Duboris's "A Dirge For Everything"

Game Master Duboris

Chapter 1: Rebirth and a Song
- The players awake to a new way of life, and the comfort of... a Dirge. The Adventure Begins

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hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2

sense motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23

Roman is thinking about that sneaky basterd Damien, who left him like nothing and – for all his show what with the longbow and nice hat – seemed a bit of a coward. How could someone from Barbaranaka not be excited at the idea of tearing down the prison? And with all them weird powers too… Ah could heytherize the front door and let ev’ryone out, shoot a couple o’ Seekers, then teleport back here! Ain’t gonna be easy… but damn, it’s worth a shot…

His train of thought is interrupted by Sebastian. Roman immediately and rudely stops the hyperactive masked man “First of all, pard” he puts his index finger in front of Sebastian ”don’t go call yourself a Seeker. That’s an ungodly name where Ah come from. Ain’t gonna put me in a good mood.

Second,” he adds raising his middle finger "sorry 'bout the forge stone. Would’ve helped a bit if ya talked to the lot of us ‘bout it instead of just sneaking in that comment to me. The dwarf and the churchy lady might have had sumthing to say, but I reckon the white haired girl could’ve helped me.

And last” he raises his ring finger “What’s with the mask? I might jus’ make business with you if the gettin’s good, but I wanna see my pardner in the eyes. I ain’t got no pretty face either, but I sure ain't hidin' it like one of them theatre fools!

Roman has some crafting to do too, but he's ok if people are in a hurry to go back to adventure. His conversations so far took up half an hour at most.

Female Human Arcanist 3/Inquisitor 1 | Hero Points: 1/3 | HP: 19/19, NL: 0 | AC 14/13/11, Cold Resistance 1 | F+4 R +5 W+8 | Per: +10 | Init: +3 | Bolts: 4, Arrows: 14, Shocking Grasp: 21, Silent Image: 5, Magic Missile: 15
Spells and Abilities:
Arcanist Spells - 1st: 1/5 | Inquisitor Spells - 1st: 1/2 | Arcane Reservoir: 4/6, Judgments: 1/1

Despite the fact the man was evil, she felt a wave of sympathy when his wounds revealed themselves. She held nothing about his heritage against him, but his openness about who he worshiped and the request to accompany him unnerved her in the extreme. He knew what she was, he knew who she worshiped and served, yet he was still asking her this. The wave of lecherous thoughts resurfaced and her fears ran wild.

She slowly, deliberately, put away the sword, grabbed her gear, and walked out. One step, two steps, three...

By the sixth one, she was at a noisy, dead run to anywhere but where Oswald was. The blisters on her skin popped, exposing raw skin to heavy, rough cloth. The numbness and stiffness fought her every step of the way. Her mind was filled with the various horrors that would happen if she went with that man to Agristad. She lost track of how far she had gone when she finally came to a crashing halt after she tripped on her feet. The pain from the burns was unbearable, the turmoil in her heart and mind weigh on her and threaten to burst like waters from a dam. She curled up between a pillar and a wall, trying her best not to break down sobbing from pain and fear.

Stupid. Stupid! STUPID! You wander off alone and he comes in, then you act like you're some flighty princess who blushes at seeing something even vaguely scandalous.

Tears soaked the knees of her pants as she wept. She was lost, alone.

What do I do? What is the right thing for me to do? Go with him and keep him in check? Stay here? Run? Hide? Fight? Make peace?

Fear and instinct warred against training and her code. She wanted nothing more than to curl up in some dark corner and hide for the rest of eternity. She remembered back in Nibreltar, at some lord's gala, she'd been approached by bachelors and felt a similar feeling, but this was so much worse. She had always been strong enough to fight off unwanted advances if need be, but this time...

This time she was sure that if he caught her outside of the Nexus, she would be his puppet.

That thought broke what little resolve she had and sobbed into her knees. She'd failed. She'd had failed her country, her people, her comrades, her charges, and so many more when Nibreltar fell and later when she was killed. She failed at the bridge when she allowed two of her companions to be cursed. She failed when she didn't attack the dragonwoman, even after she slew one of her companions outright. She failed when she healed and tried to redeem an evil dragon, even if it was a drageling, instead of giving him the options to repent, flee, or die.

That's what he tutors would have said. That's what her peers would have done. Maybe they were right. Maybe she was not worthy of being one of Iomedae's warriors. Maybe she was nothing more than a third-rate soldier trying to do the job of a first-rate paladin.

She pulled out the holy symbol that hung about her neck on a thin silver chain. She took it off and carefully wrapped the chain around it. The pain from her wounds was dull now. She listened, listened for a sound, a voice, anything that might make sense of this madness. She prayed for guidance, for strength, for wisdom. She prayed that she could still be of use, that she was strong of arm and begged to serve the Inheritor. She begged to hear anything, and she listened as the last plea silently rang in her head.

She heard nothing. She'd failed, and Iomedae had seemingly cut herself off from her. They were right. She wasn't good enough.

Her emerald eyes were dim and her hair lost it's coppery luster as she realized that. She looked at the silver symbol in her hand as it sparkled in the light. She'd left the polish behind at the hideout when they had left on that last raid to find food and medicine, and to free anyone they could. It'd soon tarnish, and be as much of an insult to her goddess as she was. She grabbed her pack and pulled out a worn cloth stained with the dirt and grime of the past five years of being used to buff the stains from the symbol. She carefully wrapped the symbol in if and placed it in the pack.

Hopefully, one day, she'd be able to wear it again. She'd be worthy of being a servant of Iomedae and a protector. Until then, she was just Tera, Tera the Meek.

She chuckled humorlessly. It fit, oh how it fit.

The man laughs a hearty laugh that's loud enough to gain the attention of any other would-be listeners in the room, but he and Damien were the only ones in there prior. He cocks his head to the other side and says "I've had my share of run-ins with the Seekers of Zeltos as well, friend, but I assure you we seek different things, ahaha!" then he pokes his mask. "As for this, I have my reasons that I don't really want to share! So you'll have to deal with that, I'm afraid."

Taking a few steps down towards the contraption, he sits back down where he was and a shimmering glyph appeared in front of his forehead. He continued to speak; "I believe you're a little wound up at the moment. Whenever you and your friends take off somewhere, find me and tell me where. I can tell you what I'd like from the place." And then he throws his hands high into the air. "And who knows! I might even know something of it!" he laughed, and then proceeded to stare forward into the abyss, going silent.

Roman, of course, wanted to get a few words in edge-wise, but the man never responded after that. Apparently he had entered a trance involving the magical device. Far in the eastern corner was a neat little rug, complete with a bench and small table. The perfect place to begin Alchemy.

Walking over to it, you think back to the rust monsters as you pull out the glands. A thing you most definitely noticed is that the creatures, while looking insect-like, were most definitely not vermin of any kind. They actually seemed intelligent enough to train...

The process of turning the glands into a powder was a simple one, consisting of mere dehydration of the substance, the removal of the fleshy bits of the gland, and keeping particular substances you could think of in the viles. It was just a matter of temperature. Alas, the prospect of making it was... insanely delicate.

The DC to create rusting powder is a DC 30. The rest of your creations require no check, but you're not capable of making the powder at the moment, so roman doesn't even try.

With that thought in mind, you simply store it, as you're fairly certain the substance never loses it's properties. You begin to tinker away, having thought up the materials needed. In your time of work, you hope no one had any plans, as you're hell bent on refining your current equipment. You can't help but wonder if you were actually going to get anything substantial out of handling that dragon like you did! The finest shooting you'd ever done.

Hell, you didn't even think that dagger would pierce it's scales, but it did. Through a pipe no less... It's a true shame it got away.

Bannon, Hana, Bromen:
First and foremost, if only to be a bit snarky, yet in character, Hana throws her nose as high as she can with a bit of a smile on her face. On a more serious note, she looks back down and accepts the idea of the Mithral shirt. She had contributed rather well.

As soon as she had, Arcus immediately took to sizing the woman up, for measurements of course. As he did, he conjured up a string of mithril, as he grabbed the chisel, grinning. "Ain't never heard o' none'o that kinda ting, boy, but I got just 'ta 'ting in mind for the lot'o ya. I'll be a bit gener's since 'ye brought back me' forge, though." and with that, he swiftly started to section off the mithril, cutting perfectly sized pieces as he did.

Full Plate: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (19) + 19 = 38 Success!
Mithril Chain Shirt: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (17) + 19 = 36 Success!
Mithril Chain Shirt: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (4) + 19 = 23 Success!
Masterwork Gold Plated Breastplate: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (4) + 19 = 23 Success!
10 Silver and Cold Iron bullets: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (16) + 20 = 36 Success!
Masterwork Alchemical Silver Throwing Axe: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (20) + 20 = 40 Great Success!
Masterwork Cold Iron Throwing Axe: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (10) + 20 = 30 Success!

