A Very LGBT Crypt of the Everflame Campaign

Game Master Dragoncat

A campaign for the ladies, gentlemen & enby folk of Paizo's LGBT Gamer Community Thread!

Moonday, 15th of Neth, 4700 AR

Kassen Town Map

Map of the Temple of Razmir


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The township of Kassen sits in the northern reaches of the Southern Fangwood, a deep, uncharted forest in the heart of the country of Nirmanthas. This small town is home to many races and peoples, despite—or perhaps, because of—its isolation; it was established by the tiefling warrior-priest of Erastil, Ekat Kassen, as ‘a home for those without one to call their own’. For some, it’s a place to call home with pride—for others, it’s another stop on a journey elsewhere.

The town has a particular festival that it celebrates every four years: one which involves a group of interested youths and travellers venturing out of Kassen on a journey to an elaborate crypt to the south of town. It’s considered a rite of passage for many—a chance to have a taste of the adventuring life of Kassen himself before settling down and building new lives for themselves. The return of these youths is a cause for celebration for the whole town as they mark the last great harvest of the year before the first weeks of winter.

In this little town, five stories are converging. Five brave souls, touched by destiny & fortune, that have found themselves in Kassen for their own reasons. Some have lived here all their lives—and others are only recent arrivals.

Life in Kassen is about to change…

Moonday, 1st of Neth, 4700 AR

The sun shines down on the sleepy little town, and a calm breeze drifts over the currents of the Tourandel River. The town square is busy today: the news on most people’s lips is that the Festival of the Everflame is coming in three days’ time. A pair of young half-orc men boast that they’re bound to be chosen for the journey to the crypt on one street corner, and that one of them will finally catch the eye of the dashing, charming town detective. On another, a young woman with skin of gravel and hair of quartz smiles a toothy, wistful grin as she daydreams about seeing the world outside Kassen for the first time. A pair of foxwife bakers titter and whisper sweet nothings in each others’ ears, wondering if their little girl will be asked to venture into the wilds for a chance at adventure.

Others gossip about the newest arrivals in town, and a colourful bunch they are indeed. A woman touched by the elements themselves, having only been in town for a week but already causing a stir with her worldly demeanour, her devotion to Calistria and her appetite for beautiful women; a man built like a mountain, who bore talents for swordplay and for manipulating the very earth around him as though it were made of clay; and a small kobold whose green scales shone like the morning sun itself, bearing the strange gift of magic.

Perhaps they will be the ones to journey to the crypt…

Vixie:
Today starts like any other day—get out of bed, get dressed, have a little breakfast (albeit one that’s little by halfling standards). You hear the sound of Kasumi, one of your guardians, humming a merry little tune as the smell of baking cookies fills the home. The scent does much to spur your appetite, but not quite enough to distract you (for once) from your thoughts—the Festival of the Everflame is coming up soon… and you might get picked! Watch Captain Gregor would have to accept you into his ranks after that!

Bertrand:
The Seven Silvers Inn is busy this morning, and it’s quite easy to tell who the true out-of-towners are: they’re the ones who can’t help but gawk at the many exotic-looking peoples going about their lives. Your mentor, Jocyn, is sitting at the inn’s stage, playing a jaunty tune with a smile on his tanned face. He finishes with a flourish, running a hand through his curly black hair to the applause of the crowd. The word on everyone’s lips is how the Festival of the Everflame is coming up soon. If you get picked, conquering the crypt might be a nice challenge for your deductive talents.

Khalaban:
Today, Olmira has summoned you to her grove in the farmlands to the west of town, claiming that matters of great importance weigh on her mind. The note you received from the robin who dropped it in your lap read as such, anyway. Her grove isn’t too far away—you might still be able to catch the breakfast menu at the Seven Silvers by the time you get back.

Is she worried about this ‘Festival of the Everflame’? It’s what everyone seems to be talking about these days…

Adriana:
You manage to extricate yourself from the arms of your comely, doe-eyed bedmate and start slipping into your clothes and gear for the day. Talia Tirson, the once-virginal waif of the Tirson family of woodcutters, hasn’t woken up yet, still languidly snoring away as you rise. Father Prasst would undoubtedly grind his teeth at the thought of you ‘despoiling’ such a maiden; the thought tickles you. Still, taking part in this ‘Festival of the Everflame’ would be a good distraction—and perhaps, a chance for cooler heads to settle the wound-up priest down.

Maxilla:
Your time spent in the Vargidan snarl has been remarkably enlightening! The gift of magic was so rare in your old tribe, but here it’s practically mundane. Hope has given you some lessons in how to channel your gift properly—no more accidentally opening doors in people’s faces or blinding them with sudden bursts of light for you. The servants of the Vargidan family have been very appreciative of your efforts to earn your keep here—the snarl goes through lots of these strange, oversized delicate disks they call ‘dishes’, and keeping them scrupulously clean has been no small task.

