Two goals exist for the Watchmen. One, track down and confront Count Lowls. Two, search the Dreamlands for the unique gifts needed to purchase an audience with the Mad Poet, an ominous figure who may hold the secrets to the Watchmen’s forgotten past and Lowls’ mysterious future.
This list of seven unusual gifts scrawled in the margins of the Dichotomous Translations of Aklo Syntax provides the keys to researching seven individual dream quests
Each of the seven dream quests must be researched separately within the related books and notes.
Viscount’s signet ring
Feline tail (blue and purple mottled fur)
Skull of ghoul royalty
Green stone idol of a water lizard
Night hag ambassador’s heartstone
Red webbed foot
Select one gift and roll some research checks to discover information about the item and how to use the occult excursion ritual to reach the location within the Dreamlands where it can be found.
Fearless looks over the list once more. "May as well start at the top. Right?" he flips through the many, many books stacked around the cabin.
Not sure how many rolls you need, but otherwise Fearless will go right down the list.
Knowledge Arcana (7 ranks and a class skill); Inspiration: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (15) + 14 + (5) = 34
Knowledge Arcana (7 ranks and a class skill); Inspiration: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (20) + 14 + (1) = 35
Knowledge Arcana (7 ranks and a class skill); Inspiration: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 14 + (5) = 24
Knowledge Arcana (7 ranks and a class skill); Inspiration: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (6) + 14 + (2) = 22
Knowledge Arcana (7 ranks and a class skill); Inspiration: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (14) + 14 + (6) = 34
Knowledge Arcana (7 ranks and a class skill); Inspiration: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (11) + 14 + (3) = 28
Knowledge Arcana (7 ranks and a class skill); Inspiration: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (13) + 14 + (5) = 32
No likes on my last post? I thought that was killer. Sheesh...tough crowd.
"You want me to do cat now?" Cats looks down at the book offered to him by Fearless. "Ah...well...I guess I can do some...maybe..."
Cats *really* doesn't have a mind for reading, so he can't promise to try, but he'll try to try.
When he is not keeping watch, nor cat-napping, he will try tease out a few words from the books if given specific instructions upon what to look for. Out of 7 days, you might get 3 days of actual help.
1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14 vs. DC 10 Knowledge to aid
1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14 vs. DC 10 Knowledge to aid
1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6 vs. DC 10 Knowledge to aid
Fearless throws himself back into Lowls’ books. The research proves tougher than before, following subjects Fearless has studied, but not focused on. Still, he manages to unravel their secrets almost as skillfully as Brother Butterfly unravels drawstrings on dresses.
The skill checks for each gift are different. For the signet ring the available checks are Knowledge (history), Knowledge (nobility),
Knowledge (planes). Fearless has all three, though none at 5 ranks. Even so, the rolls are still very good.
Complexity for this subject is DC 20
Research damage day 1: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Research damage day 2: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Research damage day 3: 0 = 0
Research damage day 4: 0 = 0
Research damage day 5: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
It takes 5 days of work, with a couple dead ends, but he eventually unlocks information about the ring and the variation of the ritual needed to access the realm it resides within.
The viscount referenced is Viscount Pietro Brellin, a mysterious but popular noble in the Dreamlands city of Celephais. According to one of Lowls’s travelogues, Celephais is an opulent and populous city.
Although visitors and natives alike experience the passage of time normally in Celephais, the city appears frozen in time. Lowls visited at noon, and the sun remained at its zenith even though he spent hours negotiating with the viscount for his ring.
Viscount Brellin is known for hosting courtly and lavish events. Fearing to lose the viscount’s favor, attendees ignore any unusual happenings at these events.
Fearless leaves several books open to their passages. "Hey guys...." As everyone gathers he points to each, reading the books in order. "Looks like we may have to go back int those Dreamlands to find out what happened. Have a visit with this Viscount Pietro Brellin."
"Or I can research the rest of this list as well. Maybe some are more or less connected than others. The less time in that Dream Realm the better."
Cats hands the book back to Fearless.
”We have to do *what* now, Catless? Back to the Dreamlands? Are you sure?” Cats asks, worried. ”Our last trip didn’t turn out so well there. Not at all.”
Cats sags down, resigned. ”Are you sure? I mean, can’t we just sail there on this tugboat?”
Fearless reads the passages once more. "I don't really see any other way. Give me a few more days, maybe I can figure out more on the rest." He begins looking over text concerning the Feline tail (blue and purple mottled fur) and the Skull of ghoul royalty.
Not sure what checks those need but here are a few baseline ones.
