Call Forth Darkness (Inactive)

Game Master Aku Warashi

You hear in his dying breath whisper “The shining sun has seen the wickedness you hide in hearts. And thus it will be the son who brings your doom.” then he dies.

Loot; Dramatis Personae; Battle Map

Evil Lair. Modifications


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aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]

Nahia glances at Hound incredulously. "Remember, the songbook I used to rearrange the walls and construct the traps in the tower? Did you hit your head or something in that last fight?"

Is he the real Hound? Maybe this is the Moondog...


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Maybe, you'll never know until it is too late.


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

Cecelia sighs at Nahia's explanation of the Baron's motives. "Of course. That makes sense. I must say he puts on a convincing display of hospitality." However, she still seems somewhat uncertain about the mysterious seventh knot. "Those at the inn are another knot? Surely they have signed the same contract that we all have...and if Thorn trusts them...surely...?" Catching herself asking a lot of questions, Cecelia shakes her head. You said you were going to let this drop... "Sorry to ask so many questions. Just trying to get up to speed. So trust the leader, but not the rest of the team. Don't trust the baron. Got it."

Cecelia observes the back and forth about the songbook, clearly as lost as Hound. At Nahia's explanation her eyes seem to brighten with wonder and curiosity for the rarest and briefest of moments. Uncertainly, she asks, "Rearrange walls? Construct traps? With a songbook?" How? Regaining some composure and returning to her trademark stiff posture and serious expression, she nods. "Yes. I think sealing off the caverns would be a good idea...less...uh...entrances to guard. I will come with you to observe...for...observation purposes."


Human Hero Killer1 / Holy Assassin1 / Deceiver2

@Nahia, I’ll write up the answer later today.

Finishing up their business, and deciding to keep the seventh out of the loop, the conspirators return to the horn after spending the night at the manor. The return trip was uneventful, with the turve of new followers walking behind you towards their new ‘home’.

Some of the followers are clearly afraid. They have been hearing terror histories about this forest for the good part of their life, rumor such as the walking trees, the half fiend tiger, but one thing is most prominent: “No one ever returned after entering the forest!”, and altho they follow, it’s clear the moral isn’t good either.

Arriving at the horn, the committee is greeted by Nahia, accompanied closed by the half fiend large ogre, which has the proper effect of making the newcomers even more afraid. Few words are spoken, few decisions are made, but something else catches the eyes of the villains.

A cluster of brilliant vermillion blossoms adorns the entrance to the Maw (C1). It doesn’t seems out of place when compared to the brilliant flora of the Caer Bryr but to anyone else with some marginal knowledge they seem obviously eldritch. Even more mysteriously, these delicate flowers seem to flourish despite the deepening darkness of the skies as the ritual progresses.

K: Nature DC 20:

These are a patch of four immature assassin vines .

K: Arcana DC 20:

Their growth is greatly accelerated likely by the great amount of raw magic pooling around the Horn of Abbadon. In a week, these beauties will be full grown and dangerous.

--
No matter how they deal with the path of flowers, the following days passes in a blur, with repair and preparations and training being conducted inside the horn.
You guys will have a few days with nothing really happening, so use this to change things as you see fit, and RP, if you want, and train the followers and anything else you guys want to do.

Grand Lodge

Female Halfling Rogue 4/Sorcerer3 (efreeti bloodline) | HP 7/37 AC 22 | T 17 | FF 17 | CMB +4 | CMD 20 | FORT +3 | REF +11 | WILL +4 | INIT +5 | Perception +11(+12 with traps) | Stealth +19 | Bluff +11 | Sense Motive +3 | Diplomacy +8 | Spellcraft +8
active effects:

Mysty sees the low morale of the newbies and tries to cheer them up

fear not. The stories of never returning are not true. After all I and my friends have returned several times. And The ogre only eats the disobediant and the incompetent. Strive to be neither, and you will get your just deserts.

For the next few days, Mysty will work on maintaining the current traps.


aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]

@Aku, take your time. I'm in no rush.

I'll take 10 on both knowledge checks for a 21 and a 22, respectively.

As they go outside to ready for constructing the new wall, Nahia hears the whisper in her head again: Over there... in the brush... see them?

Glancing over, she stares for a moment before going wide eyed. She rushes over to some tall grass and pushes it aside, revealing several small flower. "Cecelia, go get the others. This may be very fortunate for us."