The children are all curious about who will volunteer to participate in this ceremony they call the ‘Festival of the Everflame’. Is it like a dragon’s flame?


Male Human Bard (Detective) 3 | HP 22/22 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +5 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Perc +9 | Init +2

Bertrand mingles jovially with the tavern patrons, trading stories and gossip. He's particularly interested in hearing what people have to say about the upcoming Festival. I don't typically enjoy the company of dead folk, he thinks to himself, but it would be a most bracing diversion!

If a Gather Info roll is relevant: Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11


Bertrand

Mingling with the tavern patrons doesn't prove to be very productive. What you're able to glean from the exciteable youths is that the journey to the crypt itself must be truly dangerous, plagued by the long shadows of the forest and creepy beasts. Some of the wilder stories claim that some people have even died on the journey--a claim that you know to be exaggerated: there've been injuries, certainly, but never a death.


Female Halfling Phalanx Soldier (3) | HP 27/31 | AC 25, T 13, FF 23 | Fort +6, Ref +4, Will -1 | CMB +5, CMD 18 | Perc -2 | Init +4

Vixie takes some time to return to her room after her breakfast, slipping into her daily wear-- a warm brown tunic with a well-worn apron, bearing jam stains in a variety of colors and flour that at this point is just part of the fabric.

As excited as she is about the upcoming festival, she still has a job to do. A plate of baked goods is set aside at the front counter of the storefront (which, naturally, doubles as their home). Vixie dumps the plate's contents into a large pouch built into her apron, grabs the day's list, and sets about making her deliveries-- stopping for longer than usual to chat with each of her customers about the upcoming festival.

Diplomacy to Gather Info: 1d20 ⇒ 16

She giggles a bit as she slips an extra treat into the pouch hung up outside Adriana's door. Most customers greeted her at the door, or at least responded to the knock and asked her to leave it on the windowsill; Vixie had long-since learned not to even knock for Adriana, who often rise until the sun was at its peak.


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Reading the note, Khalaban considered. On the one hand, he rather liked Olmira. She had taught him a great deal, and helped him focus his abilities and ties to the Earth itself so they were stronger and more coherent. He could sense the gentle, slumbering energy in the earth below, the rocks in the walls - even in the dust that caught an early rays of the suns warm light.

On the other hand, he rather enjoyed the inns breakfast.

Sighing, Khalaban rose to his feet with a soft grunt. Tossing on his clothes was a simple matter, and the great coat he wore fit comfortably as he slid it on. Strapping on his shield, he rummaged through the pack before slipping that on, too. With no idea what was needed he had best be prepared, and the pack contained a lot of food.

It was with a bag of nuts the size of a small folk in his shield hand and a crunching noise as a walnut gave up its shell in his other, massive hand - Khalaban had no need of nutcrackers - that the big man wandered downstairs, giving his greetings to the common room and prepared to head for the farm grove.


Male!* Kobold
Info:
Cleric 3|HP: 18/18|AC: 22/13T/20FF|F:+6/R:+3/W:+6|Init:+4|BAB:+2|CMB:0|CMD:12/10FF|Dip*/Heal/SM/Sp cft/Cr(Blksmth):+7|K:Pl/Rel/Ling:+6|Appr/Art(Phil.)/K:Arc/Hst/Nob:+5|Per/St lth/Srv:+3

"If it's dragon's flame, then it should be properly returned to dragons that can handle it the right way... or maybe put to rest. Left-over dragon breath is like not brushing your teeth after dinner -- it's disgusting and smells bad." Maxilla will explain to the children with an *almost* matronly air while making a nauseated expression that can translate to the mammalian children.

After they finish the dishes for the morning meal they will load their pack with all of their gear and make sure that they are washed up for the possibility of a journey, even if they aren't selected it's just good practice.

"I'm going out for a walk before today's lessons! I won't be out too long!" they shout to the house, leaving their pack by the door so it's ready to go on a moment's notice.

They make their way to the Inn, and carefully negotiate their path to a bar stool to 'human-watch' the crowd, waiting for someone to go all philosophical so they can chime in eagerly into the conversation.


Female Sulis Inquisitor/3 HP:21/21 | AC:15, T:12, FF:13 | F:+3, R:+3, W:+6 | CMB:+5, CMD:17 | Perc:+9 | Init:+5

Adriana opens the door to her room and smiles when she sees the package left by Vixie. Her mother always said to start the day with something sweet and the day will be the same. She sneaks back into her room and leaves Talia a honey cake eating the other one. It was her first time she deserved breakfast in bed.

