Mysty cleans her blade, singing to herself
poor little one, don't you cry, for you are just gonna' die
Putting her rapier away, she helps collect the loot.
take the bodies once they are looted. Give them to the frog men, as a gift. Waste not, want not as my sainted mother used to say she orders the guards. She turns to hound.
do you want to give them the bodies. You are their chief, sorta.
Perhaps we can get Hears-the-Father to speak with their corpses and ask where they learned about how to get into the horn. We can give them the bodies then. If one still lives, Cecilia, please check. We can put them to the question and then turn them into an undead guard.
sounds like an idea. Once we have sorted this out, i think we have earned a drink.
Nodding, Cecelia continues checking for survivors. However, as she does, she comments, "If you wish to question them...posthumously, I was trained to do so by...well...I have done so before." Continuing to explain, she says, "I can ask each corpse about three questions...though I might need to rest for the night if you wished to interrogate all four of them."
Nodding, Cecelia grabs the scorched body of the leader and props her up near the wall. "So I will ask her how they learned about the horn. Anything else in particular...or should I just see where the conversation goes?"
"It will be done." Cecelia replies, as she kneels down next to the corpse. Placing both hands on the woman's stomach, light flashes as she presses in. The light moves into the woman's chest and upwards towards her throat, causing the body to let out a gasp. Alright...lets see how cooperative you are..., Cecelia remarks, as she realizes this is probably the first time she has tried this on someone who probably isn't going to want to be helpful.
Will save is DC 18
I think at least one of them should be given ot the holy flame and incinerated. What do you think?
Sounds good to me, especially if one still lives as a sacrifice. Maybe give them to the dire wraith.
Cecelia drags the burnt corpse around, while the others check if any of the other invaders survived. Sadly, none of the enemies are alive.
The knot gathers to discuss what the best approach is and how to deal with their situation, but that doesn’t matter to Cecelia, as she’s already focusing on her magic chanting the ritual words grasping at the dead woman soul. Not long into the spell and Traya’s corpse starts to convulse, in a vain attempt to resist whatever magic is working behind Cecelia chants.
As the time goes on, the trashing turns to bestial howls and Cecelia words raises into to match the deceased woman’s torment. Whatever is happening there, it sure doesn’t look pleasant to be on the receiving end of it.
Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
But it doesn’t take long before the dead woman’s soul is subdued and her resistance is crushed by Cecelia’s magic.
I’ll post the answer of your questions, but I’ll leave it up to you the reaction of Traya. I was thinking on something macabre and very tormenting while you forcefully plucked the answers out of the dead woman, but I guess I shouldn’t step that hard into your own char to satisfy my own dark and evil mood.
- How they learned about the Horn.
One of the Victor’s surviving knights, Sir Martyn of Brandingshire, recorded a personal journal detailing the original raid eighty years ago. Traya bought that journal in an estate auction in Matharyn months ago and has been using it to hone her search.
- Where they stayed in town.
They didn’t stay in town.
- Who they told about this assault.
None but themselves.
Cecelia looks a little caught off guard as the corpse begins thrashing. Well that's never happened before...but then I guess you've never tried to force an enemy to share their secrets to you before... At first she seems to be locked in a mental battle with the woman, her magic fighting against the will of the sorceresses's soul. Growing frustrated, she tries to remember Thorn's lessons. What was did he teach me about mind control? Hide your fear. Your shame. Your guilt. Exert your will over them. Believe in your right to dominate them. They are nothing...She is nothing...
Forcing back the corpse with a single hand, Cecelia's lets out a shout, the words clear and threatening. "BE STILL!" The corpse reacts immediately, falling back against the wall with a thud. The thrashing seems to stop, though the body continues twitching as if it were trying to regain control.
"How did you learn about this place?" she says demandingly.
The corpse continues to twitch and fight, as Cecelia pulls it forward and then slams it against the wall once more. Finally the body speaks, in a voice that seems to be gasping for air, "A journal...I bought a journal...from an estate auction in Matharyn...Sir Martin of Brandingshire...Knight...came with the Victor eighty years ago...what he wrote...lead us here...please...let me rest."