--When the others arrive--

Nahia, pushes the grass aside again and points to the plants. "These... these are a very special plant. These are just the seedlings, but once they mature these plants will lash out at anything within their long reach and attempt to strangle the life from it. And their sense are quite sharp, even being able to detect invisible foes. And they blend in quite well with the natural plants in this area, don't you think?"

She lets the grass go, covering the tiny plants again. "So... what should we do with them?"

Aku, can they be moved or transplanted?

Closing off the Cave:

Nahia examines the lines of shovels, picks, and buckets that the boggards had brought forth, quite happy that they weren't going to be doing the digging this time. She reaches into her satchel and takes out a flask, taking a swig from it and grimacing.

She offers it to Cecelia, adding "It burns like H#!! and it tastes pretty rough, but it's the only way that I can get the right timber in my voice." She takes another sip herself before continuing. "Now, this might take a couple of hours, so feel free to leave if you get bored. But if you do, send someone else out here to look after me while I do this. Ok?"

Nahia takes one last drink from the flask and then puts it away as she wips her mouth with the back of her hand, her cheeks quite flushed from the gut-rot at this point. Reaching down she takes scrapes some mud from the ground and rubs it on her arms, hands, face, and neck. She flicks the excess mud from her hands and reaches into her satchel, pulling out a large, heavy looking book with a cover of roughly peened lead.

Opening it up, she turns several pages that appear to be made from dirty linen with songs inscribed in some dark brown ink. Finally getting to the page she was looking for, she clears her throat and spits to the ground. After a deep breath, her she starts to hum low and raspy as her foot taps to a slow beat.

And then she begins to sing, her normally high voice dropping to a rich contralto as she lets the words roll out slowly and somberly, the weak and weary tone clashing with the hopeful lyrics of the song. Each line has a word that is sung through gritted teeth, the anger and resentment of the song quite palpable.

Well, we dig dig dig
Well, we dig in our mine the whole day through
Dig dig dig, that is what we like to do
And it ain't no trick to get rich quick
If you dig dig dig, with a shovel and a pick

She continues singing this stanza for couple of minutes before another voice fades in, this one deep, masculine, and just as angry. And as the song continues, several more voices join into the song.

Dig dig dig, the whole day through
Got to dig dig dig, it's what we like to do in our mine, in our mine
Where a million diamonds shine
We got to dig dig dig, from the morning till the night
Dig dig dig up everything in sight

Dozens of voices have joined in as bodies begin to fade into view, their clothes dirty and torn around well-earned muscles, their eyes distant and weary, their form drained of any color that isn't lifeless-grey, dirt brown, or coal black. Each walks and grabs a tool: a shovel, a pick, a bucket, and begins their work, singing the song the whole time.

We got to dig dig dig, in our mine, in our mine
Dig up diamonds by the score
A thousand rubies, sometimes more
But we don't know what we are diggin' for

The workers toil endlessly as they follow Nahia's song: digging soil and stone, making morter, forming the wall, digging a channel to the pools in the cave, packing dirt into the wall, planting flowers, trees, and brush along the wall and newly-formed pond.

Finally, when all seems complete, Nahia changes to a different page in the book, whistles with her fingers, and begins a new song, this one less angry than before, but no less weary.

It's quitin' time, quittin' time
Time to disassemble this assembly line
Lord, I love punchin' out like I hate punchin' in
Hot damma lama lama, it's quittin' time again
I'm so tired of makin' whatever it is that we make
With some fool tellin' me when I can take a break
They're breakin' my spirit and makin' my body ache
But I'm just about to make the great escape.

The dreary workers started to put up their tools and to clean their worksites, but there was no extra pep in their voices, no new vigor. And with the cleaning done, one by one, the form their line and begin their march back into the woods, their bodies fading from view even as their dry voices continue to faintly travel over the hills.

Time to disassemble this assembly line
Lord, I love punchin' out like I hate punchin' in
Hot damma lama lama, it's quittin' time again
I'll be leaving this factory at the speed of light
Gonna meet my lady at the tavern tonight
When a bard cuts loose she's gonna hold me tight
Everything I want a gonna be alright

Nahia snaps the book shut with a heavy thud and begins to wipe the sweat and flaking dirt from her face. She puts the book away and pulls the flask from her satchel again, taking a long draw this time. Turning to Cecelia, she smiles and asks "Well, as interesting as you were hoping it would be?"