Adriana makes her way down to the tap room and heads over to the bar.

"Can I have breakfast for two. I will take it up to my room."

As Adriana waits she looks around the tap room.


Vixie

The current word among the Seven Silvers' patrons (and, for that matter, just about every one of your clients) is, of course, speculation about who's going to go on the journey to the Crypt. The last of your clients (after depositing a little extra snack in the pouch Adriana has outside her door) is your own teacher, Golfond Kir. The blond young man isn't dressed in his watch leathers, and is currently devouring a plate of eggs & buttered toast with much gusto.

"Oh? The Crypt? Yeah, been hearin' lots of things about that, Vixie." The young man says to you in between bites. He pulls out a chair for you in case you want to sit down. "Folks have been sayin' the trip's gonna be more dangerous this year than ever before."

"But, between you 'n' me..." He leans in to whisper conspiratorially into your ear. "...I don't reckon you've got anything to worry about. Folks say it's dangerous every year, but everyone seems to come home just fine afterwards."
---------------
Khalaban

The walk to Olmira's grove is peaceful today, and the walnuts you pop in your mouth have a pleasant flavour that lingers on your tongue long after you swallow. Soon enough, you find your mentor, sitting cross-legged on a tree stump in thought. Her bark-coloured skin contrasts with the skirt & top made of grass that covers her up--coincidentally, they're the same colour of her green hair that sticks out like blades of grass.

She opens her blue eyes as you approach. "Good morning, Khalaban. You've heard of the festival coming up, yes?" Her expression turns a bit pensive.
----------------
Maxilla

The Vargidan children wave you goodbye as you set out for a walk. One of them, the boy with blue watery hair, waves with a bit more enthusiasm than the others, accidentally flicking droplets of water into Hope's face. The droplets evaporate into little wisps of steam almost immediately.

You reach the Seven Silvers Inn before too long. The inn is busy this morning--several farmers are sitting in the common room, enjoying a nice breakfast before getting ready to start working for the day. You spot Vixie in particular sitting next to a blond young man that's currently gobbling down a meal that you can't quite see from where you're standing.

...and then you see Adriana casually walking down the stairs to the inn's second floor, exchanging words with the barkeep.
----------------
Adriana

Talia yawns as you put the snack cake next to her, her soft blue eyes blinking sleepily as she blindly paws at it.

The inn's stairs CREAK as you walk down them, dressed enough to at least be modest. The barkeep on duty, Trelvar Silvers, is a plain-looking, bald man with a thick brown beard, his grey eyes constantly darting around the room while keeping an eye on the young girl running around with a tray of food in her hands.

"Breakfast for two? Alright--that'll be three silvers, and I'll need to know what you're interested in."

The patrons of the Seven Silvers Inn are the usual assortment of Kassen's townsfolk--a slight majority of them are humans, but you can see people of orcish, dwarven, planar & elven descent dotted around the tables. Vixie is sitting with a blond young man, and you just now notice Maxilla walking in the door.


Female Sulis Inquisitor/3 HP:21/21 | AC:15, T:12, FF:13 | F:+3, R:+3, W:+6 | CMB:+5, CMD:17 | Perc:+9 | Init:+5

"Omelets with cheese, bacon, and sausages....toast with butter. And cups of oranges juice...or whatever juice you have." She counts out 4 silver.

As she survey the crowd she run a hand through her hair thinking to herself maybe it is time to dye her bangs blue...or maybe lavender. She smiles and give a nod to Vixie when she sees her...and a wave to Maxilla when they walks through the door...silently praying that the little kobold does not want to engage in a conversation...while the little dragon was interesting she had someone upstairs waiting.


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Swallowing the morsel of nuts he had been crushing, the big Kineticist grinned and waved. "Good Morrow!" Khalaban boomed cheerfully as he approached, nodding cheerfully. "I have heard of this, yes. I was thinking of going along, seeing if it would be fun!" Noting her expression, the Skinwalker tilted his head and sniffed. Fear? Concern? He wasn't sure what he smelled. "Why? Do you have some concerns about the festival? Think you someone might be in danger?"


Adriana

Trelvar takes the silvers and heads into the kitchen behind the bar. Several minutes pass before he comes back with a platter holding the meals & drink you requested. "Here it all is."
-------------------
Khalaban

Olmira nods slowly. "I do not understand why... but I feel a sense of unease within the earth. As if something... something momentous is almost upon us. I have seen many such festivals come and go, but this year feels different."

"Have you felt any such things, Khalaban?"


