Oops, ninjaed by Valik!
Valik Roffeson wrote:
Felliped, when the Father is done with you, I need to talk to you.
Father Zastoran shakes his head, "No, no, Valik, you are injured too! Just lie down and rest, no talking now, and Father Zastoran will take care of you! There's plenty of time for all that later!"
The rest can be said/done as the two of you are on the way to Almah. Valik and I both rolled for the healing from the same infusion; go ahead and take the higher roll, putting you at 11.
Father Zastoran, an aged man wearing the Eye of Nethys on a chain around his neck, is speaking to Garavel as the two make their way in. "... by a bird, you say? That is most incredible, Garavel, the young man is lucky to be--" He stops short when he sees Felliped. "Ah! You're standing, even... But just barely, I see! Help him to my wagon, the laboratory is still too messy. Er... No, Elois is still there... Ah, well, just help him here, into the shade. Someone fetch some blankets and pillows. Valik, do you--" He looks around for Valik as he is guiding the mercenaries, still supporting Felliped from either side, to the western archway. "Oh! You're hurt too! Those are nasty cuts! Do you still have my infusions?" He gestures for Valik to come lie down in the shade too, pulls out his doctor's bag, and begins to treat the wounds of both men.
infusion on Felliped: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Zastoran shoos away all the others as he applies the two remaining infusions to the injured men, and then proceeds to bandage their wounds with healing salve. Valik +9 hp, 11/21; Felliped +10 hp, 12/17 After about an hour, they are both feeling somewhat better, and Father Zastoran allows them to get up. "I imagine the Ameera and Garavel will be wanting to talk to you, young Felliped. Why don't you show him to her room, Valik? I'll be down in the laboratory, cleaning up that mold." He sends the two off with a friendly smile.
Father Zastoran sits in awe-struck silence throughout Elois's performance. When it is over, he gets up as quickly as his old legs will allow, and rushes to the fortune teller. "Elois, Elois! It's alright! Why don't you come with me; here, lean on my staff. That's right, there you go. I'll take you to my wagon, and you can lie down for a bit. No, no, don't argue, doctor's orders, you know!" He guides Elois away, the fortune-teller meekly going along. As they leave, Zastoran shoots Valik a meaningful look, but what it means isn't immediately clear.
After a few minutes, he finds Valik again, and says, "Well, Elois is resting now. I must say, Valik my lad, if I had known it would be like that, I wouldn't have suggested you take the sword to him. I've seen his fortune-telling before. That stuff at the beginning was it: figure in the mist, and all that. It sounds meaningful when he says it, but when you think about it afterwards, there's not much really in it. I'm not saying Elois is a... a charlatan, or anything like that. He believes it as much as anyone, and I suppose it gives comfort to some. But this today, it was different. He wasn't in control, and he was scared. I'd say that might have been our Elois's first true vision. And you say you've been having them too, and never before? I think you'll agree, that seems like too much to be a coincidence. Your Lady Sarenrae may be taking a personal interest in our mission here, though I can't imagine we're doing anything that important. Or, and this is what's troubling, maybe the visions are coming from somewhere else." The old priest chuckles. "Well, there I go, getting all dramatic. The gods will do as they will, and it's rare that we can understand their plans. The priesthood of Nethys understands that better than any; our god is mad, after all! Well, I'll leave you to your birdwatching. I'm going to go work on scrubbing out that laboratory."
Father Zastoran is much more emotionally affected by the news. "Oh! Oh my! Attached to your hand? Are you alright, lad?" He sets down his end of the crate and makes his way gingerly over to Valik. He looks over the hand in question. "Well, there seems to be no ill effect..." He looks thoughtful. "You know, he's not really a magic user per se, any more than I am, which is why I didn't mention him before, but you might ask Elois about this. Perhaps he can do some sort of... reading, with the crystal ball?"
Father Zastoran smiles with pride, "Well, I'm only glad you were able to make use of them. Unfortunately they aren't true magical potions, which endure indefinitely. They are alchemical extracts, quite as effective as potions when fresh, but the effect fades quickly. We do have a stock of true potions in our expedition supplies: two types of healing potion, one of them about the same as my healing infusion... Though, really, I think the infusion is a bit better, as long as you take it fresh. It tastes better, too..." He shakes his head a little, focusing back on the matter at hand. "Now, what was I saying? Oh, yes, potions. I also have stronger healing potions, potions to mitigate the effects of poison, restorative elixirs, and some holy water. (Cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, delay poison and lesser restoration.) Unfortunately, as Garavel says, the Pactmasters do require very thorough accounting,so I have to sell them to you at market price, which for magic potions can be pretty expensive. They're not easy to brew, you know."
