptile lunges out of the placid water with shocking speed. Its jaw gapes open in a roar, its powerful tail lashing behind.

It bursts from the water snapping at Elidal.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10 for 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14

It misses her.


While searching the southern end of the boneyard come upon the remains of an old camp. Around a small firepit are a waterskin (still half full of wine), the very much aged remnants of some trail rations, and a curious glass vial. The bottom of the vial contains the dried remains of a green substance that smells vaguely of carrots.

Elidal also finds a coracle, a small boat, hidden in the trees and brush along the southwest shore of the island - Dried blood can be noticed in the bottom of the boat. The coracle contains an oar, a moldy leather travel bag with a damp artisan’s outfit (a shirt, breeches, shoes, and a cloth apron) inside, and a vile object—what appears to be a detached human face.

In addition, a length of rope stretches from the boat into the waters below.


You don't think it would be undead exiting the grave, if anything it is someone who has dug up the grave and then refilled it if you were to draw on your experience as a guardsman in Carrion Hill, and the practice of grave robbing.


Nothing seems to be unusual in that respect Elidal.


Its clear that the disturbance is long ago but Elidal is confident it is not due to time or weather alone. Something has disturbed these graves.

No tracks are evident from the site but then again you haven't explored much.


Six graves in the boneyard that appear to have been tampered with, sagging into the ground as though they had collapsed from below, and leaving wide depressions in the muddy earth.

The fetishes are a local custom, each a crude depiction of the person that is buried. There are wooden markers with names afixed near the graves. There appears to be common names (no family names) in use here but that is expected in a small community.


I had some deep concerns about how the module wanted to execute things and the DC's required. While it took a few days more I am hoping that Nalun feels he got some good value from using his initiative (and his great roll) and that everyone had some fun with it.

The next part of the module is also undergoing some modifications because the module as written does not make a great deal of sense.


The boat is easily located and you make your journey through the swampy waterways until you come upon a low, wooded isle. You can see some 40 graves, each marked with a simple wooden fetish man, lie on the island. The old village boneyard lies about a mile north of Morast.

You are about to deboard the boat when there is a swish of water near you and you can see large lizard like creature swim by the end of the watercraft to disappear again into the murky water.


Lazne hawks and spits out a wad of foul smelling juice from whatever it is he is chewing.

Boneyard be strait thataway... take m' boat. Tis th' one wit a rag tied roun' th' fron' of't... tis the island straight on. None uses th' place nowt and nowt goes ther


Well BOY ya kin take yer friends an' yer city slickin furrener ways n' piss orf otta ere.

He spits to one side and stands.

We drove out th' Beast - doan think we can't do it agin.


Well sheeet - they's all lived an' died roun' 'ere. An none o' the'm read worth a good godsdarmed. Y'all wanna stop writ'en stuff righ' now ifn' y know whuts gud fer ya.


Hey! Whut you writin' doen stuff fer?

He looks a lot less accomodating.

We's don't hold with writin' stuff round these parts, spec'lly ifn' goan go to th' guvmit!


Lazne turns to and Simeon.

Theys weren't missin' now - beast just kilt' them - shook 'em like ragdolls an' that were that. They were ded. We buried 'em up at th' boneyard... as fer which shoulder, t'were a year ago but I'm asayin it were th' left un. Yer kin see their names up'n th' grave markers if'n yer go over t' th' boneyard.

He looks at Jaru.

Yer welcome t' look over th' boneyard priest but none said we 'ad to give yer a bed


Its a critter o' pure evil - no one sent it, save it be th' devils of hell

He motions that Nalun is to put the leaves in his mouth.

Be faster ifn' I wus to tell ya straigh' - I'm Lazne.

Lazne claims that at first the Beast only took lone villagers who were outside at night, but soon became bolder and began to attack houses. These attacks only ended when Lazne organized the villagers and set a trap for the Beast. He recalls that night well. The villagers were lying in wait for the Beast, who attacked just after nightfall. Armed with torches, the locals attacked and wounded the creature—a huge, hulking brute about 7 feet tall. The Beast took to the water, but the swampers gave chase in their boats, pursuing it to the village boneyard, where it was attacked by a blood caiman. Lazne grins as he recalls how the Beast yelled oaths and curses that even the worst whore in Lepidstadt would blush to say as the gator attacked it, and describes the deep bite wound the gator made on the Beast’s shoulder as it dragged the Beast under the water. Although the Beast’s blood tainted the villagers’ burial ground, forcing them to abandon it and build another, the swampers thought it a small price to pay for the thing’s death. Hearing that the Beast actually survived was all that Lazne needed to tell his story to the authorities, and he’s looking forward to seeing it burn.