Male Human Bard (Detective) 3 | HP 22/22 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +5 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Perc +9 | Init +2

When it's opportune, Bertrand approaches Jocyn and grins. "A fine performance, as always." He looks out over the crowd. "And a full house! It seems the Festival of the Everflame attracts all sorts."


Female Halfling Phalanx Soldier (3) | HP 27/31 | AC 25, T 13, FF 23 | Fort +6, Ref +4, Will -1 | CMB +5, CMD 18 | Perc -2 | Init +4

Vixie seems torn between careless optimism and fear-- which, to be fair, Golfond would know is fairly typical of the halfling. "I-I suppose that makes sense," she says, looking thoughtful. She sits half of her behind on the chair-- she still has more deliveries to make, after all, and can't afford to get too comfortable. "S-so you think I sh-shouldn't be worried, th-then, sir?"

I should note: her stuttering is a speech impediment, not a sign of nervousness.

Of course, it does worsen when she's actually nervous/excited.


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Khalaban considered, and then shook his head. "'Fraid not. I'm still not as in tune with the earth and the stone as you are, though." Maybe he should wear his boots less often.

Pausing, he added, "If you feel uneasy, I should definitely go. Mayhap I can keep some people from getting hurt, or stop the problem before it causes any problems." Hittings things with enough stone tended to do a solid job on that.


Female Sulis Inquisitor/3 HP:21/21 | AC:15, T:12, FF:13 | F:+3, R:+3, W:+6 | CMB:+5, CMD:17 | Perc:+9 | Init:+5

"Thank you good sir."

She takes the tray and starts to head back up the stairs. I will wait to see if anybody interrupts her.


Male!* Kobold
Info:
Cleric 3|HP: 18/18|AC: 22/13T/20FF|F:+6/R:+3/W:+6|Init:+4|BAB:+2|CMB:0|CMD:12/10FF|Dip*/Heal/SM/Sp cft/Cr(Blksmth):+7|K:Pl/Rel/Ling:+6|Appr/Art(Phil.)/K:Arc/Hst/Nob:+5|Per/St lth/Srv:+3

Maxilla was going to go over and chat up Adriana but the woman is busy getting breakfast and the small dragon already ate theirs at home. Instead there's a brief wave and nod and then watching the inn once more, looking for other people to talk to.

Picking a person to talk to: 1d2 ⇒ 2

The short reptilian makes their way over to Bertrand and Jocyn. "That was a nice song, Mister Jocyn. Was it based off a hymn by chance? It seemed sort of like one of the church-songs, anyways." There's a bit of a pause then they turn to Bertrand. "So, Adriana ran upstairs with breakfast are you willing to talk philosophy with me or are you... busy?"


Male Human Bard (Detective) 3 | HP 22/22 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +5 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Perc +9 | Init +2

Bertrand turns to Maxilla. "Philosophy, you say!" He strokes his beard thoughtfully. "An impractical study, and many of my most favorite things are impractical. What’s on your mind?"


Male!* Kobold
Info:
Cleric 3|HP: 18/18|AC: 22/13T/20FF|F:+6/R:+3/W:+6|Init:+4|BAB:+2|CMB:0|CMD:12/10FF|Dip*/Heal/SM/Sp cft/Cr(Blksmth):+7|K:Pl/Rel/Ling:+6|Appr/Art(Phil.)/K:Arc/Hst/Nob:+5|Per/St lth/Srv:+3

"Okay, so that was a good performance just now. But we say good as a measure of quality when it can also be confused with a measure of morality. So the big philosophical question today is: Is there a way to have a nice performance without calling it 'good' -- and adding the moral weight to it -- while still acknowledging a superior performance? Is there a way to use a different term to discuss a moral good?" Maxilla inquires innocently, but with a toothy grin that indicates that this is definitely not her first discussion on such matters.


Male Human Bard (Detective) 3 | HP 22/22 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +5 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Perc +9 | Init +2

"Intriguing. I'd argue that 'good' in the moral sense is itself a measure of quality--quality of character, that is." Bertrand tilts his head as if weighing something in his mind. "But then, can't one be 'good' at being evil? I suppose we could just say 'excellent,' but I do abhor such linguistic limits." He shakes his head. "Now my head's in knots. Sorry, where were you going with this?"


Male!* Kobold
Info:
Cleric 3|HP: 18/18|AC: 22/13T/20FF|F:+6/R:+3/W:+6|Init:+4|BAB:+2|CMB:0|CMD:12/10FF|Dip*/Heal/SM/Sp cft/Cr(Blksmth):+7|K:Pl/Rel/Ling:+6|Appr/Art(Phil.)/K:Arc/Hst/Nob:+5|Per/St lth/Srv:+3

The small dragon points to their snout then to Bertrand when he makes the second comment.