The old man shakes his head when Valik asks about item identification. "No, no I don't believe any of us have that sort of magical knack. Perhaps we'll be able to attract some wizards once the town is resettled. I'd be happy to safeguard your valuables while you're away from the monastery though." He bobs his head affably.
The old priest blushes. "Oh my. This happens all the time! I'm afraid I have to admit that I don't know that much about enchanted items either. Magic is a truly fascinating branch of study, but I've never had any real aptitude for it. Now, if you had any potions, I'm sure I could analyze those for you..." He trails off with an apologetic half-smile. "Oh, that reminds me. If you still have any of those infusions I sent with you yesterday, they've probably gone off by now. If you give me back the vials, I'll wash them out and decant you some fresh ones. Waste not, want not, I always say!"
There is a moment of silence, then Father Zastoran speaks up hesitatingly. "Ameera, I am not a warrior, and I don't know about all this talk of tactics and battle. I do believe I have heard of this shrine, though. If I'm not mistaken, it is very old, much older than Kelmarane or this monastery, and dedicated to Nethys. I'm sure there's not much standing anymore, but I would be very interested to learn more about it."
Father Zastoran, silent until now, speaks, "If I may, Ameera, I would like to take charge of the laboratory downstairs. It seems really quite a fascinating facility, especially for a church of Sarenrae. One of the monks must have been quite a student of the alchemical arts. I'm sure I can clear away the mold with a good scrubbing and some chemicals I can whip up, and it would be a fine place for me to prepare my infusions and tend to those who are still wounded."
Father Zastoran accompanies Valik to the hospital pavilion. The sides have been rolled down to shield the patients from the low morning sun, and it takes a moment for Valik's eyes to adjust to the darkness. When they do, he sees that two of the cots remain occupied; one holds the injured mercenary, Utarchus, and the other, Elois.
"Elois," the priest calls quietly, "Elois, Valik is here to see you."
Father Zastoran nods and strokes his beard. "That was well said, Valik, like a true servant of the Dawnflower. But I follow Nethys, and I think all things, like the All-Seeing Eye, have two sides. I freely admit he knows the desert well, and so far he has kept us safe from gnoll attack; but there may be more to Dashki's story than we know, and it remains to be seen whether he is truly deserves our trust. That he was innocent of one crime does not prove he is, or will be, innocent of all others." He shrugs. "Only time can tell."
"Ah, but Valik, I have other news for you as well. Elois is awake, in the hospital tent, and he has asked to look on the face of his rescuer, and thank you in person."
As Valik and Dross are sitting down to eat, Father Zastoran steps out of his wagon. "Oh, good, you're up! Here, I've made some healing infusions for you, I think they'll help you feel much better!" He walks over to the campfire, leaning heavily on his staff, and hands them each a small cup full of a thick, sweet-smelling yellow liquid. "Drink it all down now!"
Dross CLW infusion 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
"There, now how are you feeling today?"
Father Zastoran acknowledges Valik with a nod, and speaks quietly, "Ah, Valik, I am glad to see you my boy. Garavel is awake, and has been asking for news. I have told him about the fire, and his fellow patients, but I think perhaps you know more. Please, talk to him, but don't get him too upset. His condition in improving, but he is not yet fully healed, and too much excitement could be harmful. I will go to my cabin to tend to my infusions, so that you two can talk privately if need be. If anything changes with Garavel or the other patients, please come for me at once." He gives a polite bow and heads to the nearest wagon.
"Well, I assume he keeps any possessions in his tent over there--" The old man starts to turn, presumably to point out the tent in question, but he stops and squints in the twilight at one of the nearby wagons. "Hello? Is someone there?" He lowers his voice to speak only to the investigators. "I swear I just saw someone duck behind that wagon there." He cranes his neck to get a better look, then calls out one more time, "Hello...?"
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
No worries, Valik, I'm just happy to have not lost the only real PC. ;-)
The old man appears taken aback by Dullen's swift adoption of his theory. "Well, I... I don't mean to accuse him, effendi, for I have no evidence against him. It was just the idle speculation of an old man..." He trails off, wringing his hands, then clears his throat and continues, more firmly. "Is there... anything else you need me for, or can I return to my patients now?"