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Hound works on getting the new guards in and works on their morale. No one returning is just drunken talk from taverns. You will be gone long because you will be working here. One cup of ale after your shift and that is it. No drunkenness, no drugs. We have some whores you can spend time with after your shift.

Hound gets the trained dogs settled into their floors and drills the guards on discipline, making them think of other things other than tall tales. He gets them familiar with the horn notes and the various levels.

Turning to the others when they speak of the plants. How far will they reach? If they threaten a wide area, we'll have to keep them outside but will be good serving as a delaying tactic.

Grand Lodge

Female Halfling Rogue 4/Sorcerer3 (efreeti bloodline) | HP 7/37 AC 22 | T 17 | FF 17 | CMB +4 | CMD 20 | FORT +3 | REF +11 | WILL +4 | INIT +5 | Perception +11(+12 with traps) | Stealth +19 | Bluff +11 | Sense Motive +3 | Diplomacy +8 | Spellcraft +8
active effects:

such pretty plants. How are they dangerous? Poison?


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

Closing off the Cavern:

Cecelia stands arms folded, observing as Nahia prepares. When offered the flask, she hesitates for a moment, but ultimately takes a swig, before continuing to observe. As Nahia begins to sing, she looks uncertain. Perhaps this is just a joke at my expense... However, as more voices join the song, bodies appear and walls begin to form, Cecelia's eyes widen. By the time the work is done, Cecelia is too awed to act disaffected. "It is...remarkable...with that you could build anything..."

Why are the Mitrans so afraid of the arcane...? Look at all they deny the people of Taligarde with their blind predjudice...

Cecelia nods and moves quickly to fetch the others.

---

"Can they tell friend from foe? Otherwise, do we have somewhere to put them where they won't be a threat to our people...or is there something you could concoct that they would find repellent that our people could carry?"


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Is there an área that might be a an access point to invade but is most y un used by us? That is a good área to put them.


aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]

I'll answer the question about stopping them from moving after Aku let's me know.

Nahia stands and brushes the dirt from her hands and knees. "No, no poison, but they are hardy little things, able to withstand much harsher weather than most. And if they turn out to be normal assassin vines, they'll grow to about 8-10 strides. Of course, they're feeding off the magic being put out by the horn, so who knows how big they might get."

She steps back and begins looking up and down the horn. "They'll attack anyone in range, and even use their tendrils to take control of other vine-y plants around it, and I'm not aware of any way to make them NOT do that, so they could be a good deterrent, maybe a trap, but we con't put them somewhere we want to also go."

She points up to the 3rd floor and top balconies. "If I can find a way to keep them in one place, and that is a big if, what about up there, two below each balcony? If someone tries to scale the walls of the horn, they won;t be able to fight back as the vines strangle them. We'd have to toss them some meat and blood every so often to make sure they stay fed, but that shouldn't be that hard. Of course, except for maybe the garden, they wouldn't be able to use other plants to help them."

She looks back out towards the woods. and the newly formed pond. "We could just leave them along the edges of the water here. We leave one clear path, probably right down the middle, and let anyone else nearby get dragged into the water and strangled."

"Thoughts?"


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

As long as the boggards can also get out to hunt that is fine.


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

"The pond is the safe bet. They'll be easy for the boggards to avoid, can be fed with little trouble and will probably thrive with the plant life around them...The balconies are an interesting proposition, though. Can we position them in such away that they will be able to effectively target people entering, while still leaving an entrance for ourselves?" Looking up towards the top of the horn, but seeing nothing but clouds, she sighs and continues, "I haven't really gotten a good look at them...but I imagine it might be difficult to position them effectively..."


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Unsure, I have no skill with these sorts of creatures.


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

The pond seems to be the best choice, so let us move them there and get back tot he ritual.
Ready to move on


aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]

Nahia looks to Cecelia and adds "If we used the balconies, they'd need to be off and to the side. Maybe enough to just reach up the edge. But if a mistake were to be made by one of us, and we were attacked by them, I'd rather it be by the pond than off the cliff, I guess. Not that I'm too worried about us, honestly."

Nodding at the others, she adds "Alright, they're too small to move now, but I'll tend to them and move them when I can and as I figure out a solution to keeping them where we want them."

Aku, when I get the chance I'll chance the cavern map and put up the new modifications.