"That's the exact point I was going for. See, most traditional kobolds have their snarl -- it's a bit more complicated than an extended family -- but everyone works together in one to the best limits of their ability, in part because if we don't work together, we're easy pickings for others.

Heaven help those who don't work to the greater 'good' of the snarl, because it won't be a nice ending for them.

But for a manner of speaking, if we're 'good' at what we're doing even though it's pretty gosh darn evil, does that mean we have a positive morality?

Does it mean that we can draw ourselves up, even when we're doing some really wicked things, because we're 'good'? Or are we trapped into a cycle of repetitive degradation where we become less 'good' each time?"

Maxilla's wings flap a bit excitedly. Even if what they are saying is almost complete rubbish there's a glint there, a fire, as it were.

"At the logical extreme, like Kassen here, is it possible for an alleged paragon of evil to transcend that and be truly Good, or for an alleged paragon of good to descend past that and be truly Evil?"


Male Human Bard (Detective) 3 | HP 22/22 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +5 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Perc +9 | Init +2

Bertrand considers his words carefully before speaking. "Mmmm. I don't believe doing evil things exceptionally well makes one anything more than exceptionally evil, but perhaps the reverse situation is true. To do an act of good incompetently is to allow evil an opportunity to take hold, and a willful failure to oppose evil is, arguably, an act of evil itself.

Regardless, I think that even in a world such as ours where good and evil are objective qualities observable through detection spells, they are not always so simple." He laughs, a bit somberly, and sips his wine. "Few things are."


Male!* Kobold
Info:
Cleric 3|HP: 18/18|AC: 22/13T/20FF|F:+6/R:+3/W:+6|Init:+4|BAB:+2|CMB:0|CMD:12/10FF|Dip*/Heal/SM/Sp cft/Cr(Blksmth):+7|K:Pl/Rel/Ling:+6|Appr/Art(Phil.)/K:Arc/Hst/Nob:+5|Per/St lth/Srv:+3

"Now, for all the peanut shells in the inn -- did I perform an evil act by asking you this series of questions, or a good one?" the kobold inquires with a toothy grin. They know in their heart they are doing Good, but sometimes people think being asked questions is very Bad.

They will get a smaller mug of wine and sip at it, because it's better than the water sometimes.


Male Human Bard (Detective) 3 | HP 22/22 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +5 | CMB +1, CMD 13 | Perc +9 | Init +2

Bertrand chuckles. "You've sparked a stimulating conversation over drinks, and that, my friend, is never an act of evil."

He turns to his mentor. "What say you, Jocyn? Can any of us truly map where evil ends and good begins?"


Female Sulis Inquisitor/3 HP:21/21 | AC:15, T:12, FF:13 | F:+3, R:+3, W:+6 | CMB:+5, CMD:17 | Perc:+9 | Init:+5

Adriana reaches the door to her room and opens it with a flourish,
"Breakfast is served, Honey."


Sorry for the delay in posting!

Maxilla & Bertrand

Jocyn was in the middle of taking a deep draft of water in the aftermath of his performance when the two of you start your philosophical discussion. He keeps respectfully quiet as the two of you debate until...

Bertrand wrote:
"What say you, Jocyn? Can any of us truly map where evil ends and good begins?"

"I'd reckon good begins with the two of you buying me another round." Jocyn chuckles. "Singing for these folks is thirsty work, you know."

---------------
Vixie

Vixie wrote:
"S-so you think I sh-shouldn't be worried, th-then, sir?"

Golfond shrugs. "Well, I dunno. There could be a few animals in the woods that don't take kindly to folks pokin' them. Just don't bother them, and I wager they won't bother you."

"Anyways, do your mommas have any extra pumpkin pie for sale? My momma loves their pumpkin pie--'simply scrumptious', she calls 'em. I don't know what that word means, but Momma was smilin' when she said it, so I think it's a good thing."
---------------
Khalaban

Khalaban wrote:
"If you feel uneasy, I should definitely go. Mayhap I can keep some people from getting hurt, or stop the problem before it causes any problems."

"Yes, I believe that would be for the best." Olmira nods. Her hair rustles like leaves as she does so. "Perhaps I'm simply worrying too much, but better to be concerned and learn that a matter is trivial than to be unconcerned about a crucial affair."

---------------
Adriana

Adriana wrote:
"Breakfast is served, Honey."

Talia's head shoots up from the mess of blankets on the bed, her mouth covered in crumbs. She gathers the sheets up and covers herself as you approach with breakfast.