Not easing up her grip, Cecelia declares, "Not until you are done answering my questions. Where did you stay in town?"
The corpse gasps once more. "We didn't stay in town...please...
"Who knew you were coming here?"
"We...didn't...tell...anyone...", the corpse says as it lets out one final breath and falls limp, as if it had no strength left in its body or mind.
Sighing and releasing the corpse, Cecelia begins searching the woman's pockets for the journal she spoke about. "Well that's that." Cecelia says to the others, "I don't think I will be able to ask her more questions...at least not for a little while. However, I can try the same with the others if we want more information...like where they came from."
@GM: Apologies if that was not what you were hoping for. I'm kind of a wuss who tends to avoid horror and gore like the plague, so twisted and macabre isn't really something I know how to write.
Well at least it sounds like they were independent and we don't have to worry about anyone missing them.
good. Maybe that's why the other knot didn't warn us. I was wondering that.
@Cecelia: You disappoint me young padawan. A thousand deaths isn’t enough to pay for your crimes!
The post-mortem interrogation session ends and the woman’s tormented soul if finally put to rest. Searching the body of the invaders, there’s no indication of any diary or anything similar, and now that you think about it, it’s strange they aren’t carrying any utensils they needed to travel, and clearly they are travellers.
Maybe they had a ridden stash somewhere?
What now? Keep digging for more info or should I move things forward?
Quetion another one about where the diary is and how they traveled to the horn. If they didn't stay in town there might be a camp they were going to return to.
Aw man...Is there at least a chance of reducing that sentence to 500 deaths for bad behavior?
Cecelia nods, "Yes...we should figure that out. I can't ask her any more questions for now though..." Looking at the other bodies, she points to the man with red skin. "How about him? He seemed...dim witted...perhaps he will not be so resistant as his leader."
Propping the body up against the wall next to the other one, she prepares to cast her spell, "Any other burning questions for this one, aside from where they were staying and where the diary is? Or should we just see what he has to say?"
-Posted with Wayfinder
A burning question? Too bad they aren´t alive anymore. Are you sure they didn´t stay in town? Perhaps they have another member there? Some secret spy? Or they know something about this place you dont?
"I think if they had a spy in town, she wouldn't have said that they didn't tell anyone they were coming...but I suppose it doesn't hurt to double check." Cecelia mutters as she prepares to cast the spell, "So, I will ask him how they travelled to the horn, where they kept the journal and if they have any other allies?"
@GM: Feel free to jump ahead to casting the spell, assuming everyone is fine with these questions.
There is another possibility...What if they don´t have someone in town, but answer to a master or oganization who has and they don´t know? Those are adventurers, pesky sellswords, after all and Mitrans are not above using them.
Will: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Once more, Cecelia draws from the dark energy of the horn to bring back the spirit of the deceased. Hassan J’raaq offered less resistance than Traya, he was louder and trashed harder, such was that Hound had to join the spell and help contain trashing body, until finally Cecelia overcome his resistance and once more the body fell silent, waiting for the witch questions.
- how they travelled to the horn
They own a ship – a small sea-worthy cutter named “The Seventh Voyage”
- where they kept the journal
In the ship.
- and if they have any other allies
Yes (but just to point out, the question was too broad, so anyone that is friendly/allied counts against this answer, and don’t really mean they have some backup waiting to attack the horn if they don’t return.)
I’ll post the details here, and you guys can decide by yourself how to tackle this:
The hunt for the boat isn’t that hard, knowing the few spots where they could hid such object and still have easy access to the city. The ship, ship – a small sea-worthy cutter named “The Seventh Voyage”, small locked chest hidden (good lock DC30) in its main cabin that holds the Raider’s emergency fund -- 1200 gp in mixed coinage, as well weeks’ worth of dried ration, spare clothes, an assortment of common weapons and armor your choice of weapons martial common weapons and armor as well 2 exotic weapons as well.
