An Ancient Evil

Game Master Celestial Healer

The kingdom of Leyland is in the midst of change. New technology and new social structures are taking the place of the old ways. In the midst of this, an ancient evil is awakening and threatening this prosperous nation. It falls upon a band of heroes to face this menace.


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F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

Sylvia winks at the halfling, then makes brushing motions at her own mouth. "Goodwin... crumbs..." she intones in a stage whisper, apparently believing nobody else notices.

She trots off down the hall to the indicated office. "MAPS. WE NEED TO FIND THOSE MAPS," she says loudly as she tries the doorknob.


The key slides into the lock and you open the door to Professor Laveness's office. It is immediately apparent that someone has beaten you to it, and he is still in the room...

Patrick, you're up.


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

The party sees a tall elf looking through papers in the room. He has a wild mane of copper colored hair and eyes the color of new spring leaves. He is dressed in a long leather duster, a black silk shirt with silver buttons, black suede pants tucked into high riding boots with silver spurs. A wide leather belt at his slender hips holds a pair of pistols, their elaborate grips graven with runes and chased with semi-precious inlays. One is golden colored, the other ebon.

He turns as the door creaks open, stashing the papers in his duster's pocket as his other hand twitches towards his pistol


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Surprised to find someone in the office, Caladrel calls out from behind Sylvia, "Stop! Who are you and what are you doing?"


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

The elf lays hands on the butts of his pistols but they remain holstered

"Weall," he drawls in a courtly Elven-accented Common "Might be as I could ask y'all the same questions. None of y'all look to be Professor Laveness."


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Neither do you," the gangly elf woman replies in very human-sounding Common, "Because I've met Professor Laveness and you're not her. I mean she. And if you're her research assistant, why was the door locked? And why didn't Goodwin say anything about you, hmmm? I don't think you're supposed to be here. Do you know where she is?" She squints accusingly at the strange elf, fingering the vials on her bandolier and wishing very sincerely that the office was not so full of valuable (and highly flammable) objects.


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

The tall elf smiles

"I fear you have me at a disadvantage. I had come into the professor's office in search of information that I had not been able to find elsewhere. Although I regret having to enter without permission, I felt the situation was dire enough to warrant the minor trespass "

His smile fades, leaving his face still and shadowed in the dimly-lit room

"I do not know where the good professor is. I do venture to discover that information as soon as elvishly possible"


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Caladrel takes note of the elvish features and the pistols at the side. Why have so many of our kind strayed so far from our roots? Maybe this is the true cause of our world's problems. he thinks to himself.

Speaking in Elven, Caladrel introduces himself. "My name is Caladrel Inthesial. You may have heard of my sect, 'The Keepers'. I have been tasked to aid this group in seeking the cause of the unusual disturbances that have occurred recently. Who are you and what has led you to searching for information in this office?"


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

Faenor replies in the same language, his diction marking him as a member of the nobility

"I have come searching knowledge. I am a seeker. Professor Laveness had made some interesting discoveries that I had corresponded back and forth about with her. I had hoped to see her in person as I traveled through, but I find her missing and no one seems to know where she is at"

He looks over Caladrel

"I have heard of your organization. My former family were staunch supporters of the status quo. I believe I have a cousin or two involved"


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Caladrel sighs audibly. "You misunderstand the purpose of my order. The natural world has existed for a millennium. Eons longer than even our long lived elven fore fathers. We are dedicated to protecting nature that is all."

Always trusting a fellow elf, Caladrel continues. "No matter what reasons brought you here, Our paths have crossed and our goals seem to align, to discover what has happened to the missing Professor Laveness. Let us work together toward this aim."

In common, Caladrel asks, "How shall I call you, friend?"


46/46, AC 11

Jeremiah stands casually leaning against the hallway wall, taking in the startling revelation and intruder. He shifts slightly as the elves converse, for despite his formal education he had never shown an aptitude for languages, or studying really - but that's what money was for to supply alternative to natural ability.

With a glance to the eager way that Sylvia was pyromaniacally tapping the vials of chemicals about her person, he starts to look a bit worried.