Human Hero Killer1 / Holy Assassin1 / Deceiver2

The days pass and no one would believe that inside the briar, a group of madman performs a blasphemous ritual to summon back to this plane the prince of decease. No new message from the seventh arrives, no good-doer attacks the horn, no revengeful moon dog sneaks in.
The flowers have been relocated and in less than a week, they are dangerous and hungry.

That’s when a unexpected invitation arrives: A carrier using the contact channels arranged between you and Elize delivers the following: Invitation.


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Huh. Looks like we will need to use our magical hats again. I guess making a dress uniform for myself will be tolerable.


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

Cecelia spends the next few days patrolling the horn, trying familiarizing herself with the location. In particular, she finds herself drawn to the higher balconies. With her shortened vision she feels no fear staring over the edge and finds the feeling strangely empowering. When Cecelia is not wandering the horn she tucks herself in her room, reading through her brother's journals for about the hundredth time. However, based on her conversation with Nahia, this time she begins a list of names. The names of those who had wronged her brother the most.

---

When the stranger shows up to the horn, Cecelia keeps a low profile. As soon as she courier leaves, Cecelia slinks out from the shadows to find out what the message says. Frowning she asks, "I imagine that it would be impolite for me to not attend now that I have been aquinted with the Baron...but will this complicate matters with your friends at the inn?"


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

They may very well be there and it will give you a chance to meet them if you wish, plus knowing who is who in town can be useful. Hound will try a few variations of uniform by using his Hat of Disguise.


aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]

Nahia reads over the invitation for a bit, trying to look for any indications of codes or secret messages. Still, in the end, it just looks like any regular note. "Well, this will be interesting. I haven't been able to attend a party, especially with the nobility, in ages. It'll be good practice. My honeyed tongue has gotten a bit dry..."

Turning to Cecelia, she responds "I don't know. I'm sure one of them will be there. This would also be a good opportunity for me to catch up with Elise... Or are you worried about you being there? I wouldn't worry too much. While I do agree with the secret, I also don't think it is a matter of grave importance. Besides, we've had quite a few underlings roaming about with us lately."

Chuckling a bit at Hound, Nahia adds "If you'd like, I can help you wear something fashionable and in a color that will compliment your eyes..."


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

That would be helpful.

Grand Lodge

Female Halfling Rogue 4/Sorcerer3 (efreeti bloodline) | HP 7/37 AC 22 | T 17 | FF 17 | CMB +4 | CMD 20 | FORT +3 | REF +11 | WILL +4 | INIT +5 | Perception +11(+12 with traps) | Stealth +19 | Bluff +11 | Sense Motive +3 | Diplomacy +8 | Spellcraft +8
active effects:

a party would be fun. But perhaps we should not all go. We have to protect the horn

sorry for the slow posting, combination of a new job, and illness.


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Perhaps Bizan could stay.

Still here, Bizan?


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

Nahia's remark to Hound earns a rare laugh from Cecelia. However, the moment quickly passes and she is straight back to business. "I would be lying if I said I wasn't interested in attending this...I must admit I am rather curious about this Seventh Knot...and I as long as you could get me through the front door, I would gladly keep my distance for the rest of the night. It might even be...dare I say...fun?" Cecelia lets out a sigh, "Mysty does bring up a valid point, though...we have our duties still..."


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

If you have good, as they say, people skills you could listen for word on what is happening in town.


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

"I might be a bit rusty...but I can certainly fall back on a lifetime of experience of smiling politely while someone prattles on." Cecelia entire expression changes, as she becomes doe eyed and her voice softens into a delicate, but clearly mocking tone, "Oh yes, Lady Warrington. Please once again tell me all about your half-witted son and the high ranking position you were able to secure for him by abusing your wealth and influence. He's an eligible bachelor, you say? Shocking! I am sure some lovely girl will snatch him up soon. Who me? Oh no, I couldn't possible steal such a gift from womankind..."


aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]

Nahia can't help but fall into a fit of giggles at Cecelia's faux-conversation. "Oh yes Lord Stuffed-Codpiece, that is amazing how you managed to kill that wolf with only an small army of hunters... You commissioned a famous artist for your portrait? I'm sure he must have been so excited to capture the visage of someone of such... magnitude... What was that? You want to show me your manor and discuss country matters? I'm so sorry, I've haven't had enough... I mean, I've had too much wine, there is no way that I could properly appreciate it..."