Here is the time when you guys seriously get to see just how grand a blacksmith Arcus is. His tools, magical or not, glide through the air in such a precise manner that he may as well be engraving his name on every mithril chain link he crafts. The shirt would no doubt be done very soon, an hour, at best. By the time you finish reading this he's already finished linking an entire line of mesh together. "Now this is the stuff boys! This's what I live 'fer!" he booms.

On the other end of the room, Finelia stifles back a smile, obviously happy that the Dwarf has relinquished his rigidness.

The scene played out like you think it would in a grand fantasy story. The Dwarven Forge-master, Arcus, once a hermit, practically known for his stoic stubbornness and dismissal of company was practically crying in joy amongst no less than 6 people as he tinkered away at his much-sought forge. He didn't have to thank the group, for it practically poured out of his soul in his work. The armors and weapons he would make would be all the thanks he'd have to give, for every one was an artistic masterpiece as well as effective at it's no-doubt grizzly job... It was a rare moment of happiness in the nexus.

With that, Bromen stood in Awe, clenching his ring behind him, twitching slightly, every time a hand would reach out to him from Arcus, who admittedly was showing off a bit. The scene was strange, of course, to the ever-watchful Marco. The group had already known of the cursed items, but had failed to mention them, but the stone of Bannon's finger and the sudden elusiveness of the usually awe-stricken short man was enough to garner a quizzical magical detection from Arcus.

Marco Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Marco Knowledge: Arcane: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (4) + 15 = 19 Bromen's Ring
Marco Knowledge: Arcane: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (4) + 15 = 19 Bannon's Ring
Because of Bannon's Assumption that the items are cursed, he actually does become aware of the curses themselves.

The Pseudodragon perks up at the thoughts that race in at this point, and it actually slinks down and walks off of Marco, traveling over to Bromen. With a bit of surprise, the creature actually lurches up and sniffs at the ring, and recluses with a hiss! It does the same to Bannon and his ring.

Stroking his beard, Marco watches in surprise. Oh dear... It seems you 2 have been cursed? No doubt Gremlins in Hazrit. Tsk, tsk, tsk... He looks at Bannon. "I'm sure you of all people should have known that those things like to curse objects in groups. The rings don't even look that good..." he says rather disappointed in the fact that 2 of the group had gotten cursed. "Fortunately for you 2, it isn't something as severe as, well, anything, really."

Finelia perks up at the mention of curses, as well. Curses? she asks, looking at any sign of such thing.

Finelia Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (15) + 14 = 29Looking at Bannon's ring she cups a hand over her mouth, rather amused. "The Irony... she says, receiving a piercing stare from Marco. He points a hand through the door, "Ahem... You 2 should go and see Orca. She's the local cleric. A bit of a... no-nonsense woman. She's usually in the Altar room of the commons area." he says, waving the group off.

At this point, the group says their parting words, the majority of them having things to do at this point. Hana disappears up the stairs, while Bannon and Bromen, a motley crew to say the least, disappears into the Western Sigil, which was nicely pointed out by Bagrin as they left.

In your hour of darkness, you make it a point to look up. In all of your time of losing your mind and nearly faltering, you've accidentally managed to find yourself in a room with another woman, a woman with long, flowing platinum blonde hair and elven ears. She's rather tall, to say the least, and is decked in full plate.

It would appear you've interrupted her in her praying, as to what deity it is, what... awful deity... and then that's the moment you realize you've just ran into another Iomedaen. As she turns, the symbol on her chest is that of the close-to-home church you so very much love.

She makes it a point to stand up, and the Altar in front of her morphs from Iomedae's form into a squat gray mass. Useful, to say the least. You're not entirely sure how it works, however.

She walks up, a towering, lithe woman, with judgement and good will in her eyes. The typical Iomedaen, really. Well, not in your case. Standing up, the woman hasn't spoke a word, for some reason. In her left hand is a staff of sorts, with a beautiful depiction of Iomedae atop it cast in white marble. Looking closer at the woman, a section of her chest is rather open, exposing cleavage, of course, but something far more grave.

The woman hasn't spoken because she's a mute, obviously so because her throat seems to have been almost torn out at one point. It's neatly scarred over, however.

Warping into the commons area, conversation is riding high! Plenty of people, some that appear to be mere commoners walk around gallavanting. They all seeem to be speaking of something, and careful attention points out a "Sudden outburst by a red haired bombshell." It doesn't take much to realize they were probably talking about a certain paladin.

Walking forward, there are some things to note about the commons area:

- It has a room with Tangible, sleep-onable beds.
- There is a small tavern, ripe with ale and mead, named "The Spirit"
- Every room, of which there are 5, are each aptly named.
- "The Sleeping Arrangements" "The Spirit" "The Library" "The Sanctuary" and "The Viewing Room" each have signs. There are only 4 rooms, however, as the viewing room is another sigil/glyph that takes you to another area.
- The room is circular, with the rooms being on each extreme.

In the room there is a circle of benches, each with a character on it, but most are no-name random people from various places. Some happy to be somewhat alive, some morbid and sad. Some are even crying. It's not a happy place, but at the same time it is. The most noises can be heard from the tavern, but it's easy enough to pick out which area you'd like to go to.

There is a motley arrangement of races in this area. Halflings, Elves, Gnomes, Dwarves, all of the usual races. There're even a few half-orcs.

Not concerned with names at the moment, the 2 of you walk over toward the sanctuary, throwing the doors open to see Tera and Orca standing in silence. The first most prominent thing you notice is that Orca has long, flowing platinum hair, and an extremely "Soul Searching" pair of golden irises. She's completely washed in Full plate, a suit of armor that exposes the center of her chest that reveals a massive scar.

While it healed nicely, there's no question that this woman is obviously a mute.

Walking up the steps, you take notice of Rydel and Anastasia sitting on their usual perch, enjoying each other's company. It's kind of sad to see, as a bard, that two people who are so practically made for each other can't even touch one another in safety. Not wanting to be caught in one place for too long, you avoid conversation with them and give them some alone time.

Getting to the next point in the levels, you arrive back to the massive chandelier, lit to the brim with candles. You take a moment to stop and look out the Archway to Argosal, curious about it. You can feel the bitterly cold breeze flow in and bite at your nose. You fancy the idea of venturing out to see how things have gone, but you figure it best to wait. No one else is on the floor at the moment, especially not Rodrick.

Walking ever higher, you grace the spiral staircase built against the wall. As you get higher, you hear a softer version of the music earlier;


The man seems tall, and of all things, has a greenish hue to his skin. From behind, he seems to be playing a truly gargantuan piano, fitted with pipes, making you believe it might be an organ. The instrument is absolutely pristine, made of white marble and brass, while the keyboard is inverted in color, the flat notes white and the lower notes black.

He seems to be using ghost sound to add other noises, and truly enjoy himself. His body doesn't sway as he plays. His arms merely move. A dark mane of hair comes off his head, tied into a ponytail that goes down to the mid section of his back.

Turning his head, he sees you walk in, revealing that he is in fact a rather heavily orc-sided half orc. Green skin, gaunt frame, and a large right tooth that protrudes from his bottom set of teeth. He's dressed in formal black attire, and doesn't stop playing, as he sees you.

"A visitor?" he says, in a magnificently base voice far too well-fitted to Opera of some kind. "I don't get many visitors, my lady." he says, raising a higher key suddenly. "The only people that show up here are the ones that wish to hear... sad music... for their sad times." he says with a bit of a chuckle. "If you've come to request a less somber tone, you'll be disappointed... Nothing in here is worth being happy about. Not even this grandiose piano..."

Bromen, Tera, Bannon:
As Tera begins to say words, Bromen and Bannon walk in rather noisily, Bromen going so far as to open the door with both hands as he walks in. Everyone just sort of stands there for a moment, looking around rather awkwardly. Until, of course, one of you breaks the ice...

Female Human Arcanist 3/Inquisitor 1 | Hero Points: 1/3 | HP: 19/19, NL: 0 | AC 14/13/11, Cold Resistance 1 | F+4 R +5 W+8 | Per: +10 | Init: +3 | Bolts: 4, Arrows: 14, Shocking Grasp: 21, Silent Image: 5, Magic Missile: 15
Spells and Abilities:
Arcanist Spells - 1st: 1/5 | Inquisitor Spells - 1st: 1/2 | Arcane Reservoir: 4/6, Judgments: 1/1

As if her encounter with and from Oswald wasn't bad enough, she'd just barged in on someone praying to some god or goddess of vil--

Tera's face flushed with both shame and embarrassment as she saw the form of the statue was that of her patron, Iomedae. Her words caught in her throat as she tried to spit out an apology, but finally, she managed to get the words out around the lump in her throat.

"I--I'm sorry for interrupting you. I-I didn't..."

Her voice trailed off and her eyes stay locked on a spot of the floor a few inches from the toes of her boots. The same steel shod leather boots that she had worn since the beginning of her training. The leather was old and travel-worn while the steel plates were scuffed and scratched. Her tunic and trousers were not much better. They had been fraying since Nibreltar had been invaded by the fiendish horde. Now, the hems were well frayed and the recent bout with the dragon had left them stained with soot.