"Guide? Oh, you mean that Dashki, of course. He's supposedly an Gnoll expert. He certainly seems to have enough in common with the dog-men. Lanky fellow, and ill-mannered if you ask me. Twitchy. Lady Almah hired him back in Solku to act as an interpreter and advisor if she had to deal with the local gnolls. It seems like the more advice he gives, though, the less inclined she is to even consider diplomacy as an option. He's got some horror stories, that one does." The old man looks around nervously, and continues in a conspiratorial manner,"But the most unsettling thing about him is the way he obsesses over the Ameera! No one with healthy desires skulks around a pretty woman the way he does. Almah was close with Elois -- not in an unseemly manner, mind you -- but Dashki just might have gotten it in his flea-bitten head to be jealous. There's no telling what a scoundrel like him might do!"
The old man shows a face of surprise. "Why, uh, certainly, sahib. I'm not sure how much help I'll be, but the patients can spare me for a while." He gets to his feet, leaning on a cane and following Valik and the others slowly over to the remains of the burned wagon.
The wagon has been reduced mostly to charcoal and ashes, though some larger pieces of the floor and wheels are still intact.
Searching through the ashes:
You find a few broken bottles and vials, a cracked crystal ball, the melted remains of quite a few candles, and some scattered gold dinars. Scorched fragments of a deck of cards are scattered around the whole area.
Perception DC 20:
There are no signs of a struggle or violence.
Knowledge(arcana or religion) DC 12:
The cards are the remains of a Harrow deck, a traditional divinatory focus for Varisian fortune-tellers.
Zastoran nudges a cracked and blackened crystal ball lying in the ashes with his cane. "You know, I always thought that Elois was a charlatan, myself. Not a whif of real magic about him. All his talk of doom was just fabricated to frighten the Ameera. She's under a lot of stress, you know. But the more she worried, the more she turned to him. It would have been better if Garavel were here these past days. He's such a calming influence on her. Not that I'd wish any harm on Elois, mind you! You did a good thing, pulling him from the fire, young man, and we're all grateful for it, I assure you."
By the time Valik and Dross arrive back at the camp with Garavel, a large pavilion has been erected, with a carpet covering the dusty ground beneath it, and pallets laid out for the injured. Zastoran is mixing up infusions, more calmly now that his patients are out of immediate danger. He directs Valik and Dross to place Garavel on an empty pallet, and decants a liquid from his apparatus as they do so.
"Well, after this one, I won't be able to brew any more until tomorrow. I need to set up a distillation overnight. Let's see if it's enough to bring him around..." He carefully pours the liquid into Garavel's mouth. The man's breathing eases, but he does not awaken. Zastoran sighs. "Ah well, I'll be able to fix them all up tomorrow."
Assume this happens before Almah's speech.
"Many thanks, Sahib... I hope it is not too late for her."
Valik attempts to care for the injured woman, but he is unable to tell whether his efforts are in vain. In less than a minute, the older man hastily decants a yellow liquid from his apparatus into a vial, and gently pours it into the woman's throat. Both men hold their breath for a moment, but there seems to be no effect.
"Ah... Well," the old man's shoulders slump, and a tear runs down the old man's cheek. "We tried our best, didn't we? She was just too badly burned, I guess. I... at least I managed to save Utarchus there." He gestures to the other figure on the ground near him, also badly burned and unconscious, but clearly breathing. He looks around the camp forlornly, but then notices Almah kneeling at the side of Elois. "Oh! Someone got Elois out!" He attempts to stand and winces as his old joints creak. "I say, young Sahib, could you help an old man up?"
The old man, still working at his alchemicy kit, pauses while a pale green liquid inside a retort boils gently, dripping into another vessel. He examines his patient, while keeping a practiced eye on the retort. He stutters out, "She... She's fading fast!" He looks up at the bucket brigade, "Can anyone help her?"
The old man looks up briefly from his work at the guard's words, his face pale. "But my chemicals are in there! They'll explode!" He looks desperately up at the wagon, then back at the injured form on the ground beside him, as if trying to come to a decision. Steeling his face, he resumes his complex mixing. "Don't let it catch!"
The old man moves from one of the two still figures lying on the ground to the other. He has a small charcoal burner set up next to him, and he is hurriedly pouring strangely colored liquids into a tiny, complex glass apparatus set on top of it. "Hang in there, lass," he murmurs to his unconscious patient. He wiping his sweaty brow and blows a sigh through pursed lips. "These things take time..."