Her laugh turning into a brief snort, Nahia does manage to calm herself enough to address business. "Agreed, we should not leave this place unguarded. I can brew a potion that will let someone be able to see invisible things for maybe half an hour. Big'Un should probably stay behind. Bizan too. Cecelia and myself should probably go. I'm not sure about you Hound, or Mysty, or Seren. Though I am leaning towards Mysty going and Seren staying. Seren's magic and undead make useful guardians, and Mysty could potentially eavesdrop on some private conversations."


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Very well, I will stay.


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

Cecelia initially maintains a straight face at Nahia's impression, but her mouth noticeably begins twitching into a smirk. Eventually she cracks and a few chuckles escape. "Ah, so you have been to such functions before too..." she replies drily.

As they discuss who will stay and who will go Cecelia shrugs, "I am sure Bizan and Seren will be fine here. They'll have that ogre after all...and all the new recruits. If you wanted to go, I would hate for you to..." Cecelia looks Hound up and down appraisingly, "Uh...waste an outfit."


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

That sounds reasonable. Hound shrugs. Just as long as the place is not left undefended.


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Hound rustles everyone to the party.


Human Hero Killer1 / Holy Assassin1 / Deceiver2

Deciding it’s time to crash the party, the knot moves from the briar and heads to the Baron manor. The trip is uneventful, but you attract a lot of stares along the way. The whole city knows about the ball, the whole city wishes they could attend.

Arriving at the place, there’s a certain surprise. The manor, already richly decorated is even more opulent this night. Dozens of servants hurry in their work, serving and tending to the visitors, and you are not even inside the place.

With his introduction card and invitation in hand, the ever so fearless Hound strides to the entrance, where the manservant, guide him into the ballroom. As they are about to enter, the clear and loud voice open way to them ”The Briar Rose! Mercenaries, adventures, heroes!”

A small round of applauses greets you as you enter, but you see most of them are just surprised. Which kind of adventures would deserve an invitation to such party?


Human Hero Killer1 / Holy Assassin1 / Deceiver2

The party seems lively as ever. You weren’t the first to arrive, but not many had arrived before you. Lords and wannabe lords, everyone that fancy being important around seems to have been invited.

The announcements continue after you entered: Lord of this, Duke of that, Baron of something else, petty tittle for petty nobles, and so the night goes on.

One name catch your attention tho:

”Bergill Mott, wizard by trade, headmaster and educator.” the voices introduces a man in his forties, in his hand a walking stick and he seems to favor one leg, as he walks inside the ball.

Drinks and food is served in abundance, the music is pleasant and enjoyable. Ahead of the musicians an exquisitely beautiful black skinned elf with long flowing blonde hair.


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

Before leaving Cecelia spends a fair amount of time preparing for the event, making sure her dress is perfect and her hair is falling just right. By the time the Ninth Knot is heading to the party, she is elegantly dressed in her trademark white and looking deceptively angelic. Sorting what she would bring, she notices her Mitran holy symbol, cracked from being thrown into a wall. Sighing deeply, she grabs the symbol and shoves it into her purse. Might need to keep up appearances.

Once through the doors, Cecelia takes only a moment to appreciate the splendor of the event before she discreetly separates from Nahia, Hound and Mysty. Moving amongst the guests, she at first only listens in, trying to scour for any particularly interesting conversations. Turning up the charm factor, she then tries to maneuver herself into those conversations.

Gather Information: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (16) + 15 = 31

However, Cecelia also has a secondary motivation for separating. Constantly keeping a side eye on her fellow members of the Ninth, she waits, hoping to catch a look at the mysterious seventh knot.

Grand Lodge

Female Halfling Rogue 4/Sorcerer3 (efreeti bloodline) | HP 7/37 AC 22 | T 17 | FF 17 | CMB +4 | CMD 20 | FORT +3 | REF +11 | WILL +4 | INIT +5 | Perception +11(+12 with traps) | Stealth +19 | Bluff +11 | Sense Motive +3 | Diplomacy +8 | Spellcraft +8
active effects:

Mysty dresses up to the nines, with a couple of concealed knives and an unconcealed rapier. Her outfit is a black and silver dress, with red hearts up the sleaves.

She will aid Cecilia in her information efforts.

But she feels somewhat pensive. odd. I seem to be missing Rose. she shook her head, and put on a winning smile. foolish halfling.