"I'll just go. It was nice to seem someone else who serves the Inheritor."

As she turns, the paladin almost runs smack into Bannon as he comes in. Seeing her companions and knowing the state she was in made her blush anew. Her cheeks burned crimson as she stammers yet again. Her right hand reflexively rubbing her left arm.

"H-hello. I w-w-was just leaving."

Male Human Wizard 3, +5 Initiative, +6 Perception, AC 11 / Touch AC 11 / Flat Footed AC10, Saves F+2/ R +w / W +6 HP:19/19

Bannon was befuddled. As if Tera, a stalwart and headstrong war maiden was enough, there stood Orca. With his brow glistening, he waved at her for attention.

Clearing his throat, "Excuse me miss...Orca I presume?". Once establishing contact he follows through clearly and calmly, trying not to come off as a paranoid and needy old man. "Cursed" he said pointing to a ring on his left hand.


Female Kitsune Bard 3; AC 17, 13 touch 14 flat-footed; HP 21/21, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +4; +5 Initiative, +6 Perception

Hana judges him from a distance.

"A bit droll, you know?" she says haughtily. "That you'd only play sad music in a sad place. Then it's like you were brought here just to produce the tone for the play, you see?"

Looking at the piano, she gives him a nod of approval. "This is a fine instrument."

And then, slipping on top of the piano's lid, she stretches out like a lazy cat. "I thought of coming here to talk the artist into playing something with an upbeat tune, but, if he insists on his current course, I have no option other than to offer a truce; Play something I can sing along to, perhaps, and maybe you'll enjoy yourself. Or, if you're afraid you'll have too much fun and disappear in a puff of smoke, I can knee you occasionally to fulfill your quota of suffering."

The young girl waits with amusement to see the half-orc's reaction. Her voice is oddly lacking in insult-- a prodding smirk, perhaps, but she honeys her words to try to coax out a smile from the man who claims there's nothing to be happy about.

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

An they say dwarfs aint sociable

"If yer leaving, ye might want to go see Arcus about yer reward. And watchin' him might be the most beautiful thing ye'llever see.."

Turning to the cleric, Bromen hesitates for a moment. He is unused to being the one speaking and shoots the mage another dirty look for shoving him into this position. "What my robed friend is tryin' to say is, he got us both cursed with these rings and we were told ye might be able t'help."

hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2

The process of making gunpowder and ammunition was almost second nature to Roman now; the act of turning aether into saltpeter, magnesium powder and lead definitely not. A bit baffled at first, then with much more confidence, the grizzled pistolero refill his bandolier. He then pulls apart his old, battered gun.
Heh. I’ll get you all better now, old girl.” he cleans the chamber and the inner joints, puts in a new sparking flint, and straightens the sight. Then proceeds to engrave the barrel with the beautiful floral motifs that Iulia used to carve in leather. The result isn’t quite as good as hers, but will still do.

After several hours he goes back in the main hall, trying to find the others – either his companions, to go back in Hazrit; Marco, to ask advice about alchemy; or Sebastian, to see if the crazy masked man has something for him to do.

Hana Miyahara:
He laughed pretty heartily at the suggestion, cracking a bit of a smile. While the Half-Orc had been playing rather sad music, he, himself, wasn't lacking a chipper attitude. A quizzical fact, to say the least.

While still playing his music, he says; "Can't sing a sad song? I don't play these to bring down the mood, dear woman. I play to match it."

With that, he changes the tune just a little, raising it higher up in key to give it more pitch. In a way, it sounded... "Icy" like someone was playing on the very glaciers themselves. "Music, to me, is something I will enjoy no matter the tune... Why not try and sing something? Surprise me. See if you can make this "sad tune" you speak of into something else" With that he puts something else into the music...

Perform: Keyboard: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (18) + 17 = 35
His Soul
It's a DC 20 to impress him.

Tera, Bannon, Bromen:
Orca's eyes practically shoot fire whenever Bannon treats her as some sort of debilitated deaf woman. She practically glares him the entire time she walks up to him. The woman is surprisingly tall, even for a half-elf, standing at least a couple of inches above 6 feet. She kneels a bit, looking straight at Bannon's hand.

At about this time, her staff resonates with a white purity as she places her hand forward;
Remove Curse CL check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16Success

The ring slips away from his hand, landing on the ground and turning to dust as bannon's finger slowly start to turn back to normal in a matter of seconds. She stands back up, rather upset, only to put on another air altogether when she looks to Bromen, who did a much better job of announcing his presence. Having to kneel down much farther, the metal of her plate clanks together.

A helmet near the altar sits, obviously Orca's. Bromen manages to see this as he raises his hand up to have the ring removed.
Remove Curse CL check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17 Success

She stands back up as the ring falls away, it too, crumbling into nothingness. She smiles, a job well done on her part, though the curses didn't seem to be that strong. Turning around, she picks up her helmet, a beautiful ivory sculpture with marble inlay, and casts a deep gaze at Tera, who is just now getting back up on her feet. The Paladin seems to perk up, but no one immediately understands why, or is far too happy that the accursed rings are gone.


Tera Will Save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14 Holy s%## you actually failed it.

As the woman casts her gaze in your gineral direction, a few seconds pass, and all of a sudden you hear a whisper. Soft, at first, but then it becomes regular volume. The voice is crisp, and inviting, and rather shaky. "You... You're troubled. Pardon my intrusion upon your thoughts, but it is a side effect of my Helmet. I can see and feel the thoughts you currently have... and you are plagued with doubt. Whatever is the matter, Paladin?" the voice speaks.

"The mere fact I'm able to converse with you is a sign of your resolve faltering."

Orca nods, allowing you to know it's her.

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

At the clink of the ring hitting the floor a weight is lifted from Bromens shoulders that he did not even realize was there. The smile he gives the cleric is genuine as he gives her a bow.

Sense Motive (untrained): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22 yup, he figures out that they interrupted something (man, what a a wasted roll)

"Thank ye, priestess. Hopefully we'll not be needing ye again too soon." He shoots the mage yet another dirty look. "C'mon, ye finger wiggler, let these ladies get back t'their business."

Bromen steps to put Bannon between himself and the doorway and starts walking out, herding the mage along with him if he is able.

Taking a bit of a break, you stand up, only to notice that sebastian is still in his trance with the same symbol on his forehead. You try to get his attention, mostly by snapping your fingers infront of his face, but that doesn't do anything, as he doesn't budge. Whoever he's got his eye on, he's watching them rather attentively.

Losing interest, you look around, only to notice another person has entered the room. A lithe woman covered in furs of white, and if I might add, the most beautiful woman you've managed to see in any amount of time. She might be fully dressed in the warmth of the furs, but you still get a sense of sensuality out of her, if only because she's intentionally giving off that aura.

On her hip are 3 different daggers, all apparently made of different metals.

Perception Check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26

While it isn't immediately obvious, the woman's furs are rather wide at the shoulders, mostly because of the white fox that's comfortably nuzzled around her shoulders, sleeping.

Before you have the chance to actually ask her anything, she stands at a corner of the room, giving you a bit of a smile before a symbol appears infront of her forehead, alienating her, much as it did sebastian.

You scoff a bit, as that's the third person in a row that's the third person to blow you off today. You pull out the rust glands, neatly nuzzled in a vial, and grip them. "That Marco guy seemed like he knew a thing or two about alchemy, didn't he?" you think aloud, as no one's currently here.

You leave your possessions where they are, knowing no one can interact with them. You eventually make your way into the Professions area. Arcus is in the middle of pulverizing his way through mithril chain links, and has half a shirt already bound together. This is rather astounding time, to say the least.

He raises his head and looks at you. "Ah! The daft bastard returns! Good news for 'ye boy. 'Erd from yer' friends that'ye were useful! 'Was feelin' right gener's. Come back tommorow, and I'll have ye a Mithril chain shirt like none ye've seen! Not te' mention a few special bullets for't fire spitter o'yours." he says with a boom of laughter, the hammer and chisel dancing in his hands as the furnace billows.

You make it a point to thank him for the shirt, though you're a bit gruff about it. Good news aside, you're on a mission, and that one involves Marco. After you're done thanking Arcus, you approach the man with the vial in hand, setting it down on his desk, which is tangible, much like the table in the viewing room.

Pulling out a book, Marco peruses it a moment and points out that he could fashion the substance himself, if you wished, though it is a quite difficult substance. It'd also take some time, but he could have it done by tomorrow evening.

hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2

Nine Hells, someone done decided to be useful ‘stead of crazy ‘round here. Roman exhales a breath of relief when Marco says he can make rusting powder. “I owe you, wizard. That’s a mighty generous thing you’re doing. Thanks.” he tips his hat to Marco “Li’l fella.” he tips his hat to the pseudodragon too.
Got one tinsy bit of favor to ask you yet. How’s about them bugs? Where can I find a fella in here that can round’em up – or teach’em a trick or two?” he puts forward his most convincing expression “Now I know what’ya thinking – “this fella’s crazy!”. But jest here me now: with them glands you can make the powder, and that’s fine. But I reckon if I can get the bugs to follow me, that’s a mighty lot of rusting they can do, ain’t it? Much more than the powder.