Knowledge 1: 1d20 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + (2) = 6
Knowledge 2: 1d20 + 1d6 ⇒ (17) + (4) = 21
Knowledge 3: 1d20 + 1d6 ⇒ (11) + (4) = 15
Knowledge 4: 1d20 + 1d6 ⇒ (13) + (4) = 17
Knowledge 5: 1d20 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + (5) = 8
Knowledge (arcana) +14
Knowledge (dungeoneering, Engineering, geography, local, planes) +9
Knowledge (history, nature, nobility, religion) +8
Clues about the feline tail are found in a series of books with titles like Monuments of the Forest, Tigers and Flies, and The Wise Harmony. One of them is written entirely in Aklo, a language that Fearless understands.
The skill checks for the tail are Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (planes). The books grant a +2 bonus
Complexity for this subject is DC 20[/ooc]
Research damage day 1: 0 = 0
Research damage day 2: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Research damage day 3: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Research damage day 4: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
This time he gets off a rough start, unable to learn anything the first day, but then everything starts to coalesce and he burns through the material in the next three days.
According to a naturalist’s papers, felines with blue and purple tails are called pards, and they can be found in the Dreamlands’ Enchanted Wood.
One of Lowls’s diaries indicates his intent to seek the advice of zoogs, a race of intelligent rodent-like creature native to the Enchanted Wood. Zoogs are carnivores and particularly enjoy feline flesh; Lowls assumed the zoogs would know where to find pards.
Fearless also discovers the proper phrase that allows you to use the Dreamlands excursion occult ritual to reach the Enchanted Wood.
Int: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
"We came across a Zoog in Briarstone" Fearless comes up from his research hole several days later. Seeing the blank stares he explains what a Zoog is in the first place and where they are from. "There it is again. Another place only in the Dreamlands. We need to get back in there." He goes over all the texts."We have a couple of leads to go off of now."
Cats does what he can to help, trying to help steer Mariner's barge to their destination when he can. At other times, he helps Fearless with the research, mostly by sleeping on a pile of books and learning via osmosis.
At least he's mostly quiet and out of the way most times.
Well, Well my friends. The seas are treating us kindly. No apparent pursuit and the research that Fearless is putting in is SPECTACULAR.
Should it be up to me, and while I know it isn't, just hear me out. Let's go to the party first. Not really a chance to accidentally encounter an 11 tenticled monster like last time. Plus - I am REALLY good with people. Just ask the Razmirans!
Brother laughs a deep laugh.
No seriously, what happened there is a crazy situation where we landed smack dab into a game of political intrigue. Seleen wanted a promotion and the only way to get that promotion is the ouster of the head honcho. Too bad Seleen was so low class that she played the alliances all wrong. Her attempts on your life means I'm gonna have to return there some day and totally kick her
and this is when BB takes on a strange and sultry tone ...her rosie white buttocks with a little dimple in the right cheek. She sure had a fine frame on her underneath all that robe and mask
Obviously BB votes for party. Advise where to first so he can prep prayers that suit the environment.
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”Our last trip didn’t turn out so well there. Not at all.”
"Especially me!" the other Mariner thumbs at himself. "These Dreamland cities and forests don't make any sense. I got murdurt, Cat's got about two lives left and god knows who Brother is going to screw in there. I'd be more inclined to go if there was some kinda wake-up hatch I can pull in case the excremental comes for me again. Some trinket we can seek from a wiseman?"
Since Fearless is the most skilled in the areas needed to perform the occult ritual I’ll leave it up to him to decide which location to go to. Once you have decided, I’ll need 2 knowledge arcana checks and 3 knowledge planes checks.
*Because Fearless has spellcasting levels he gains a +2 to these checks.
*The Chain of Nights tome you found back in Briarstone can grant a +2 bonus to one knowledge planes check.
*The Pnakotic Manuscripts found in Iris Hill grant a +4 bonus to all these checks (and to any knowledge check pertaining to conjuration magic or the gods and magic of the Old Cults.
You cannot take 10 or 20 on these checks.
"Let's start at the top of the list and take a look into Viscount's Ring." Fearless begins to move all around the cabin, collecting the items for the ritual once more.
Knowledge (Arcana) 1: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 14 + (6) + 2 + 4 = 42
Knowledge (Arcana) 2: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 14 + (5) + 2 + 4 = 44
Knowledge (Planes) 1: 1d20 + 9 + 1d6 + 2 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 9 + (4) + 2 + 4 + 2 = 28
Knowledge (Planes) 2: 1d20 + 9 + 1d6 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 9 + (5) + 2 + 4 = 33
Knowledge (Planes) 3: 1d20 + 9 + 1d6 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 9 + (1) + 2 + 4 = 23
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Gathering the supplies and setting the scene, the Watchmen perform the occult ritual again. The miniature staircase is passed around. Round and round, again and again. Each tiny step passing under fingers, hands falling down, down, down... slipping below the deck of the ship, out the waking world, and into the Dreamrealms.