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Hound dresses in a neatly pressed military uniform of a low-ranking soldier. There are no medals or obvious symbols of rank or station, but something that makes him look somewhat military. He does keep a dagger by his side as well as a longsword.

When he enters, he acts the role of bodyguard to the delicate flowers and only eats small amounts and a few sips of liquor, he wants to keeps his senses sharp. In fact, the dark skinned elf catches his eye as seemingly an oddity. He sniffs the air to see if she has a particular scent.


aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]

In preparation for the party Nahia first applies an oddly red poultice, the same from the celebration party last week, and lets that dry on her skin for a few hours. Then, she takes a nice, long, hot bath, letting the stress and dirt and everything melt off of her into the quickly darkening water.

She plays around with different looks and different outfits before setting on something somewhere between noblewoman and entertainer. She wears a flowing purple gown that starts as a nice purple choker that runs down her body like twirling flowers and vines before draping over her hips and turning into a collection of fine, diaphanous cloth.

Next, she focuses on her crown and begins to turn her skin to s slight olive tone, the dusky skin fitting in well with her elven appearence. Finally, she lets her eyes go a rich sky blue.

She spends a few minutes coming up with her cover story: Her name is new name is Jessica Morningstar, a daughter of a merchant family that is funding their adventuring company. She primarily acts as their accountant, healer, and scholar, using their travels and wealth to set up trade agreements. Her family has worked with the Baron for finding antiques and importing goods from across the sea.

Trait Ritual - Warning - slightly graphic:

Knowing that she needs to be on the top of her game tonight, once she is clean and dressed and ready, Nahia takes a moment to do something that she has done surprisingly little of lately: pray.

She draws a chalk pentagram and kneels in it, her eyes closed and her hands clasped together, just as the Cardinal taught her. In Infernal, she begins to softly pray.

Oh Prince of Darkness, please listen to your gracious servant.
I know it has been long since I have given more than a quick prayer, spoken in haste.
But I work for you, my Prince, that we may usher in a new age of your glory.
I sacrifice my time and my pain to you, Dark One, that you will reward me.

As Nahia continues her prayers, she can feel that comforting warmth seep into her chest and begin to spread throughout her body.

Tonight is the first time since I sold myself to your service, Dark Prince, that I will practice my old skills.
And while I want to simply enjoy myself, even tonight I work for you.
Please, my Prince, guide me and strengthen me, ensure my sacrifice is not in vain.

Nahia reaches down and pulls up the skirt of her dress, revealing her thighs.

I give my blood to you, Dark Prince, that you may find me wherever I may go.

The nail on her index finger grows longer, sharper, and she begins to slowly cut into the inner thigh of her right leg. First one line, then two, three, four, and five, forming the pentagram of Asmodeus. Finally, she completes the symbol with a circle joining the points of the star. And when she does so, she feels an intense heat rush from her thighs through her body.

Taking a deep breath, she bows her head forward and whispers.

Thank you, my Dark Prince, for accepting this ones supplication.

Reaching into her pocket, she retrieves a cotton garter which she slides up her right leg and ties into place below dripping cuts, the white cloth staining red.

Activating my 'Asmodeus Rewards Sacrifice!' trait for a +2 to Diplomacy.

- - - - -

Diplomacy - Gather Information (Guidance, Asmodeus Rewards Sacrifice!): 1d20 + 12 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 12 + 1 + 2 = 33

As they walk into the party, Nahia immediately begins to grab a glass of wine and mingle with the crowd, quickly falling into her old graces and habits. It is not long before she is joking with the women, reacting incredulously at gossip and slipping in her own stories of the faux pas of others. Just as easily, as she samples food and takes in drink, she flirts with the noble men, covering her mouth and giggling at their tales, offering small compliments, and staring at them longingly and slyly, though not so slyly as to not be noticed.

But as she mingles the one that really piques her interest it the wizard Mott. She waits for a proper opportunity and saddles up to him as he gets some food of his own, exchanging the normal pleasantries before adding. "Mott... why does that name sound familiar? I know I've heard your families name recently but I can't for the life of me remember where..."

I'm trying to see if he is related to Captain Mott from Brandescar.


Human Hero Killer1 / Holy Assassin1 / Deceiver2

I'll update later today.

@Nahia, long time ago you and Mysty met with Bergil. Here.


aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]
DM Aku wrote:
@Nahia, long time ago you and Mysty met with Bergil. Here.