"Really? Oh--thank you!" Her soft blue eyes open fully, and she uses her free hand to smooth out her messy mane of earth-brown hair. Her cheeks turn pink as you approach her.


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Plopping down with a bone jarring crunch across from her, Khalaban laughed. "The humans have an expression. 'Better safe than sorry'. It is a wise saying, and one I like to keep. If you put off concerns then you make more work for yourself in the future, and that is dull." Reaching around, he pulled his backpack around and began to rummage through it. "A bite to eat? A drink? I have spring water mixed with cherries and apples that is most acceptable. Alas, I drank all the lemon and lime juice and have yet to replace it."


Khalaban

Olmira smiles, revealing a row of teeth that look like little pearls. "I'd love a nice apple. I haven't had a chance to eat breakfast yet."


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Rummaging through the pack with several mutters, Khalaban eventually produced a bright red apple padded with cloth. He passed it over. "So, can you tell me any more of what you feel? Any idea why this festival is different, dangerous? From what I have heard tell it is but a simple thing, to let your young people get there taste for adventure out of there system before settling down to job and family." He pulled a canteen with the juice out and swallowed a long draught.


Khalaban

The druid takes a bite of the apple and runs a hand through her glass-like hair. A little squirrel scampers up next to her. "Truth be told, Khalaban, Mayor Uptal asked me to examine the route the volunteers will take through the Fangwood."

"What I found... well, the animals were restless. As if something has been recently disturbing them." Her eyes turn distant. "They wouldn't speak to me."


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Frowning, Khalaban took a swig from his flask. "As I understand these things, such actions are unusual to unnatural. It certainly sounds like a problem to be looked at. Did you find any spot in particular that was worse than the rest?"


Khalaban

"I did, in fact." Olmira says in between bites of her apple. "Curiously, the animals were more distressed the closer their dens were to the Crypt itself..."

"...I've no idea why, though. That crypt, as I understand it, has been quiet for the past several years."


Male!* Kobold
Info:
Cleric 3|HP: 18/18|AC: 22/13T/20FF|F:+6/R:+3/W:+6|Init:+4|BAB:+2|CMB:0|CMD:12/10FF|Dip*/Heal/SM/Sp cft/Cr(Blksmth):+7|K:Pl/Rel/Ling:+6|Appr/Art(Phil.)/K:Arc/Hst/Nob:+5|Per/St lth/Srv:+3

At the Inn

Maxilla stands up on their chair to wave over a serving person!

"Another round, please!" they say with an eager tone, offering a gold coin to the server. "And please come back in a bit with another one for the entertainer of the day."

When it arrives they give Jocyn an intense look. "Well? All joking aside, what say you?"


Maxilla & Bertrand

A young girl who can't look much older than thirteen winters comes by, takes Maxilla's offered coin with a smile and runs back behind the bar. Her father, the barkeep, takes the order and starts pouring drinks.

Jocyn puts a hand to his chin in thought. "Regarding the nature of good & evil... I believe that evil ends when you begin to genuinely think of another person's well-being without concern for your own. I've found most ideas of 'evil' tend to involve the person in question being very selfish, and almost unable to consider anyone's needs above their own."

"Of course, that's just the musings of a bard with a bum leg."


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Nodding, Khalaban smiled. "Well, that is most certainly a clue. I shall do what I can to look into and keep people safe. Hopefully, that will be enough." There were few things that could deal with a club to the head. Or a blade. Or a spike. One of Khalaban's more frightening abilities was to form his weapon as whichever was needed.

Taking another drink, Khalaban shifted as if to rise, but paused. "I should go and prepare as well I can. Apologies on such a short visit. Is there anything else of note, before I go?"


Khalaban

"Just one thing--some wolf packs have been ranging closer and closer to town. The poor things look quite hungry--don't go in the woods alone."


Female Halfling Phalanx Soldier (3) | HP 27/31 | AC 25, T 13, FF 23 | Fort +6, Ref +4, Will -1 | CMB +5, CMD 18 | Perc -2 | Init +4

Vixie breaks into a wide grin and hops off her seat, back to her bare feet. ”Th-they always go f-fast during the festival, b-but I’ll ask them to s-set one aside for M-Missus Kir!” she chimes. She’s still got a delivery or two to make, and then it’s straight back home to polish her kikko for what would have to be the dozenth time this week. She’s been debating what to bring for months now—but a well-strapped pack beside her bedroom door contained what she viewed as the essentials.


Female Sulis Inquisitor/3 HP:21/21 | AC:15, T:12, FF:13 | F:+3, R:+3, W:+6 | CMB:+5, CMD:17 | Perc:+9 | Init:+5

Adriana put the the tray on the bedside table. She always wondered why alot of her partners get so modest in the morning...it not like she did not see everything the night before.