The diary, as Traya said, describe the raid from eighty years ago, and can be summarized as following:
Markadian I called the Victorious (usually simply the Victor) was the greatest king in the recent history of Talingarde. He united the kingdom and raised a dispirited people from despair and darkness. Some of his heroics are widely celebrated and well known by every child. Some are secret and deliberately hidden. The greatest secret of the Victor’s reign without a doubt is the raid upon the Horn of Abaddon and the banishment of the daemon prince Vetra-Kali Eats-the-Eyes.
The Horn of Abaddon was once an ancient stronghold of primal evil. For centuries, it was the sanctuary of a foul cult who called themselves “The Sons of the Pale Horseman”. The Sons were a thoroughly noxious organization that venerated sickness and disease above all else, seeking to bring the blessings of plague upon the world.
For centuries, the cult dwelled in secrecy never facing any serious opposition from the local lords. The death-priests were not primarily focused on Talingarde after all. Their ambitions were wider than that. They used their hidden stronghold to inflict horrors upon the world.
After defeating the pirates of the western coast, the Victor learned of the Horn of Abaddon. The paladin-king could not abide this darkness on the borders of his domain. He led a small retinue of loyal retainers against the Horn. He slaughtered the death-priests and their daemon servitors to a man. And there in the throne-room of the daemon prince, the Victor laid low the immortal master of the death-cult and shattered the dae-mon’s coil of flesh. Vetra-Kali was banished in shame back to the daemonic realms and the reach of the Pale Horseman was immensely shortened upon the material plane. Truly it was a great victory for the forces of light.
This triumph was not enough for the Victor. He could sense that the Horn of Abaddon was still a nexus of evil. He knew this darkness could rise again in time. And so he commanded his priests to fashion a great seal of silver. He personally placed the seal in the sanctum of the daemon prince. For seven days, he fasted and prayed that what he did then would never be undone. Blessed Mitra heard his prayers. The divine seal became a holy artifact.
Hence forth, it would be impossible ,so the knight thinks, to once more call forth darkness from the Horn of Abaddon.
Hound helps track down the boat and sorts through the items. 1200/4=300 gp each
It seems we have managed to plug this hole, we should scuttle the ship to remove evidance.
"You mean sink it?" Cecelia asks with a frown. "Seems like a waste. Its small, fast, sea worthy...in relatively good condition. Could be useful."
Thinking for a moment she adds, "I don't know how worried we need to be about it being a loose end. They clearly didn't interact with many people in the town...and it wouldn't be a hard sell to say they sold it to us...or just change the name of the boat...I doubt anyone even knows its here..."
-Posted with Wayfinder
I guess we could use it to travel to town by another route if need be. I am no sailor though.
The search and ship hunting is uneventful, as the enemies told the truth about no allies or no one else knowing about their ventures. The ship, altho hidden, remains as it was left by its previous owners.
The trip back is also uneventful, at least until they reach the Horn. The mad, high and smelly boggard shaman accompanied by two boggards tribesman waits their chieftain with dreadful news.
”Hunting party of three has not come back, is late, is missing.” the shaman croaks and continues ”Father Dagon grants vision, Zikomo has read omens, speak of a hunting demon. Headed east towards Lake. Would the great and powerful emissaries of Father Dagon investigate?”
Just tell me what you are doing with the ship
Keep it for now.
Hound looks at the others. Another threat? We might as well investigate, no sense letting a potential threat go unchecked considering we have been attacked already.
I don´t really like water, but it could be a good asset.
A hunting demon? What do you mean by that? A human hunting party or a real demon?
"I suggest that we rest up tonight, while keeping everyone on high alert. We've already done a lot of travelling today and there is any number of reason the hunting party could have been delayed. However, if they are not back by morning, I agree we should investigate immediately."
Indeed, some refreshing of our spirits in in order. Boggards, we'll look into this. Hound tells the minions.
Hound gets up and gathers the others. We'll set off towards the lake and see if we can find any tracks. I'll be trying to find the boggard's scent.