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"The Elf Club doesn't know anything either, for those who can't understand Elven," Sylvia explains to Jeremiah and Trina, "We all seem to be in the same boat. Though we don't know why this guy wants to find Professor Laveness."


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23
"Caladrel Inthesial wrote:
In common, Caladrel asks, "How shall I call you, friend?"

Faenor grins

"Some call me ... Faenor"


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Some call him... Faenor," Sylvia translates somewhat abstractedly, then starts as she realizes the other Elves had switched to Common. "Er... yes, you know that. Of course."

Since no fisticuffs look forthcoming, she waves the party into the office and closes the door behind them. "Well, let's start looking before somebody notices the elf convention in here. Have you found anything interesting, Faenor?" Without waiting for an answer, she begins shuffling around the office, examining any books or files or papers or scrolls that have been left lying ready to hand.

If OK to take 20, Perception is 28.


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

Faenor shrugs and retrieves a sheaf of papers from his duster's left pocket

"As a show of goodwill I will share these. I hadn't got around to looking at everything, but these might have some clues within them"

He hands them to Sylvia


Faenor's papers include more diagrams regarding astronomical phenomena. One of them is accompanied by a note from a Professor Hinzackel:

L,
Did any of these help find the dark space the speaker told us of? The time draws near.
Sometimes, I feel as though the two of us have been chosen to herald the new age. We must hear the speaker again this evening.
-Hinzackel

Sylvia (or any party member who makes a Knowledge Local DC 17 check):
The gnomish Professor Hinzackel is a tenured, if remarkably eccentric, professor of Alchemy at the University. What he would have to do with an intellectual scholar like Laveness is anybody's guess. His expertise is more practical - researching alchemical reagents, and the like. He has a particular fondness for mechanical and clockwork creations. His students regard him as insane, although his discoveries have brought him much notoriety within the field.

Sylvia finds a small journal as well. The professor's daily notes are remarkably terse - often just a sentence or two per day. Recently, there are a few mentions of Professor Hinzackel, to the effect of "Met with Hinzackel again; consulted speaker" and so on. For the most part, it is fairly vague, but the last couple of entries (they end about 3 weeks ago), reflect increasing anxiety:

This does not feel right. When I am with the speaker, all is clear, but sometimes, I can hardly imagine why I would continue this research.

And the last entry:

Confronted Hinzackel. He grew irate. Says the speaker will clarify everything. What frightens is the voice telling me he is right.


46/46, AC 11

Jerry takes his turn at reading the small ledger, a knot in his stomach at invading the Professors private journal in an obvious time of strife. However once everyone's finished he gives a little cough; "Seems the Professor became a trifle obsessed with this Dark Matter, the 'Speaker' mayhaps influenced her actions and that's what's happened to her."


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

Feanor takes his turn reading the notes. A frown furrows his gaunt face.

"The professor is getting mixed up in things that can easily get her killed...Or worse. I was afraid this might happen"


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F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

Sylvia mutters as she reads, but scans the documents rapidly. "Hinzackel?" She tosses the sheaf to the next person. "Hinzackel is Alchemy. I never learned about a "speaker" or any squiggly creatures from other spaces." She frowns, clearly annoyed. "My education is incomplete."


46/46, AC 11

"Isn't that the point of education, that it can never be complete... there's always something else to learn." Jerry asks, quirking his eyebrow to Faenor; "So did she write to you of the Speaker? Is that what made you think she was in danger?"


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

Faenor shook his head slightly

"Professor Laveness and I were correspondents. We had exchanged many missives over the years. I was more of a 'field' researcher, you might say. "

Faenor pauses looking troubled

"The last few epistles I had from her had not seemed to be right. Her whole writing state had seem disjointed and rambling. She spoke of radical discoveries she was party to, but she never explained rationally what they were. She had given me an open invitation to visit her, and recently I had decided to take her up on her hospitality. Unfortunately when I arrived on campus I learned that she had dropped from sight. So I took it upon myself to investigate as to her whereabouts. Which brings us to the present moment."