So, I’ll pay ya or your work – in favors if not in shinies. But can you tell me there’s a fella here who’s good with beasts?


Female Kitsune Bard 3; AC 17, 13 touch 14 flat-footed; HP 21/21, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +4; +5 Initiative, +6 Perception

Hana waits a moment to let the measure of the song sink in, and then begins to sing-- an old song about giving everything up for the people you love. About building anew and not looking back. Not sad-- resurgent. A mountain song.

Perform (sing): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26

(Kinda this, but with a younger voice!)

Female Human Arcanist 3/Inquisitor 1 | Hero Points: 1/3 | HP: 19/19, NL: 0 | AC 14/13/11, Cold Resistance 1 | F+4 R +5 W+8 | Per: +10 | Init: +3 | Bolts: 4, Arrows: 14, Shocking Grasp: 21, Silent Image: 5, Magic Missile: 15
Spells and Abilities:
Arcanist Spells - 1st: 1/5 | Inquisitor Spells - 1st: 1/2 | Arcane Reservoir: 4/6, Judgments: 1/1

Tera stood there, dumbfounded, for a long moment. As she regained control of her voice, she shrunk even more than she had when Bannon had treated Orca to the arrogance she was coming to expect of the wizard. Even the world's most unobservant person in her troupe would likely see the vulnerability in her posture. Beneath the piercing eyes of the Priestess, however, she felt even more naked and exposed than under Oswald's hungry eyes.

"I--I..." Tears well up in her eyes as she slid to the floor once more. "I am not a paladin, Priestess. Paladins are wise, strong, unyielding, and unwavering. I am none of those things." she chokes back a sob and managed to hold back the tears, but her voice was soft and fragile, like something carved from a delicate crystal. "I put my comrades in danger. I let an evil woman go free, without so much as a word. I--I ran from that man, Oswald. I'm terrified. I feel useless, and alone."

A long silence filled the room, stretching from one minute into two. Tera's voice cracks, much like the mask that she had been trying to hold on to.

"I was Nibreltar when it fell. The mists and the hordes came, slaughtering innocents with impunity. I was one of the last ones left. While others rode out to meet the onslaught, I hide in the shadows. I took what I could from the broken bodies of my fellows. I tried to protect as many as I could, but--but it wasn't enough. It was never enough! I always was just too late, too stupid, or too cowardly to save someone."

Her voice rang in the chamber, a reflection of the growing self-loathing and evermore breaking spirit of the young woman.

"I guess the others were right. I'm not cut out for Paladinhood. Even when I volunteered to provide an escape for those still left, I took the coward's way. I ran until I was trapped and they slew me."

Her voice was once again soft, filled with pain, sorrow, and anger.

"And now, Nibreltar is a hell with no one left. Even if I did any good, it was useless in the end. They died, they died anyway."

Tera, Bannon, Bromen:
As the woman speaks, Bromen shoos Bannon out of the room and makes it a point to close the door behind him as the drama falls like rain in the sanctuary. They'd arrived, got what they wanted, and left, so he figured it best to leave the 2 to their inevitable hugging session. Bannon, hoping to put his words in edgewise, reluctantly agreed, worrying about Tera.

Orca shakes her head, a little bit saddened and disappointed at the same time. "Nibreltar may have fallen, but there are plenty in far worse condition than you, or I, Tera." She'd apparently caught your name with the mind reading.

"As for fleeing Oswald, I suggest you fear not. While he is insatiably vile and evil, his strict code involves nothing but flattery and hedonism in the case of a woman." She smiles a bit. "Why, he'd be more likely to aid you than slay you, and happily. He wouldn't care for the men at all, however... Such is the way of a separatist Zurite."

She walks up to the Altar, watching as it molds into the proud figure of Iomedae, cast in pristine marble. "Such a wonderous device, able to consecrate and desecrate at it's leisure... The deity you worship shows as soon as you near it. Our souls may be crushed, yet they see us, no?"

You hear her laugh a stifled, choked laugh in your mind as she turns. "You died, and some force gave you a second chance. It wasn't Iomedae... I've found that out. But whatever it is, I know for certain that it's cause is atleast noble. The fact you are still blessed with your abilities should be enough to show you that you're still on the right path, young Tera."

Walking up to you, she puts her hand close enough to your face to barely change the shape of your cheek, insinuating a caress. "And besides, your obviously not alone. Why, there are many good willed people in the Nexus, such as Damien, or Finelia. Why, if you wish to find resolve, one of the paladins from Nibreltar has taken up dragon-hunting in Hazrit." she says.

"At the end of the day, in these dark times, the only thing a Paladin of Iomedae must do is fight for what's right, and be just. Nibreltar may be no more, but the time will come when humans take it back, but first, this blasted fog must be dealth with... And there are only a select few people that know of it's nature." she says, suddenly raising a heavy tone.

"In the Forsaken lands of Agristrad, there is a saint, the head of the cult that's appeared there, deep within the marsh. In the land of Zeltos is the man known as Zeltos, once a warden to a grand prison. The power in Hazrit has yet to be learned of. The most prominent well-known researcher of the fog is Argosal, the Lich, in his castle near the chilling pass." as she lists them, her smile saddens.

"In our land of Nibreltar, the main power has yet to be determined, but it is likely that someone in our very ranks called the fog there... most likely a demon spy, perused by one of the horrid creatures." She scoffs. "Were I to find out who it was, I would smite the man where he stood... As for the other 2 places, The mad duke is believed to have been heavily influenced by it, but very few people in the Nexus that have died there stay here." she says.

"Our mission is a simple one, young paladin. Let not your resolve falter, and stave off this dreadful fog, and may you never enter it, for a soul claimed by it will not return to the nexus, nor will it ascend..." ending her statement with a brilliant seriousness.

Bannon, Bromen:
Exiting the sanctuary, you're both met with the gaze of various people. Through the open door on the other side of the room you can see a man relaxing in the bed rooms, armor off, sleeping his problems away. On the various benches are some interesting characters, and just as many that are mere commoners.

2 in particular seem to stand out that you hadn't noticed prior, namely a man with a rather cumbersome nose and bald head, decked out entirely in black leather armor, spear on his back and daggers at his sides, hunched over. He sends his own gaze back, quizzically, but doesn't say anything and merely leans back in his chair.

The other person, a strange woman? Perhaps? You can't be sure. the person's face is smooth, and a dark mask covers their upper face. Looking closer it is most definitely a woman, donned in black cloth with leather pauldrons that make her seem rigid. A wand is on her hip, as well as a rapier and buckler. She sits there, a fist in her cheek.

She beckons the 2 of you over, a fact that seems rather surprising to the person to her side, indicated by his suddenly rising brow.

In "The Spirit" another scene entirely is made apparent, as boisterous people laugh and carol, a halfling walks out slightly buzzed, and red faced. Not for long, however, as, as soon as he walks out, he immediately sobers right up. The boistering continues however, as he enters the bedroom, apparently wishing to nap. He's got regular clothes on though, and is most likely a commoner just biding his time.

You can't get a good look at the goings on of the bar at the moment, but it certainly sounds like whatever's happening is quite the hoot.

The man continues to play, a smile on his face, all teeth. Pearly white teeth, I might add. Surprising, for a half-orc. Keeping in playing, he speaks. "While I don't understand the language, I can easily feel the words, dear miss. While it is a bit rude of me to carry on like this without giving you my name, I believe it would be nice if I introduced myself. My name is Nefroy, and I am well-known for my Dirge."

As his song ends, he stands up, ceasing his playing to adjust his clothing. He has a staggering height, made even more staggering by the fact his chair is so low to the ground. Easily almost 7 feet tall, the man is a monster of a being, imposing in multiple categories. He seems to be as constituted and strong as he is mildly charismatic in his mannerisms. "As is customary, with the name, I must also admit to how I perished, and I'm afraid it was as simple as being done in in the Dukedom of Gibraltar. They apparently didn't enjoy my music... as the guards simply walked in and decapitated me on the spot while I was playing." he says with a sigh.

"What of you... Kitten? Yes, that's what I'll call you. Kitten, a lazy cat. If only because you're currently sprawled across my instrument of choice." he says with a jovial tone, followed by a small chuckle.

Marco and Finelia laugh together as the wizard looks over to the woman. She raises her tone a bit, a wee bit upset it wasn't obvious. "I'm good with animals, boy. Not as good as that freak Vorslav, but, I don't believe you'd enjoy the Leechmonger's company. If you would, he hangs around the swamps at the entrance to Agristrad. Practically impossible to find on his stakeouts too, I might add." she says, walking towards you.