She climbed into the bed and snuggled up to Talia and starts to feed her.

"How are you feeling?


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Rising to his feet, Khalaban fingered the fur lining on his coat. "Yes, hungry wolves are...bad." But very comfortable. "I shall see if I can join with others also making the journey. I think I remember some speaking of there interest." Squinting slightly, he re-shouldered his backpack. "That night was as long as the mead was sweet, so I'm not sure I recall all the details." Turning with a wave, he added, "Fair thee well, Olmira. I shall see if I can find a present." He began to trudge back to town.


Adriana

Talia blushes as you offer her a piece of omelet. She accepts it gratefully. "Um..."

"...would it be a surprise to learn that I feel hungry & happy? I mean--I've-I've never had... well, anyone before--so I had no idea what I was doing the whole time."
---------------
Khalaban

Olmira waves you goodbye as you begin your trek back into town. The earth beneath your feet feels firm & packed, gently pulsing with life that only your attuned senses can feel.

The walk back to town is uneventful, but you manage to make it back to the Seven Silvers just as a little halfling girl emerges, with several sweets in her pockets and a smile on her face.
---------------
Vixie

Golfond Kir bids you a fond farewell as you hop out of your chair and get back to making your deliveries. You're barely out the door of the inn when you see a hulking man approaching, his steps sure and steady.


Female Halfling Phalanx Soldier (3) | HP 27/31 | AC 25, T 13, FF 23 | Fort +6, Ref +4, Will -1 | CMB +5, CMD 18 | Perc -2 | Init +4

Vixie shuts the door behind her (which looks considerably different for a halfling than it does for someone taller than the doorknob), and when she turns around to resume her deliveries, she sees the massive shape of Khalaban striding towards her.

Her face goes from absentminded cheer to one of fright, and she freezes for a moment before quickly stepping out of his way--admittedly, this takes her several steps.


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Looking down at the small person, Khalaban smiled. "Hello! I'm sorry if I startled you." It was surprising how quietly Khalaban moved for someone of his size and bulk. Sniffing for a moment, he added, "Those smell delicious. Is the Inn still serving them?" In his changed form Khalaban usually had a very good sense of smell. This was at least partially so he could hunt down his next meal.


Female Halfling Phalanx Soldier (3) | HP 27/31 | AC 25, T 13, FF 23 | Fort +6, Ref +4, Will -1 | CMB +5, CMD 18 | Perc -2 | Init +4

There is a bit of hesitation—first as Vixie tries to figure out what the skinwalker is referring to, then again after she opens her mouth to speak. ”...o-oh! Uhm, I’m actually f-from the b-bakery, S-Sir! H-here...”

She spends a moment rummaging through the pouch of her apron and retrieves a small, rounded pastry, sprinkled in sugar and filled with a jam from a local fruit. ”O-one of our customers with a d-daily delivery stays h-here at the inn—b-but the inn serves g-good food, too. If y-you’d like, you can h-have a sample, a-and if you want m-more, the sh-shop is j-just on the outskirts of town, n-not far from the gate!” She holds out the pastry for Khalaban, shaking from head to toe.


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

"The Bakery!" Khalaban boomed, a delighted smile on his face. "I have been meaning to go there and try some of its delights, but I am often..." He considered the best word to describe his usual morning. "Busy?" It was close enough.

Sniffing again, Khalaban laughed. "No need for samples, friend. I can smell the quality from here. And the Inn's food is most delightful - I'm sure the Keep will tell all who ask that Khalaban has eaten more than his fill." He laughed again, then paused. "I should probably mention I am Khalaban, so it doesn't sound like I am a gossip, impugning the poor Khalaban with gossip of his gluttunous behaviour." Laying his hands on his stomach, he added wryly, "Although this might give that away! Is the bakery still open?"


Female Halfling Phalanx Soldier (3) | HP 27/31 | AC 25, T 13, FF 23 | Fort +6, Ref +4, Will -1 | CMB +5, CMD 18 | Perc -2 | Init +4

Vixie offers a more genuine smile, and she bounces a little on her feet. ”Y-yes! W-we stay open until s-sundown most days, and if you kn-knock later, w-we usually have something left over—but s-sometimes we’re not home, of c-course. O-oh, I sh-should mention—my moms are human, s-so don’t be surprised if th-they’re taller th-than me!”


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Khalaban squinted down at the little person. "Hmm? Taller?" After a moment he shrugs, clearly uncaring as to the exact details and not seeing it as especially relevant. Species was utterly irrelevant when compared to important details, like baking skill "Well, then, I shall go along to your mothers' shop and partake. Of cake. And scones." After a moment of consideration, he added, "And pastries." With a whistle like glass being sanded he walked off.