Hound will begin tracking and using his keen nose to try to find any trace of the lost patrol and this..demon
Survival: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
Here is what the knot knows about the surroundings
The northern Caer Bryr is a temperate rainforest richly blessed with rain fall and broadleaf trees. The trees here are tall and broad. The thick-trunked baobab tree, unusual in such a wet clime, is common here and grows to enormous size. It is not uncommon to see trees hundreds of feet tall with trunks twenty feet across. To walk into the deep Briar is to enter the domain of giants.
Every flat surface is covered with brilliant green moss and lichens in every hue. Mushrooms of a million sorts proliferate and crowd every fallen log. Small animal life is dense -- squirrels, voles, mice and white-faced ghost monkeys. Birds dwell here in endless variety and dazzling panoramas of plumage are everywhere on display. It is a bountiful place rich and thriving with nature’s splendor.
The Lake of Skye, rarely seen by civilized eyes, fractures into a thousand streams that course through the forest floor. These streams eventually stagnate and fail near the coast becoming the Salt Brack. The Salt Brack is also blessed with life -- crocodiles, fish, lizards, snakes, frogs, toads, salamanders and birds teem there. The blue-cray, a particularly delicious and rare swamp lobster, can be found hidden in the mud of the Salt Brack if one is brave enough to hunt it. A good sized live blue-cray can command a 30 gp a head back in Farholde.
This information was discovered alongside with the following map, earlier in the game, when you guys were investigating the missing knot.
Cecelia wakes up early and is quickly armed and ready to search for the missing hunting party. Travelling cautiously, with her shield raised, she walks next to Hound, trying to spot any sign of the hunters or whatever hunted them.
Survival: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
What kind of dreams and nightmares?
Lalali sticks to the middle of the group, trying to avoid contact with water and wet mud as far as possible. Clearly, it´s not pleasing her.
Nothing spelled out then? Guess that´s good^^
Hound and Cecelia both can feel warmth radiating from Lalali as she walks behind them, carefully stepping where they stepped.
How did you sleep lately? I had weird dreams recently. When i first came here i slept really well and always felt protected by the holy fire, but since some time now it feels like something is creeping up in my dreams. Something else, difficult to describe.
Hopefully we don´t need to stay here too long. I like the nature, but swamps not so much. Too wet.
The place is tainted by the past presence of the daemon that dwelled there. I to have been sleeping uneasily and the sooner we finish this ritual the better.
I´m confident the master of the flame will cleanse the place from all traces of this heretic presence. Like we should do with this place here. Set it dry somehow. What do you think we are dealing with here anyway? Renegade frogmen? More adventurers? Or really some kind of demon?
The knot gathers and prepares for travel. Nahia, Seren and Grumble are tasked with the horn's defense while the others are away, dealing with this new threat.
At first, there's no small that might indicate what they are after, and that's to be expected, since they are nowhere near the lake. It's almost a full day's worth o travel, walking thru dense and unexplored forest.
At last, you arrive, near dusk, on the banks of the Lake of Skye, the place is eerie quiet, and there's a distinct smell about, but not strong enough to allow it to be easily followed. There's several tall three's overshowed by gigantic stone spires, not unlike the horn itself.
Camping for the night and searching in the morning? Setting camp? Continue the search? What will you guys do?
We'll camp and then continue the search in the morning, no sense stumblign around in the dark. Cold camp, no fire and we'll eat the rations. Hound goes about setting camp.
mysty sighed. He knew what he was doing, she supposed, but a night with dried rations and no fire? She was a city girl. This hunt had its attractions, but those were paling now. Still...
Hound, a thought. What watches should we set? We don't want this thing coming up on us unawares.
Camp here together? Cecelia thinks nervously. All this talk about nightmares...hopefully mine don't come tonight with a vengeance. That could make me look...weak.
When watch is discussed, Cecelia shrugs and says, "I suppose we will have to take shifts.
I´ll gladly take watch with Cecelia and make sure no slugs are invading us here. Can we get this spot a bit more dry? Or start a fire?