Making it a point to sum up the woman finally, she seems built for combat, more than just professionalism. Why, if you didn't know any better, you'd think she was a ranger of sorts. She then clarifies it for you. "Agristrad was my place of death, much as Nibreltar was Marco's, and Hazrit was Arcus's. I succumbed to a disease the cultists were spreading, and it cost me my companion. You seem to be missing a point, though. Living things can't be brought to the Nexus." she points out.

"Someone tried to Aetherize a person once, and I must admit, it wasn't pretty. Sentient creatures and vermin alike probably wouldn't fair well with the process, and are likely to just die when reverted. Not to mention that hardly any of them find the act natural, and actually back off at the mere idea of it. They can feel it, as if were merely... wrong." her eyes trail to the lower left corner of the room.

Marco interjects at this point. "While the body of a dead animal, or person, can be aetherized, the only place we of the Nexus tend to make it a point to do so is in Argosal's pass, if only to stop him from making more undead. Agristrad has it's share, but there are so many corpses of..." he stops a moment. Appaled and saddened by whatever it is that there are bodies of. "Some of us avoid Agristrad for certain reasons, my boy."

Carrying on, Marco takes the vile, which you willingly give to him. You front the creation aeither, a mere 75, at which point he gets cracking, immediately heating up his crafting area, pulling out a book practically filled to the brim with notes.

"Rust monsters will unfortunately have to stay in Hazrit, but I can make plenty of this powder to suffice. Plus the blasted thing would likely just end up eating your gear in your sleep anyway. Not the best of pets. Perhaps you and Finelia could enthrall a Raven of sorts in Zeltos to keep watch of things, maybe? I don't dwell much on the arrangements of pets. My Homunculus is all I require!" he says, putting out his hand, which is immediately high fived by the "Pseudodragon" on his shoulders as it tends to his craft.

You're not quite sure what a homunculus is, but that sounds awful wizardy. Maybe Bannon would know? Daft bastard's probably off being hideously sociopathic at this point. Probably already managed to muck something up.

Finelia seems to fancy the idea of a raven, though, squealing with joy at the idea. "Or an Owl! There must be plenty in that fore..." and then she remembers something you don't, made apparent by her face. "Ach, there are still ravens and owls, yes, but that forest is an awful place deep in... what with all the alchemical filth that runs through the streams. Even the monkey men had to move to the outskirts."

You don't much remember any "Alchemical Filth" in your last waltz through the forest, so you inquire as to what she means. Apparently in the last few weeks the situation became rapaciously awful, with the water becoming foul. Apparently it's affected Barbaranaka's Morale as well.

The situation in Zeltos is edgy, as well. If people find out we're from some sort of pocket dimension they'll want to come here, and that can't happen. Unfortunately the number of people left isn't even in the the 400's now, so new faces are as apparent as white on black canvas." Marco points out, making a fair point. "It's a shame, but knowledge of this place is private information we'd like to keep out of people's ears... especially Argosal's." he says with sheer disapproval of the mere idea.

hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2

A stern grimace makes his way to Roman’s face as Marco, Finelia and the other woman talk to him.
Y’know, I ain’t no boy-scout. I done my share of awful - more than most, I reckon. But what with the world’s going to hell, and the lot of us here playing hide n’ seek, going into portals and disappearing… that doesn’t sound right. There’s so much you folks ain’t tellin’ us new meat, and that’s fine – I prob’ly won’t understand half of it. But you clearly told me I’m still alive, even if I sure don’t feel so right now” he goes to push Marco and watches his hand disappear and reappear “and being alive means I still have people I care for in the real world. You big magic folks, with your fancy powers… have you tried connecting two portals? Sure you’re smart enough to think of something!” seeing his plan deemed impossible almost as an afterthought by these people is getting Roman more than a bit angry and frustrated. “We agreed to get your stuff back and, might I add, did a damn fine job doing that. I’m ready to help – but I don’t just want shinies or Heyther or some trinkets in return. I want answers ‘bout this place and promises you’ll help me when I need something through one of them portals!

Male Human Wizard 3, +5 Initiative, +6 Perception, AC 11 / Touch AC 11 / Flat Footed AC10, Saves F+2/ R +w / W +6 HP:19/19

Bannon's making all the friends here

Taking a peak at the masked woman that beckoned himself and Bromen, Bannon couldn't help to feel a bit uneasy.

"You...beckoned us?"

The woman's uninterested stance only meant that she was either playing a game w/ the dwarf and human, or she truly was bored.

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

Bromen quickly spies the wand on the woman's belt. Great, another casty. Got to keep practicin' the Pillars t'survive this place.

Content in the knowledge that he cannot be touched here in the Nexus, the dwarf is content to follow along and let Bannon screw up this encounter as well.

Female Human Arcanist 3/Inquisitor 1 | Hero Points: 1/3 | HP: 19/19, NL: 0 | AC 14/13/11, Cold Resistance 1 | F+4 R +5 W+8 | Per: +10 | Init: +3 | Bolts: 4, Arrows: 14, Shocking Grasp: 21, Silent Image: 5, Magic Missile: 15
Spells and Abilities:
Arcanist Spells - 1st: 1/5 | Inquisitor Spells - 1st: 1/2 | Arcane Reservoir: 4/6, Judgments: 1/1

Tera heard Orca's thoughts in her head. That there were good people she already knew. Both Rydel and Anastasia were good people, and so too was this woman. Her life had ended, but she was correct about being given a second chance. She'd be a fool to waste.

But there was still that nagging doubt that had begun to plague her. She may still have the powers of a paladin, but she didn't feel like one. She felt like she had failed, time after time. Each pained scream was a mark that damned her, and in the end there had been many such screams. The horrors of those nights still burned like she had just seen them.

Despite this, however, there were two things that rang true in the last little shred of resolve. First, she was brought here for one purpose, to push back the mist. Second, even at her lowest, Iomedae was watching, willing to give her the strength she needed. She closed her eyes and breathed out. When they opened, the emerald flame that had faded was once again burning.

"I'm sorry Orca. I forget all to easily sometimes. There were those who believed me unfit for this privilege when I was an acolyte. Sometimes I forget it was the Inheritor and not them who made me one of her holy warriors."

She stands, coming up well short against Orca's height, but she stood taller than she had since coming back from Hazrit.

"Bagrin said something about how the leaders of are involved in this somehow and that... aether was involved. He was the one that meet us when we first came here, and that's all I think he told us."

Tera sighs again, this time from frustration at the situation.

"Where would be the best place to start? We were in Hazrit to retrieve Arcus' tools. There was a woman that looked like she had a good bit of dragon blood I think her name was Miralda, she was talking to...to someone named Garsakles? Have you heard of him?"

Orca's face hangs a bit when the mention of Garsakles is brought up. "That is a rather powerful dragon that resides far to the north of what is left of Hazrit... the issue with that area is that no one knows what is the source of the fog's allure there. We've assumed the dragons are involved, but..." her voice stops for a moment.

She places a hand to her own chin, thinking for a moment, one hand resting on her longsword. "That Miralda woman was most likely a disciple of the dragons themselves. Probably a sorcerer who wanted to delve into her ancestry. Hazrit's secret to staving off the fog likely involves the politics among the very dragons they tutor... Alas, the sorcerers they play patron to are sometimes just as powerful." She sighs, audibly, and not just in your mind.

"If I could very well make a suggestion, Zeltos, or Argosal is where you should look into next. A person of your calibur could very well heal the wounded. The front gates are always under siege, and no one particularly cares where the help comes from." She says as she walks over towards a bench in the room.

"As for Bagrin, that poor man... If you think your resolve has shaken, try dying as many times as he has. Once a proud warrior, he's given his life a few too many times, and I believe it has addled him. He is of good nature, though. What he told you is true. There is a source in each of the 7 bastions, and we're certain of none of them." She draws her weapon as she speaks, taking a moment to admire the runes etched into the blade and hilt. A marvelous weapon to say the least.

"If you wish to steel your resolve, I truly recommend Argosal. There's been tell of subterfuge, and missing bodies in the cemetery within the boundaries of the village. Argosal's legions shouldn't be as big as they are, and the villagers supposedly cremate their dead, yet the horde never stops."

"Alas, I must break mental contact with you here, as I've a person to study in the viewing room." she says, walking through you, un-phased by the sudden disintegration. "I look forward to hearing of your results. Seek me if you learn of anything, or need assistance of some sort." she says as she leaves the room, leaving you there alone.

Bannon, Bromen:
As you approach the woman and the man in black leather, she perks right up, putting a smile on. Her voice is cold, and somewhat cruel to here, as if every word she speaks reeks of subterfuge, but it is oddly alluring. "Ah, well, what have we here? New arrivals... Oh those are just the best of kinds. The new ones, wouldn't you say Rodrick?" she asks, not looking at them. He doesn't bother replying, though he shoots the 2 of you a glance and puts on his trademark grin as he looks towards the altar room.