Ya means t' tell me tha' if'n I guv ya th' word on tha' Beast yus will be 'avin' the guvmint leave us be? Hows' y'all gonna gonna make tha' work I's wonderin'.

Still... come on overs here. Want some chew?.

He extends a wooden bowl that is filled with some sort of strange weeds.


No... I LIKE it! Just need some time to roll with it


I asked to hold on rolls but Holy crap!!! I never thought of that option... let me sit on that for a day before I post


Yer spiken t' me arrn't ya? Th' Beast now is it? Godsdarn monster wus ere' 'bout year back, yessiree. So yer no' frim th' Govmint then? Yer still cityfolk an' furriners - what yer want t' know 'bout th' Beast fer? We be leavin fer the smoke in a day or two.


Hold off of Diplomacy rolls for now. Lets play this through - the module as written has some targets that I think hinder rather than help the story.


On reaching the town you can see Morast is a miserable collection of 20 or so wattle-and-daub hovels built on stilts above the swamp and connected by soggy wooden boardwalks.

A middle aged man sits on a creaking rocking chair chewing on something.

Y'all furriners? Wat y'all doin' ere? We be 'avin' nort t'do wit' taxes now, he says before spitting some sort of foul juice of the edge of his porch.


Jaru, for the moment cross off 250gp of funds

The Livery stable is active early in the evening when you arrive. The stable master seems skeptical about a night time ride but is able to procure you five horses that don't look like they are about to die but are far from being the race horses they may have been 10 years ago. The fee was set to be higher for danger rates but given that you were renting 5 horses, a very considerable sum in one transaction, the base rate was agreed to.

You set off into the dark night, horses moving at a steady walk and occassional canter - you'd not want to gallop unless your lives depended on it.

In the distance you can hear the mournful bay of a lone wolf that makes the horses skittish but nothing more troubles your journey. The horses need some rest around two in the morning and you stop for a cautious rest, noting that the terrain is changing and becoming marshy.

Simeon and Nalun remember now that Morast is on the edge of a swamp and its people (along with others of similar residence) are called 'Swampers' - they are an insular and clannish lot, having their own customs and mannerisms being isolated from much of Ustalav.

The horses rested but its riders weary you see houses, shacks more than anything else, on the edge of a swamp rise out of the early morning mist - the sun is well up but still with considerable time until noon.


Looks great - I appreciate the extra effort.


What, no riding through the Ustalav night?

One of my fondest memories is a persistent world for NWN computer game called "Prisoners of the mist" that was Ravenloft. Night time was the time the GMs flexed their creative muscle and also had night time auto spawns of all sorts of "fun" encounters.

If you guys are into persistent world play and have Neverwinter Nights I cant recommend it enough.


Simeon Plavini wrote:


Talk of overnight travel on horseback brings him free if his dark thoughts, "Ah no ! Horse bound travel, through the Ustalavian countryside...at night! " he cries rounding on the counsellor, "I hope that your office will be offering recompense for this serious imposition."

I ne... nev... never considered t...th... that but get a rec... reciept and I see wh... what I can do. I take it... you wa... wan... want to leave before first light th... then?


I..It... may be... use...useful for you to have h... h... horses otherwise you may n... n... not make it that quickly. You can find a l... l... livery stable near here. Deposit may be a b... b... bit steep b... but better to have st... ste... steeds than not

The advise isn't bad - horses will make the journey less demanding on you. Typical fee for an older horse is around 50 gold with most of it (90%) returned when the horse is. Better horses may cost you 75 gold or even 100 gold but they may require a more experienced rider.


You may have +2 HPs or 1 skill point.


I c...can... do that. Wh... when are you l... leav... leaving?


If you g... g...get moving now you can be there early morning, oth... oth... otherwise if you leave before first light, you'll be there early afternoon... we would need you to t... ta... talk to them before they get moving.


No one taking up my offer for a reward on a lengthy journal entry?


I... I... came to y... you... to ask you to travel to m... m... Morast next - I wa... want them... interviewed be... before... the trial and they... will travel soon to Lepidstadt


After some work with Kendra's butter knives (and a few broken knives) you are able to open it.

Unfortunately the heat of the fire was enough to char most of the papers beyond recognition. Perhaps a linguistics check? The papers are beyond any magic to restore.

DC 20 Linguistics check:
Your effort is enough to decipher the words “Vorkstag and Grine’s Chymic Works,” which appear multiple times in the documents.


grats all


The balding barrister stands in the room nervously.

Wh... What do you kn.. Kno... Know?


Delivered from a wagoneer who bought it from Ravengro - I ... Sort of told Jominda where I would be living. They sent it to me because they didn't know where else to send it.


As you are reading the letter there is a knock at the door which Kendra answers.

You can hear I... I... hope I have the right pl... pl... place.

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