CGM I am somewhat exteporializing as to Faenor's connexion to Prof Laveness. I hope it doesn't trample on any plot lines


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Yes, yes, that's all very well and good," Sylvia waves one hand impatiently, "But where do we go NOW? I wonder if Hinzackel is still around or if he's also on an unscheduled sabbatical. I also wonder if Serevil can make anything of these other charts. Serevil, Serevil... hey, notice something about that name? S-e-r-E-V-I-L! And he's the guy who knows about stars!" Eyes wide with alarm, she drops her voice to a stage whisper. "MAYBE HE'S BEHIND THIS!"


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Savendir can barely contain the beginning of a wry smirk at Sylvia's wildest theory yet. "I think that may be a stretch, dear Ms. Pari. Why would he send us to Laveness's office? There are other ways to dispatch us. I think our next course is to pay a visit Hinzackel. You share a common interest in the artificial. That should be a good place to start a conversation. Were you in any of his courses during your tenure here?"


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

Squinting carefully at Caladrel as he speaks, Sylvia nods in response. "You're right, of course," she whispers, "Better to go along with Ser Evil so he doesn't suspect anything. But we'll go into his trap with our eyes wide open. Good thinking."

As she processes the rest of what he said, her brain fastens on one word for the purposes of umbrage. "Artificial? I beg your pardon? Just because something doesn't grow on a tree doesn't mean it's artificial, you know. There are more things in the multiverse than are dreamt of in Elvish philosophy. Besides," she continues more calmly, serenely contradicting her own dudgeon, "What's wrong with artificial? You make it sound almost a bad thing. Anyway. Hinzackel. Of course I know him. I took classes from all of the Alchemy faculty, though I got much, much more out of labs, when they weren't being extinguished or rebuilt. I doubt Hinzackel will remember me, though. I took his big lectures, and I'm not terribly memorable. I can, though, lead the way to his office."

If everyone has what they need, Sylvia will lead the way to the Alchemy department, giving Goodwin a cheery wave and a mouthed "Later!". She seems pleased to be back in familiar haunts. "Gosh, this is just like homecoming! I think. I didn't go. Actually, I wasn't invited," she enthuses as they trundle through the halls, "Well, I kind of was. I got the invitation, but somebody had scrawled OH GODS, NO! on it." She chuckles.


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Caladrel, demonstrating his great wisdom, refrains from engaging in an argument on the consequences of performance enhancing chemicals at this time. He replies, "not terribly memorable. I find that hard to believe Ms. Pari. Your abundant enthusiasm is very noteworthy. You are an asset to our group. Please, lead the way to Professor Hinzackel's office." He bows to Sylvia and allows her to pass and falls into line behind her.


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

Faenor watches the repartee with an enigmatic smile on his face

"I think that this Hinzackel chap is just the place to start. If y'all wouldn't mind me accompanying your little group to this alchemist's office?"


46/46, AC 11

Mouth agape, Jerry shakes himself back to the present; "Certainly not, old man. So you do a bit of antiquing?" He enquires of Faenor, trying to make more normal chit-chat with the newcomer.


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Abundant enthusiasm. You sound like some of my profs and TA's, except they said it a bit more critically and tended to use accompanying verbs like "curb" and "stifle"," Sylvia tells Caladrel before addressing Faenor's question. "You should definitely come with us. We want to keep an eye on you."


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46/46, AC 11

Jerry raises an eyebrow at the strange elven courting rituals.

He'd seen some strange ones from the open-savannah's to Lords Balls to tribal roundhouses to the back alley's of factory-side pubs on a saturday night - but this might prove the strangest.

:P


You proceed across the university green to the alchemy building. The hall is deceptively small; Sylvia is aware that many of the laboratories are underground.

Within the narrow corridors of the building, various noxious smells waft from the closed doors on either side of you. You descend two levels to where Professor Hinzackel's office and laboratory has been for many years.

At the base of the stairs, the wooden door to the alchemist's office is closed.

Perception checks, please.


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27

"Smell that? Smells like progress!" Sylvia enthuses as they descend.