She smirks, though doesn't seem phased by his lack of interest. "Oh tsk, tsk. Never an interest in internal affairs... Well, no matter." She says as she stands and her leather coat trails to her feet. "My name, gentlemen, is Mephisto, a dreadful one to hear, I'm sure, but I do fancy myself rather dreadful. Dreadful, and full of business, as usual." she says with a bit of a giggle.

She crosses her arms and looks at you for a moment, summarizing you with a quick glance. "Hmm... not wet behind the ears, but not used to the nexus yet? Oh, no worries, where are my manners?! It is customary in the Nexus to inform the others of how you died. My story isn't Grandiose, but..." she throws a hand up to her forehead feigning fret. "Woe was I when I was betrayed by a foolish boy! A shame, dreadfully so, but that was all in Zeltos."

She walks up to Bromen, looking down at him. At about that moment both of you notice some scarring under her eyes and at the center of her forehead. It almost makes a plus sign, but stops just before the top of her nose. "Dwarf, and... Human... Listen here and now, gentleman, my reputation is an awful one. Truly, but here's the thing, and I'm sure you might agree. We are against... evil forces, no? Whatever is the matter in imploring our own unsavory tactics? Hmm? I will get straight to the point..." she says, pointing at Bannon rather suddenly.

"I've no magical assistance, but I know a wizard when I see one. You practically wreak of that Marco mentality... I wish for you... to bring me information. Simple, no? You provide me with what I believe to be juicy intelligence, and then I implore my own devices. There's Aether in it for you, and is that not what you boys need? Hmm?" she asks, opening her arms up for a half embrace.

Rodrick mildly smiles in the background as he looks over toward the front glyph again. His neck practically snaps when Orca walks out of the Altar room, however, and he and her share piercing glares. She disappears into the sigil to the viewing room, however, and Rodrick rests easy once again.

Finelia looks to Marco with a bit of a disheartened smile. Her eyes half shut, she walks back to the profession, obviously upset, and begins to string another bow. Marco just shakes his head, disappointed.

Pulling up a chair and taking a break from his work, Marco takes off his glasses. The sound of Arcus hammering things dulls down as well, and everyone is likely upset with the display.

After a bit of silence, Marco speaks up. "Boy. I am going to tell you something that almost everyone else is aware of, but we usually wait to tell them this so they have time to be happy. You, obviously can't be, so pardon me if this ruins your stay." he sighs, taking a drink from his Homunculus. "We are not alive. No, no we are most certainly not alive. If I had to leave it up to my own guess, we simply are a wrong existence at this point. Doomed to survive in this nexus and stave off the fog. What happens after that? None of us now, not even the keepers." he says, taking a drink of his beverage.

"Aether makes up everything. Even before we were like this, it made up you, but now, it is you. Your body still lies where it died, unless it's been moved. Your current body is your soul fused with aether. We are all simply a force of creation. A wrong existence that the world constantly seeks to right. Did the Fog show up because the Nexus came to exist, or Vice versa? There are just too many questions... at this point he's placed his beverage down, crossed his arms, and began to stare intently at you.

"I know not how you died, boy. I know not what the circumstances were, but I do know this. I am doing my absolute best to further our advancements with the Aether, and you aren't the first one to have a hissy fit in this room this week over similar things. I apologize that I can't aid you with the enthrallment of those blasted insects, but there just aren't any ways to drag things through the portals that aren't like us." he says with an intent glare.

"We will help you, young man, but please, I beg of you, do not get so rife with emotion over failed plans. Why, if I did, I would have gone mad ages ago." he says with a bit of hearty laughter.

"If you have any questions, young man, I will answer them to the best of my ability, but please, atleast be respectful to the people that have been trying to accomplish what you've been doing for far longer. We've all had our share of frustration... and rage." he states as he pulls out a pipe to puff as he drinks and reads into his books more, the vial of rust monster glands sitting on the table.

Female Human Arcanist 3/Inquisitor 1 | Hero Points: 1/3 | HP: 19/19, NL: 0 | AC 14/13/11, Cold Resistance 1 | F+4 R +5 W+8 | Per: +10 | Init: +3 | Bolts: 4, Arrows: 14, Shocking Grasp: 21, Silent Image: 5, Magic Missile: 15
Spells and Abilities:
Arcanist Spells - 1st: 1/5 | Inquisitor Spells - 1st: 1/2 | Arcane Reservoir: 4/6, Judgments: 1/1

"Thank you, and I will. May Iomedae light your path."

Tera bows as she bode farewell to Orca. Feeling better, now that she had a purpose, and knew that others had to deal with worse, she remembers that Bromen had said something about Arcus having something for her. She grabbed her things and walked out of the room, noting where it was so she could use it later. She made her way to where the various craftsmen and woman had made their shop. Her eyes fell to the halbred. The blade was nicked and chipped in several places, the tip of the spike that acted like a spear point had been broken off. The haft bore dozens of marks where blades had bit into the wood. A frown creased her face as she noted that the weapon was not in the best of shape. Well, hopefully Arcus would be open to fixing it, or remaking it into something else. How would she pay for it anyway. She didn't have a lot of gold, and she wasn't sure what they used for currency here anyway.

She stopped when she noticed that she had arrived to find Arcus busy at his forge.

"Pardon me, Forgemaster, but I was hoping I could ask you a favor?"

hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2

Roman is a bit taken aback – not for the reprimanding lecture, but mostly for the definite confirmation that he is in fact dead. He stays silent for a minute, then lamely attempts to defuse the gravity of the revelati “Nine Hells, you must have been stuck in here for a while to call me “boy”, ain’t you?” says Roman pointing at his grizzled hair under the leather hat.

And I get it, ok? I ain’t a fool. But I ain’t a scholar either. If something don’t work, I don’t study it, I keep trying until I get results. Nearly go****mn blew my hand off the first time my gun jammed, jus’ because I kept fiddling with it. ” he shows Marco a large burn scar covering his left hand and forearm “But that’s what I mean. I can’t stay here waiting for one o’ you brainiacs to figure out this Nexus or whatnots. I need to go out there do something. And that works best if I know the whole thing, don’t it?

He paces a bit, gathering the words “Gotta be honest, Marco, I don’t much care for the fog. Never quite thought ‘bout it. Fog was out there, but them Seekers coming in my house, that was close enough for me to worry ‘bout. So now you tell me we ain’t trying to solve the folk’s trouble, but the world’s. That the fog is more important than the monsters… I never hid from the fog. But I sure done my share of hiding from the Seekers. Fog never took my girl, Seekers did.
So I will help, and I will respect your efforts, but I ain’t givin’ up on mine. And if that means getting’ angry and make a fool o’ myself… eh, won’t be the first time.


Female Kitsune Bard 3; AC 17, 13 touch 14 flat-footed; HP 21/21, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +4; +5 Initiative, +6 Perception

Hana laughs. "Pleased to meet you, Nefroy. I was never one for cats, but if I look like one to you, I won't stop you from being honest. I am Hana." She half-bows from her seat, smiling.

She looks him over-- huge, complimentary, skilled. Her natural sense of distrust crept forward and she paused to gauge him for a moment.

Sense motive for a hunch! Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12 ... Very failed!

Oh well-- she might as well enjoy a conversation today. "You think that's bad? I was breathed on by a dragon," Hana admits. "And what reason did they have? Was it really the music? Some people are born without good taste; don't let it put a chip on your shoulder."

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

Bromen is silent for a moment, thinking to let Bannon take the lead on this conversation in order to gather some information about these two strange characters. Then he remembers what has happened the last few times Bannon took the lead on a conversation.

The words of the prophesy echo in his head..."And thus the world ends, burned away in a blast of arcane fire"

"Well......yer a real 'ends justify the means' type, ain't ye? I am Bromen, son or Aralak, of the clan Vrektel. Im not shy about bendin' a rule or three t'do what needs doin', but with the world falling over the edge it seems t'me that we should all be pullin' not pushin' And my gut says yer a pusher."

He looks the masked woman up and down, his gaze lingering a bit on her wand and making no move to even acknowledge her open arms. "But my teachers always said its real gratifyin' to turn yer enemies weapons against them.......so I'll hear ye out. What're ye trying to do with those 'devices' of yers and what type of information ye lookin' for?"

Male Human Wizard 3, +5 Initiative, +6 Perception, AC 11 / Touch AC 11 / Flat Footed AC10, Saves F+2/ R +w / W +6 HP:19/19
Mephisto wrote:
"I've no magical assistance, but I know a wizard when I see one. You practically wreak of that Marco mentality... I wish for you... to bring me information. Simple, no? You provide me with what I believe to be juicy intelligence, and then I implore my own devices. There's Aether in it for you, and is that not what you boys need? Hmm?" she asks, opening her arms up for a half embrace.

The Wizard was taken aback at the masked woman's comment. "Reek of Marco's mentality..." It was much like his earlier days in the academy when non-magic users would pick out the wizard apprentices and mock them during their practice. Bannon knew that it was ignorance and jealousy that empowered such brash behavior but now, he was faced with a different situation.