As before, the ritual demands a price for passage, paid in small amounts of life.
Ritual backlash damage to Fearless: 2d6 ⇒ (2, 6) = 8
Ritual backlash damage to Butterfly: 2d6 ⇒ (1, 6) = 7
Ritual backlash damage to Mariner: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 5) = 9
Ritual backlash damage to Cats: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 6) = 10
The stairs descend into a crowded ballroom of cavernous proportions. From Lowls’ notes you know this grand hall— and the entire estate in which it sits—belongs to Viscount Brellin. The ballroom is several hundred feet wide and lit with the reddish light of sunset through west-facing windows.
It is currently thronged with thousands of attendees in courtly dress. Many are dancing, but a few converse in small groups or enjoy hors d’oeuvres presented by liveried servants. Here and there, a slim, gray cat winds its way through the dancing partygoers. Although most of the partygoers are Celephais’s well- to-do and are dressed in fine clothes, other attendees wear clothes that are threadbare or several decades out of fashion.
The west walls of the crowded ballroom have low, narrow windows that let in the reddish light of sunset. Through these windows can be seen an enormous city of marble buildings and high columns. This is Celephais, one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the Dreamlands. Beyond the city stands Mount Aran, crowned with snow, and beyond the mount the sun hangs just a fraction above the horizon.
In front of each of the windows is a quartet of musicians. Their elegant music fills the ballroom.
Thick webbing and areas of darkness obscure the ballroom’s ceiling, 60 feet above the lacquered floor. Sounds of scuttling and clicking echo from this web-shrouded darkness.
One of the guests nearby stares at these webs with wide, fearful eyes. His cup of wine drips from a hand forgetting to tend his drink.
”Would you like to dance?” Another partygoer tries to grab his attention, but he ignores them, squinting closer up into the shadows. Suddenly, a thick rope of webbing drops down from the darkness, snares the man, and hauls him into the darkness above. A dribble of blood and other fluids trickle from the darkness, pooling onto the ballroom’s floor.
”Oh... well... would you like to dance? ” The other partygoer immediately turns to someone else. ”It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right.”
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Holy crap Douglas Adams!
Seems fitting that we are looking for answers to our lives in the Dreamrealm. "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything"
Fearless descends the stairs and heads straight to the tray of food. His stomach still hungry for the lobster he was promised days ago. He shovels in all manner of food, his cheek pouches pushed to their limits as he groans joyously. "It tastes so good."
He watches as a man is offered a dance, taking in the spectacle and party as he looks for more trays of food. Suddenly the web shoots down, grabbing the man and dripping blood all over a fresh tray of food as it passes by. Fearless sputters teh food out of his mouth and stares in horror at the ceiling. "The F&$&!???" He screams the last obscenity, only to have his attention ripped away by the same person asking for a dance as a catchy tune plays in the background. "Let's do the time warp again..."
Holding his hand out for the dance Fearless keeps his eyes to the ceiling. "Whaa....what was that?" He stutters, his hands shaking. In the back of his mind Fearless only knew one thing. Somehow brother Butterfly was getting laid again this evening.
Perception; Inspiration: 1d20 + 13 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 13 + (4) = 19
Spells: 1st 1/5 | 2nd 1/4
Tactician 1/1 (Rounds 0/3)
Phrenic Pool 0/3
Wand of Magic Missile (3rd) 14 charges remaining
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”Dancing? Catting to the left? Catting to the right?” Cats seems confused by the questions about dancing. Cats takes a few moments to observe everything, trying to drink it all in before he gets overwhelmed.
”Where the cat are we, Catless?” Cats follows Fearless to the food...his questions falling away in the face of food. ”Oh...nibbles!” Cats stuffs his face while keeping an eye out to the ceiling, mindful of zapping webs.
He scans the area for dancers he recognizes, that cat, and dangers.
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16 Perception
”Hey Catless, did you see a cat on the catloor?”
Seeing that there's a cat walking around.
Finally, Kast will have an opportunity to actually make a complete sentence that rings 100% true! Will wonders ever cease?
Brother moves both towards groups to converse and become known and he will look for lovely women to dance with. He wants to try dancing with a short petite girl. Someone where his huge frame and her ultra petite-ness will gather peculiar attention. That should bring out the attention and amusement of Viscount Brellin.
cast aspect of the nightengale, and using the pearl of power lvl 1 to do it again.