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Caladrel strains to keep his lunch down as the noxious fumes assault his nostrils. He tries to figure out where the odor is emanating. perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21


46/46, AC 11

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 4

"Without sounding too much like Caladrel," he gives a sly wink to his elven friend; "Smells more like chemicals to me and not particularly fresh ones at that. I wonder how often they have a cleaning lady about."


Sylvia and Caladrel hear voices beyond the office door. There are several - both men's and women's. You cannot make out what they are saying.


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23
Jeremiah "Winterbloom" Roberts wrote:
Mouth agape, Jerry shakes himself back to the present; "Certainly not, old man. So you do a bit of antiquing?" He enquires of Faenor, trying to make more normal chit-chat with the newcomer.

Feanor smiles enigmatically

"Among other things. I am a student of history, nature, astronomy, science and the arcane. Antiques can be edifying when attempting to reconstruct an ancient line of thought."


46/46, AC 11

Jerry is a bit taken-aback by the breadth of Faenors' knowledge; "That's quite an eclectic range, where do you find time to socialise?"


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

Faenor shrugs

"I keep up correspondence with many other seekers. As for socialization..."

A shadow passes over his lean face

"I had my fill of the social dance in the courts of Elvish nobility. I prefer the clean silence of solitude these days. I have my studies to occupy my time, and my arcane experiments to sharpen my wits"


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

Sylvia sets a finger to her lips for silence and jerks her head towards the office door, then quietly lays her ear against the surface, the better to eavesdrop.

Does that help with overhearing conversation?


46/46, AC 11

Rebuked, Jerry takes a soft step back and peers at the door with some regard.


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

Faenor's lips twitch at the gesture for silence. A bullet seemingly composed of molten copper appears in his left hand and he walks it back and forth across his knuckles as he regards the odd company


As you listen more closely, you can hear many, many voices speaking at once - male and female, some louder, some softer. The voices seem to make no sense. A loud male voice is expounding upon different qualities of darkness, literally enumerating shades of black, while a woman is calling out arithmetic problems and their results. A child's voice recites nursey rhymes while a husky baritone is relating some nautical adventure. There are many others, and each voice seems to be having its own conversation.


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23

Faenor frowns, listening

"I like this not" He whispers

The bullet walking his knuckles pops into the air. He draws his gold-chased pistol and flips the chamber open, catching the molten copper slug neatly. He snaps the chamber shut and reholsters the pistol neatly

Feanor speaks a lot of languages if there are any foreign tongues being spoken in the mishmash


46/46, AC 11

"Do we politely knock and ask them what's been occurring?" Jerry asks not hearing what's happening in the office beyond.


Indeed, there are many languages being spoken, but it is still a jumble of nonsense.

Sylvia is somewhat familiar with the layout of the offices in this building. The office suites are two rooms, but many would connect to the suite next door as well, as a safety measure for alchemical fires and the like. It is worth noting that the office next door to Hinzackel's bears no nameplate.

That said, you have not tried this door yet, or announced your presence.


Male Elven Spellslinger 4 AC 12 HP 23
Jeremiah "Winterbloom" Roberts wrote:
"Do we politely knock and ask them what's been occurring?" Jerry asks not hearing what's happening in the office beyond.

Faenor shrugs, looking uneasy. He advanced to the door and raps briskly. He steps back a few paces afterwards, just in case


The chattering quiets slightly for a moment, then increases in intensity. You here something heavy sliding against the floor. None of the voices answer the knock in any direct way.


46/46, AC 11

"That was either something sliding against the door to bar it, alternatively we could interpret it as an invitation to entry with a bolt sliding back?" Jeremiah guesses quietly as his hand goes to the door-handle. Squaring up his shoulder in case it's needed he looks to the others in askance.


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Or we could use, ya know, the other door to the adjoining office." Sylvia strides to the next door and opens it.


46/46, AC 11

Pausing on the door-handle, Jeremiah astonishedly opens his mouth like a hungry gold-fish as he watches Sylvia go into the other room.


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Caladrel follows Sylvia warily. He increases his hold on his quarterstaff in case trouble erupts.

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