Acquiring more Aether was always a plus, but being offered a deal from a woman who won't show her face...wasn't a good sign. But...she didn't openly threaten the Wizard or his Dwarven friend and she did have a modicum of understanding to peg Bannon for his arcane tuteledge.

Clearing his throat and giving Mephito a wry smile, the Wizard spoke up.

"Mephisto...Charmed, I'm Bancroft Gainsborough and yes, there is no shred of doubt that I'm a Wizard."

Bannon Sense Motive, Untrained: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Bannon Diplomacy, Untrained: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11

Casting a cursory glance, Bannon was trying to discern if there was anything about Mephisto that smelled like a bad idea.

I guess no problem here, Officer

"I suppose there's no harm in regards to information. Though, maybe you could...make it more a while. After all, I am a wizard???"

What have I done....

Roman, Tera:
As the lecture from Marco ends, Tera enters the fray and spots Roman getting a rather firm talking to before making his own retort. Arcus is actually in the middle of working on his craft, and is nearly completely imposed with it.

It is about this time the music becomes audible from far on high in the nexus. A strange fact, considering you weren't even in that section, but the music sounded of something different, an Organ, this time, full of emotion, followed by a chorus of voices.

The Dwarf looks up at you as he puts the final threads into a mithril chain vest, taking note of the music, but dismissing it almost immediately. "Oye, already a bit busy, lass, but good'news. I'll 'ave ye and yer' friends armors done in'ta next few days. Bout two, really. Yer gettin' a full plate." he said with a bit of a wink. "s'thanks fer gettin' me forge back!" he says with a boisterous laugh.

On the other end, Marco looks to Roman, noting the music as well. Well within ear shot of Tera, and takes yet another puff. "Longer than I care to mention, unfortunately..." he says as you mention he's been in here a while.

"Zeltos... Zeltos was likely a cruel, evil man even before the dungeons of his prison were stretched so far and deep into the core. It's not difficult to think that he used the chokehold of the fog to put his vile plans into motion, no?" he said, puffing again, but putting his pipe on the table.

He stood up, looking at you and pointing a finger, underhanded at roman. "These people wouldn't be able to be so openly evil if there were any means of calling for help! End the fog, end them. The dragons of Hazrit? They would disperse. The prison? Shut down. The chilling pass? Freed. Everyone would be so much better off without it."

Pacing, letting his homunculus adjust his beakers and heaters, "If you truly wish to bring such swift justice to the seekers, then you should look for a way to ruin the prison itself. Perhaps..." he trailed off a moment. "Perhaps the new alchemical factory built in the forest? Surely if you looked into that you could learn something..."

Bromen, Bannon:
As bannon makes his suggestions, a chorus of voices fills the air, followed with that of an organ's rhythmic tones. Whoever the musician was was most certainly riding high with his emotions, evident by the sound of the music. The black leathered man, Rodrick, stands up and walks off as he perks up with a grin on his face, throwing a wave to Mephisto to signal his departure. She, however, looks to you rather intently, or she would, if you could see underneath the eye mask. A notable smile crosses her lips, of course.

"Well, gentlemen, anything. Trivial information on the disciples of Hazrit, rumors in Zeltos, subterfuge, etc, etc... Hmm..." She looks to Bannon, rather curious. "Wizard, I am merely paying you in Aether, but... I suppose I could also trade? Yes, that would work nicely.

She walks up to him, and with a flash, puts 3 fingers together into a bit of a peck and dashes his forehead, inevitably causing him to disperse before it can land. She laughs a bit, but continues; "Information on Aether is nice, and I've no doubt that Marco will tell you droves if you asked him. As for the other part, well, here's my suggestion. You can both choose now. Information for Aether, or Information for Information?" she says with a bit of a giggle.

"I have no control over what you tell me, and therefore, I'll merely give you info I deem worthy. How does that sound?"

"The... Dukedome of Gibraltar, is an awful place these days. Chock full of famine, and madness. The upper reaches were nice enough, until the duke's guards suddenly gained that dark presence..." he says with a bit of a grim expression as you languish across the piano.

"The duke lost his mind, and began to send commoners into fog, of which, none returned. He deemed ti necessary, for some reason, as the dead were filling up the streets from the lack of food and cannibalism was starting to whisper to people..." coughing a moment. [b]"The upper class were fine for a moment, and I had fortunately caught a job in one of the high class taverns. Playing the Piano, of course, but, out of the blue, they just came up to me as I played when they'd learned I wasn't of nobility."

His expression darkened. "I struggled for some time, eventually resorting to the use of my enchantments, but they resisted them and killed me there. I assume my corpse was thrown into the fog some time after that." his music had darkened once again, at this point. He had pulled a lever to the side, activating the other portions of the piano as it churned with vibrations. Pleasing, if you were sitting on it, but the sound that followed was nothing short of depressing. He mumbled something to himself, and voices seemed to pour into the room, followed by a long pause.

As the deep vibrato of the organs churned far above, he continued to speak, clearly audible to just about anyone in the nexus. "I then showed up here, confused. I returned to the Dukedom to see if I couldn't lend my skills, but the guards... they're not human. A man like me isn't able to do anything to those!" he says, pouring something new into the music.


He violently played the organ as his originally tidy hair fell onto his face and danced as he surged forward, the keys seemingly weighing entire pounds.


Female Human Arcanist 3/Inquisitor 1 | Hero Points: 1/3 | HP: 19/19, NL: 0 | AC 14/13/11, Cold Resistance 1 | F+4 R +5 W+8 | Per: +10 | Init: +3 | Bolts: 4, Arrows: 14, Shocking Grasp: 21, Silent Image: 5, Magic Missile: 15
Spells and Abilities:
Arcanist Spells - 1st: 1/5 | Inquisitor Spells - 1st: 1/2 | Arcane Reservoir: 4/6, Judgments: 1/1

"Th-thank you." Tera was caught off guard by the generousness of the dwarf's gift. Plate armor was something only the most moneyed nobles and soldiers could afford. The banded mail she'd scavenged wasn't even half the cost of a good suit of plate. Still stunned, she looks once more down at the halbred in her hand.

"Would you mind if I came back once you are less busy? I wanted to see about getting my halbred fixed, or remade."

Question for the GM, would it be possible to have a weapon like a halbred that dealt bludgeoning damage instead of slashing?

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

could have sworn I posted yesterday, sorry 'bout that!

The dwarf watches the exchange between the two arcane-types and finds himself wondering if all that training he received has built up enough resistance to survive this place. Hehe, I'm worried if I'll survive what happens to me after my death.

"How's about a freebie then, as a sign of yer good faith?" he asks as he watches Rodrick's actions. "What's with the music and why's it got him so happy?"

Male Human Wizard 3, +5 Initiative, +6 Perception, AC 11 / Touch AC 11 / Flat Footed AC10, Saves F+2/ R +w / W +6 HP:19/19
Mephisto wrote:

She walks up to him, and with a flash, puts 3 fingers together into a bit of a peck and dashes his forehead, inevitably causing him to disperse before it can land. She laughs a bit, but continues; "Information on Aether is nice, and I've no doubt that Marco will tell you droves if you asked him. As for the other part, well, here's my suggestion. You can both choose now. Information for Aether, or Information for Information?" she says with a bit of a giggle.

"I have no control over what you tell me, and therefore, I'll merely give you info I deem worthy. How does that sound?"

Bannon took in the mysterious lady's speech and couldn't help to let his mind wander.

"What do I truly want...."

Cornelius bounced on Bannon's shoulder, gently hooting while readjusting itself. The Wizard took notice and smiled for even in negotiations, it was nice having someone on your side that didn't further add to the cacophony of the Nexus.

Barring what Bannon considered horrible music, the Wizard spoke up after Bromen.

"What my venerable associate here implies...is that we could use an example of what you mean by...information, Mephisto. Surely you can understand. Like, imagine asking..lets say a dwarf for information..he's most likely going to present his opinions on crafting and fighting techniques."

Bannon's Diplomacy, Untrained: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25YES!!!!

Giving a small nod, Bannon knew that he had made a valued point.

Sorry Bromen, pretty racist of me. You're open to adding more jokes.

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

The armored dwarf cracks his knuckles with a loud POP before crossing his arms and glaring up at the wizard. "Never spent a day at a forge. Was too busy learning how to keep finger-wigglers in line. Would gladly show ye that....."

After the mysterious Mephisto has her say and the conversation wraps up, Bromen makes his way back to Arcus looking for the others. Seemed like time to start comparing notes and choose what to do next.


Female Kitsune Bard 3; AC 17, 13 touch 14 flat-footed; HP 21/21, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +4; +5 Initiative, +6 Perception

Hana's face registers curiosity. "Not human, you say? Extrapolate perhaps...?"

His story was one of madness and sorrow. No wonder he didn't like to play happy music.

She glanced at the sky, mistakenly looking for the sun for a moment. It was almost time to meet back up with her allies-- after this question answered, she'd slip away and try to find them.