Ah! Sorry, I got the last name confused with Captain Mott from the previous book. I withdraw that question then.


Human Hero Killer1 / Holy Assassin1 / Deceiver2

@Hound

The woman’s voice seems almost angelic, and she definitely has a different sent, but nothing that you can place or identify, further inspection of the singer don’t reveal much, she smiles to everyone, and when some courageous lordling invites her to dance, she gladly accepts, dancing and singing without losing a tune.

@Cecelia

The nobles, seems very happy to receive you, but you notice that most of the times, the subject seems to change when you get near. That’s to be only expected tho. Adventures don’t have don’t have that much influence on Talingard, and while your beautiful visage attract attentions, and most of the lords want to secretly take you to their bed, none seems to be willing to discuss secrets near a stranger lady. You notice as well this is a great opportunity for acquiring contacts, expand your network. You don’t know what kind of adventure you’ll have on the future, but certainly getting to know the nobles can only earn you benefits.

@Everyone

Soon after you enter, the Baron moves to greet you, a smile splashed on his face ”It’s a great pleasure you manage to attend to my humble celebration. Please feel free to enjoy the party.”

As usual, the baron actions draws some attention, since the other nobles are asking what sort of adventurers would have such prestige with the baron.

==//==

”Sir Valin Darian, Knight of Alerion, commander of the Hamorhall, heir to the Victor and company.” the clear voices announces as a heavily built man walks inside the ballroom. He seems to be in his mid-forties, but it’s clear the man isn’t a puffy noble, but a warrior. The way he walks and how he observes the places is enough to notice his martial background, following behind him, several other knights, all dressed on noble clothes.

==//==


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

A talented actress it seems. Hound thinks and keeps the rest of his group under his gaze as the part goes on. When Sir Valin enters, he notices how different he is. Certainly has the training, I wonder why he is here? If he is a potential threat to The Horn, we need to find out more.

Hound maneuvers over to Nahia and Mysty and points out the Victor. Think you can dig up any information about him? If more types like him are in town we'll have a more difficult time.


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

The elven woman is unusual as well. I am wondering if there is a connection to the flying pest from earlier.


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

Cecelia sighs inwardly at the useless discussions and the lecherous advances. Glad to see the nobles of Talingarde haven't changed a bit. Though, I don't remember the men of Matharyn being quite so forward. Still, realizing the value of networking, she remains pleasant. Perhaps they won't speak freely in front of me today...but play the long game and their trust will grow. Trying to distance herself from the adventurers' reputation, she portrays herself as a traveling Mitran priestess, who just happened to be traveling along with Rose of the Briar, but is really looking for somewhere to settle down.

Her eyebrow raises a little at the grand entrance of Sir Valin. An heir of the victor...well that's interesting. Deciding to be bold, she makes her way through the crowd towards him. Deciding to lay it of thick, she curtsies before pretending to gush, "A true heir to victor and commander of Hammarhall! What a honor to meet you...and may I say, Mitra bless you for all you and your family have done for this nation! Truly your lineage is a symbol of hope for people in these dark and violent times!

Bluff: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31

Cecelia smiles sweetly, but inside she is chuckling. I think I actually did that with a straight face and not a hint of sarcasm. Guess I'm not as rusty as I thought...


aka Alina | Female Changeling Witch 7 [HP 43/43 | Bust: 32C | AC:17 | T:15 | FF:16 | CMD:13 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+5 | Will:+8 | Init:+2 | Per:+9 | Sense Motive:+2 | Bluff:+19 (+2 sexy bonus) | Diplomacy:+12 | Intimidate:+10 | Spellcraft:+14]

@Aku, I assume my diplomacy check has the same results as Cecelia's?

Nahia nods at Hound and says to Missy "Try and eavesdrop on some conversations. They keep going quiet when we're around. I'll see if I can cause something of a distraction." Muttering a quick mantra under her breath, she heads towards the dance floor.

Joining the dance floor, Nahia moves from partner to partner, watching for a particularly handsome and skilled individual. Picking her best bet, she begins to dance with him, choosing her moves to try and bring out ever more energy in him, ever more desire, to make him go flashier and bolder, the two of them a blur of skin and skirt on the dance floor.

Dance: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 5 + 1 = 20

-- Inserting this because I don't want it to be missed. --

When Sir Valen goes to leave, Nahia will intercept him. Why not double our chance of success?