It was even possible he knew where he was going.


Vixie & Khalaban

The two of you set out for the hobbit's bakery (making a detour or two along the way so Vixie can complete her deliveries), following the sweet smell of baking croissants, cinnamon & apple.

The bakery is a simple, two-story building with a clear window in the front displaying all manner of delicious-looking baked goods. A beautiful-looking woman of Tian descent is working behind the counter while an official-looking, impressively-built man sits at a table across from it. The door to the bakery opens with a little jingle, attracting the attention of both people.

The large man, upon a closer look, is of orcish descent, but is impeccably groomed. His garb is a dyed blue doublet with a white ruffed shirt beneath it, with brown pantaloons & black shoes. The half-orc's black hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail, and a well-groomed pair of black muttonchops contrasts well with his greyish skin tone. A small pair of tusks jut out from his lower jaw, looking to have been recently brushed.

DC 10 Knowledge (Local):
This man is Mayor Uptal's husband, Mord Uptal. He oversees the management of Kassen Township's financial concerns.

"Ah--just the two people I was hoping to speak with." He says in a rough, but welcoming, voice. "Would you be so kind as to have a seat?"

Vixie, which of your guardians would you like to be working the counter right now?


Skinwalker Kineticist 3 | HP 32/35 | AC 18, T 11, FF 17 | Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 | CMB +6, CMD 17 | Perc +10 | Init +1 | Burn 6/7

Raising a shaggy eyebrow, Khalaban looked around to make sure he was someone who should be sitting. Such grooming was not usual in the people who talked to him. Still, there didn't seem to be anyone else - other than Vixie's parent - who they might be talking to, and so after eying the chairs he chose whichever looked the most sturdy and sat, hoping it didn't groan too loudly. "Thank you. You seem to have me at a disadvantage," Khalaban said with a small nod. "Just to be certain, my name is Khalaban Zahedi."


Female Sulis Inquisitor/3 HP:21/21 | AC:15, T:12, FF:13 | F:+3, R:+3, W:+6 | CMB:+5, CMD:17 | Perc:+9 | Init:+5

Adriana smiled as she takes a bite of food herself,
"You did great for your first time, You have stuff to learn of course...but it is really fun learning those things. So...is your family going be okay with this?"


Female Halfling Phalanx Soldier (3) | HP 27/31 | AC 25, T 13, FF 23 | Fort +6, Ref +4, Will -1 | CMB +5, CMD 18 | Perc -2 | Init +4

Knowledge (local): 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (14) - 2 = 12

"A-ah! H-hello, S-Sir," she says, though her nerves, having just settled, are beginning to fray again. It isn't often that Mord Uptal came to their shop, and her mind is immediately finding potential reasons why. Is the shop to be closed? Did Vixie and Khalaban say something wrong to each other, and are now to be banished? The halfling wonders if she's in trouble for taking a little longer than necessary for her deliveries this morning. "I-I'm sorry, s-sir, I got d-distracted, I sh-should have been back sooner!

She hops up into one of the chairs at Mord's table, looking plenty penitent.

I'm thinking Sayuki; I don't have much plotted out for them in terms of personality, aside from "secret tricksters" and a genuine care for Vixie, so feel free to take the reins on characterization if you'd like!


Vixie & Khalaban

Mord chuckles. "Oh, there's no need to apologize. I was hoping we could speak once your deliveries were completed."

"Now, there was a question I wished to ask the two of you--or, rather, what Jarvis wished to ask you. The two of us have been going around town looking for volunteers to..." His voice lowers. "...venture forth to the Crypt of the Everflame."

"It's a happy coincidence that I was hoping to avail myself of a pastry or two while I asked the two of you." Mord leans back in his chair.

Sayuki giggles and ducks back behind the counter, pulling out a plate of freshly-baked cookies.
--------------
Adriana

"...I hope so." Talia says once she's finished the bite of food in her mouth. "I mean, we're not entirely devout Erastilians, but I worry that Daddy's going to be disappointed, at least."

The sounds of downstairs suddenly go quiet...
--------------
Maxilla & Bertrand

The door to the Seven Silvers Inn swings open, and a new face steps through to the common room. A portly man dressed in a fine violet silk doublet & black leggings steps into the inn, his blond hair neatly combed and his full bushy beard free of tangles & mess. His blue eyes alight on the two of you seated next to Jocyn, and he smiles.

"Ah--two of the fine folk I wished to see!" Mayor Jarvis Uptal says, making his way over to the two of you. The others in the common room cease their chattering.

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