His introductory statement to grab their attention when entering people:
As a follower of the Great Traveler, I have stories of great adventures to share and for stories to collect. May I start by imparting a tale of political maneuvering and death defying escapes. A tale I shall title, " Game of Popes"?
diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 14 + 2 = 29
to the small petite woman he asks to dance.
I have been to three different social circles and each one has marveled at how elagently you move. Your steps are lithe and adept. May I have the highlight of my night by getting but one dance with a woman who redefines the word, "grace"?
diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 14 + 2 = 28 this is possibly a bluff check.
BB ignores the guy who died and the webbing above. He knows the rules, and he follows the rules to his own benefit.
The Mariner stands astonished on the ballroom floor. This second descent in dreamscape is even more disturbing, seeing other people there, seemingly alive. Are they alive? He pokes at one of the women nearby, testing if she would turn into vapor. Just as he unabashedly nudges her bodice, the massive fly fishing line of the devil swoops down and snatches a poor sod up nearby into crunchy bloody oblivion. "!....."
“WHAT THE ####! WAS THAT!?”
He brushes away Fearless's lobster spray, fills his hands with sword and shield, eyes wide breathing heavy, takes up defensive position.
Responding to their sudden outbursts, the guests recoil from Fearless and the Mariner, leaving them standing on a circle of empty dance floor. The girl offering to dance covers her mouth in shock and ducks away, vanishing into the crowd.
Cats stands nearby, his mouth stuffed to overflowing. No one seems bothered by him or his unusual manner of speech.
Having read the tourism sections of Lowls’ research, Brother Butterfly ignores the disturbing event and finds a petite dance partner. Sharing his amazing stories he’s fairly certain she’s impressed, though it would be rude, and possibly deadly, in this place to be anything other than gracious.
A high platform bearing a throne with a commanding view of the festivities rises at the southern end of the ballroom. A number of attendants and functionaries cluster nearby, but keep a careful distance from the occupant of the throne - a handsome man with high cheekbones, blond hair, and green eyes. The lavishness of his clothing exceeds even that of even the most finely dressed guests, though dark stains splatter the front of his shirt. This must be the lord of the estate, Viscount Pietro Brellin.
Having caught the eye of the Watchmen, the Viscount waves you over with a smile that displays teeth blackened by some sort of dark phlegm.
Fearless cautiously walks over to the Viscount. "Love the smile. See you brush with charcoal toothpaste. Holds some benefits, though it really gets in there." Fearless waves it off obviously distracted by the hook ceiling demon. "We are here following Lowls footsteps, trying to figure out why he came here, and what it has to do with us?" He cuts short before explaining too much. "You know us?"
Cats looks over at the Viscount and will make his way over after he finishes his last tuna puff pastry. He whisks away the flakes from his armor as he walks over.
”You must be in cat here, right?” Cats asks, being friendly. ”Do you know us? I’m wondering if we’ve met before but I cat remember.”
Brother doesn't even hid the potion of eagles splendor, as he takes it out and guzzles the potion to lend aid in his conversation with the Duke.
If the Duke likes people to ignore things, he'll ignore the rude use of magics. Or he'll like the ballsy use of his rules.
Brother is sincere and truly impressed.
My name is Jasper, commonly referred to as Brother Butterfly. I must say that I had held ideas on how living in luxury and wealth should be done.... those ideas are shattered to bits by my visit to your impressive palace. you put lavish into a category only dieties can comprehend.
diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 14 + 2 = 20 Diplo + Eagles
Frown. That was such a "Bronin" type diplomacy roll. Always under 10. I will use my Special Luck power and reroll.
diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 14 + 2 = 22 Diplo + Eagles
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Despite Fearless’ backhanded compliments and Brother Butterfly’s nose completely up his backside, Viscount Pietro seems delighted by your presence.
”Have we met before?” He echoes Cats and Fearless. He smiles and shakes his head. ”I must say, I do not think so, but the pleasure of new faces in the crowd is wonderful. It is not often that strangers come to call, but have no fear, all are welcome at my grand ball!”
Pietro stands and throws his arms out to behold the room, but is suddenly caught up in a wretched bought of coughing, hacking up black tar-like phlegm. The fit lasts a few moments, but he quickly recovers, dabbing daintily at his mouth with a stained handkerchief and ignoring the new mess he’s made on his clothes. His attendants do an amazing job of ignoring the episode as well, hardly a one bats an eye or flinches away from an errant gob of goo that flies their way.