Nahia mutters another mantra and takes a sip of wine before 'accidentally' backing into Sir Valen on his way out, the jostle causing her to spill wine on her dress. Immediately, she turns red in the face, brushing the wine from the soaked cloth and apologizing "I am SO sorry. I can be..."

She stops mid-sentence when she turns around and sees who it is, her face reddening even more. "Oh, Sir Darian! I am so sorry! Did I get any wine on you!" She says softly, inspecting him for even a drop of discolor.

Long term goal is to draw him into wanting to meet with me at a later date, outside the party. Basically, seduce him and then placate him with an excuse about tonight.

Bluff to Seduce: 1d20 + 19 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 19 + 2 + 1 = 40


Human Hero Killer1 / Holy Assassin1 / Deceiver2

@Nahia, sorry I think I skipped your post, I wasn’t aware of your Diplomacy check. I’ll also delay the scene with the knight of alerion a bit.

Information about the elf.
The elf woman is a renowned singer knows mostly as “Lady Shae”. Rumors about her talent dates from centuries ago, and it the last time she came to Farhold was before the Victor’s raid, more than eighty years ago. It’s apparent everyone is curious/impressed how the baron manages to contact famous person, or even convince her to provide entertainment to his party, but one thing they are all sure: He paid a very expensive price for that.

@Cecelia

The man seems distracted and didn’t notice you approach until you started talking. You notice there’s plethora of nobles trying to get the man attention and by his face, he couldn’t be more bored with all of this. It’s only when he looks at you, that his semblance changes, and he smiles genuinely, maybe for the first time in a long time.

”That’s a unexpected surprise.” he explains ”I’m sure you do not belong to the abbey, what brings you here sister?”

===//===

”Miss Liza Fairworth and company.” the voice announces as a white haired woman walks inside the ballroom. She is dressed simply but elegantly all in white. All of her jewelry has a blueish tone, making you somewhat remember snow and ice flakes. Behind her, a hulking man clearly uncomfortable on noble clothes and two identical males twins. Elise, Dostan, Trik and Trak, the Seventh.

=== // ===


M Human Male Human Barbarian 7 |HP97/97 (109/109 when raging) | Bust 40B|AC:18(17) | T:12(11) | FF:18(17) | CMD:20 | Fort:+10 | Ref:+5/7 | Will:+5 | Init:+2 | Per:+12 | Acrobatics:+9 | Climb:+10 | Stealth:+6 | Ride:+9]

Hound looks unimpressed with everything and is actually tempted to start quaffing ale.

Grand Lodge

Female Halfling Rogue 4/Sorcerer3 (efreeti bloodline) | HP 7/37 AC 22 | T 17 | FF 17 | CMB +4 | CMD 20 | FORT +3 | REF +11 | WILL +4 | INIT +5 | Perception +11(+12 with traps) | Stealth +19 | Bluff +11 | Sense Motive +3 | Diplomacy +8 | Spellcraft +8
active effects:

Mysty circulates, snacking as she does. On seeing the descendant of the victor, she smiled. That one would be useful. Then she saw hound knock an ale back. And sighed.
let's hope he doesn't need to be carried out. Or that he hits anyone.


Female Human Oracle 7| HP 37/58 | AC 22 | T11 | FF 21| CMD 20 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5 (+2 vs emotion) | Init +1 | Per +6 | SM +6 | Bluff +13 | Dipl +15 | Intim +5 | Channel (4d6) 4/6; Quicken Cure 0/1 | Spells: 1st 7/8; 2nd 5/7; 3rd 3/5
Active Effects:

So susceptible to flattery. So eager to have praised heaped upon him, for what? Coasting upon the decades old achievements of his ancestor? Almost too easy...

"You are right. I am not from the Abbey," she says, as if he were oh so observant for having figured that out. "I have no current church that I call home. I'm more of a traveller...on a journey of self discovery in my faith. " Sighing, she continues, "It isn't the easiest life, but there are just so many part of this country in need of...healing, don't you think?"

Waving away further questions about herself, "But, I would rather here about you! What is it like commanding a watchtower? I imagine it must be challenging during wartime."


Human Hero Killer1 / Holy Assassin1 / Deceiver2

@Hound
”The Briar Rose, right?” the disdain is palpable on the voice and as Hound turns around, he is being surrounded by nobles and their arrogant faces.

”Are you the rose?” one of them asks smirking at their own sense of humor.

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