Returning to his throne, Pietro asks, ”Did you say you were following someone else? Who might that be? Lowls? That seems familiar... I think he’s the fellow that wanted one of my signet rings. An odd request.”
Yes, that does appear to be the same fellow. He wanted one of your signet rings? and BB makes a pffft sound from his lips.
Me, all I want is food and creative love. This place offers it all.
Brother slow plays this, as outright asking for the ring makes us appear over eager. Plus, he fully expects one of the others to blurt out and spill the goods.
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All are welcome at my grand ball? Cats blinks.
”Well, if everyone cat is welcome, what is the deal with the webs and people getting slurped to the ceiling?” Cats wants to ask, then does. ”That seems pretty cat to me, you know.”
”Everyone is welcome at the ball.” The viscount repeats to Cats, after sorting out his odd manner of speech. Pretending that all is normal, he goes on. ”But if they wish to attend, then they must enjoy the party.”
The Viscount waves a hand, fingers bedecked with rings. ”As for Lowls, I couldn’t say why he wanted my ring. He didn’t say. But he was determined. And funny. And wealthy.”
The Mariner tries to get a good look at the jewelry on Pietro’s hands, but does not see one that seems to be a signet ring.
"Can you give us one of your rings? I know it's a weird request, but we need one, if that is okay?" Cats asks, uncertainly. "I mean, I'm not sure we cat one, but maybe we do...Catless, can you explain?"
Cats turns to put Fearless on the spot because he clearly is confused, or not.
Fearless is obviously just as confused. "I'm not sure why we need these items either Viscount. See we lost our memories and are following in Lowls footsteps to see what he is up to and to get our memories back. You wouldn't happen to have another ring laying about we could have would you?"
We are a part of an elaborate Scavenger Hunt! Yes!
When you are rich and powerful --- which you so OBVIOUSLY know--- you sometimes partake in games like this for entertainment.... for vanquishing foes... and to just plain WIN.
We are a group called The Watchmen and we want to win this scavenger hunt against Count Lowls. We fully expect the hunt prizes to have a cost or quest.
and Brother takes a dramatic pause. Waiting for reactions.
sense motive: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (18) + 14 = 32
”A scavenger hunt! How fun!” The viscount claps his hands. ”Well then, I suppose we should get to the challenge. As it turns out I am in need of a diplomatic favor.”
”The most prestigious dance at the ball is the Sunset Waltz, and I have just learned that my beloved will be arriving at the ball just in time for for it! But I have a problem. I would prefer to dance with my beloved over any other guest, but unfortunately, I have made some silly promises to dance with three other guests. I need someone to break off these promises discreetly and diplomatically. The guests are the elegant Lady Urdrenda Splinterbone, an influential trader named Ardvin Telgriette, and a beautiful but common woman simply named Maudette. Find them, obtain a polite acknowledgment of the declined dance, and I shall give you my signet ring.”
Brother Butterfly feels the viscount is being sincere about the challenge.
Brother Butterfly listens to the names intently:
Lady Urdrenda - Check - that's a woman
Advin Tegriette - hmm. not check - might be a guy.
Maudette- Check- that's a woman.
This will be the easiest challenge, given that at least 2 of the three dancing guests are certainly women and .. .. (he vocalizes his remaining thoughts0
Not to toot my own horn too much, but I haaavvvveee been known to be good with the ladies my honored Viscount.
He turns upon his heels -looking for the either the Floor managers, or the Master of the House or the Hat Room. He needed to speak with the men who could connect with the right people that held all the important information.... and those people were actually the maids in the ladies dressing rooms. That meant go-betweens and over tipping to get the exact low down on each of the three people (assuming they were all women).
gather information: 1d20 ⇒ 2 what skill? Any bonus for over tipping?
Cats nods, thinking about how best to approach the situation...and thinking that if Brother leads on this that might be best: the guest will soon be doing the horizontal bone dance with the bald lothario. They will be too tired to want to dance with the Vizcount.
”Okay, this is a good plan. Did you want us to wingman for you? Not that you need help, but I can cat if you want,” Cats confirms. ”Alright, let’s go find them. Maybe we should also scout out a place where Catterfly can get busy, if you know what I can, if that will be a factor.”
Cats moves to gather some information on the three targets.
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 Diplomacy - gather info
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In speaking with the Coatcheck people, BB takes on an egotistical air - puffing himself up, All I do is win. There are people that have said I am defeated. But really? What kind of carriage are they rolling up to the party in? What kind of girls are in their home? Yeah. I said GIRLS (plural).
And he smiles his perfect white toothed smile.