Hana Miyahara:
The man seems to lose himself in his playing at this point, seeming to give you a cold shoulder. A bit rude, to say the least, but he's obviously got a lot on his mind. Any attempts, qwerky remarks, or snide comments you make don't seem to shake him.

Walking down the stairs rather befuddled, you take a casual glance towards the archways.

Perception Check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

You manage to catch a glimpse of Rodrick going into the portal with the deformed, creepy creatures on it's top with the little town at the bottom. It seems as though he was going to great lengths to do so quickly, but as to why, you're not sure. You arrive down at the bottom with a fast heart beat, rather pleased that you managed to avoid him.

Bromen, Bannon:

The 2 of you both enjoy casual racial slurs at each other's company, much to Mephisto's amusement. For the first time ever, and it probably brought a tear to a casual DM's eye, Bannon finally manages to say something that appeals to someone's nature.

She throws back her hair, a long, pristine length of it no less. With a smile, she says "Of the critical variety, I can assure you. The goings-on of the archways, and their inhabitants. Things that happen that I can't normally witness..." She looks to Bannon; "The kind of thing that's just important to the inevitable purging of the fog, or just shifty movements of others. For example, I know that there are 3 others among you're particular group."

She grins. "Speaking of which, I believe we have all dallied a long enough time, no? Accompany me to the center area, won't you gentlemen?" she says as she sachets to the glyph. "A Paladin, a... Woman, and a Gunman. Truly, there haven't been more than 3 at once. You people have caught my interest." she says, faced away and disappearing into the glyph.

Not figuring that anything else could be done in the present, and knowing that you're all somewhat pressed for time, you both go, grudgingly together, to the main area

Tera, Roman:
Getting lost in his work again, Arcus stays rather quiet, along with the rather crestfallen Finelia, as well as Marco who tends to his brews, the rust concoction among them. Arcus nods his head at Tera, seemingly getting a glint of fancy in his eye as the young lady requests a blunt halberd of sorts.

Cracking his knuckles as he takes a tiny break, he responds happily. "Simple as blunting an edge, girl!" shooing you off, with a smile on his face.

With a smile on your face, Tera, you leave the area, leaving your halberd here to be remade, and willing the weapon over to Arcus to do as he pleases with it. to which he responds with a casual glance over.

The both of you, Roman slightly disheartened at the turnout, go towards the central area.

From the stairs comes Hana, brushing the hair from her forehead with a sigh of relief. From the other glyph, there comes Bannon and Bromen, a woman with white hair and a golden mask on her face that doesn't cover her mouth or nose, but just her eyes.

The woman is lithe, but clad in black leather in the form of a coat of sorts. Her hair is a pristine white, and a long, white wand hangs from her sides. She actually leads the party of Bromen and Bannon out of the glyph.

On the far side, from Marco and the rest of the professionals, comes Tera and Roman, Tera noticeably without her halberd. Everyone seems to have found something entirely different to have done, and seem rather satisfied with the time they've spent doing certain things.

Bagrin is notably not in the center anymore, and is apparently elsewhere, all the while Rydel and Anastasia enjoy the view from above rather cattily. Without missing a step, the white haired woman walks into the center of the room, over top of the endless hole, and seems to be supported golden runes that appear beneath her feet as she walks.

Throwing open her arms and spinning about she looks at you all as you congregate, rather amused. "Splended! There were five of you. Marvelous!" she says as she casts a glance over to Hana, a devilish grin on her face as she presses a finger to her lips and bites it. "Have the lot of you managed to figure out where you're going to be off to, soon? I'm curious..." she asks, waiting with anticipation.

hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2

For once, Roman does not have an answer ready for the woman. He dreamt of taking Zeltos, and yet Marco brutally cut to pieces his plan and his hopes for a quick destruction of the damned place.

No, this time Roman would sit back, listen to the others, maybe try to avoid making sarcastic comments. Don't alienateanyone else. After all, he was dead.

Guess them Sunday priests got the "no rest for the wicked" part right. You wickered in life, now in death you get to keep fighting... and for what, who knows?

The plan to take down Zeltos wasn't abandoned, but merely delayed. He would have needed all the help he could get, and no better way to get help than to shoot a dragon between the eyes then ask for a favor in return.

Male Human Wizard 3, +5 Initiative, +6 Perception, AC 11 / Touch AC 11 / Flat Footed AC10, Saves F+2/ R +w / W +6 HP:19/19
Mephisto wrote:

"Have the lot of you managed to figure out where you're going to be off to, soon? I'm curious..." she asks, waiting with anticipation.

Bannon, ever the social butterfly spoke first knowing full well that he wouldn't be given a chance later to express himself. "Hm...destinations...thats a great question. While nothing pressing at the moment has my attention...I do recall Hana mentioning that she had business left within Hazrit. Personally speaking, it may be best to take care of that because of a certain dragon whelp may take heed to our presence." Whether he did it intentionally or by accident, the Wizard shared information that may be of use to Mephisto. Casting a quick glance to Bromen, he wasn't quite sure if he had goofed up.

Allowing himself to take over the situation, Bannon reflected the question right back at Mephisto. "But by all means, do you happen to have a need...or direction for us?"

Not really sure how this may end up, but can't hurt asking....while inside the Nexus xD

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

Bromen also stands silently as Bannon begins to talk to Mephisto. He winces a bit when the wizard mentions Hazrit simply because it gives the strange woman information on where they'd been and what they'd already done, information she was probably already planning to twist to her own needs.

The dwarf tries to control a smile as Bannon asks his question. Yes, lady, tell us where yer interests are?

Mephisto smiles a cocky smile. Looking at Bannon, she places a hand on her hip and leans forward a bit. "I suppose you mean the one at Arcus's old forge? No matter him, I hear you did quite well with the whelp and he likely has no outside assistance. Regardless..." she says, walking up to the group. "If I had to make a recommendation? I would suggest... Argosal."

The word slipped off her tongue rather sleekly. Continuing, she circled the group slowly with a relaxed pace. "He shouldn't have this many dead... The lich, that is. Someone has to be giving him bodies for the number that he has, and I suspect the local clergy is involved." she said, turning on her heel to face the lot of you. "I've got my ideas of who it is, but, that comes at a bit of a price..." she says, with a slow grin.

Male Human Wizard 3, +5 Initiative, +6 Perception, AC 11 / Touch AC 11 / Flat Footed AC10, Saves F+2/ R +w / W +6 HP:19/19
Mephisto wrote:

The word slipped off her tongue rather sleekly. Continuing, she circled the group slowly with a relaxed pace. "He shouldn't have this many dead... The lich, that is. Someone has to be giving him bodies for the number that he has, and I suspect the local clergy is involved." she said, turning on her heel to face the lot of you. "I've got my ideas of who it is, but, that comes at a bit of a price..." she says, with a slow grin.


"A...lich". Bannon's resolve melted as he went inward. "No...no...n, this can't be possible..." The Wizard went from aloof and awkward to rigid and intense. His eyes widened, and looked upon Mephisto as if a fire awoken within Bancroft Gainsborough. "A Lich...is...a bastion of incredible magic...twisted by evil and the lust for immortality. The path that few wizards travel...as they exchange their mortal life and its experiences to mastering magic. Such destructive magic...unkempt is dangerous enough..." Said Bannon as the World seemed to weigh on his shoulders. "You might have not known me, miss, but as an Abjurer its my job, no, its my PASSION to stop the abuse of magic and its harm to others. Explain to me what this Lich has to do with missing people,...please."

It was uncommon for Bannon show any emotions outside of paranoia and fear. But this was a different matter. For Abjurers, Liches and their like were considered the most dangerous of foes. While the Wizard was surely no fool to throw himself into combat against the evil veteran magic user, it was Bannon's civic duty as a practicioner of magic to find a way to stop said Evil. Nibrelter could wait.

And there you have it folks, a new emotion for Bannon. Hopefully this'll end up better than Gremlin Rings and Whelps, xD

Mephisto almost actually laughs at the Bannon's sudden change in attitude. "Bastion of incredible magic and probably the only person in the current non-living world who knows damn-near anything of the mist! As much as we've tried to destroy him, those front gates are impenetrable, and the weather is stoic about any attempts to get near him." she says, rather proud of her information on the man.

"As for what Argosal has to do with missing persons, well, we just assume that he's finally found something to study. The mist." she says as she walks about the room. "He's likely using the living bodies to see what kind of effects the mist have on them. This is all one of Marco's assumptions, however." She doesn't seem to jive well with the sudden laying of hearts.

hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2

Pardon an old sinner’s question, Ma’am.” Roman interrupts Mephisto trying his best to sound genuinely perplexed and not sarcastic “But seems to me you’re depicting this leech as a bit out of our league. Y’all been tellin’ us we’re the new folks, we should lay low, not think we can solve all the world’s problem with a snap of fingers… and now you suggest we go in this leech house? To do what? From my fella Bannon’s preoccupation I gather this ain’t no regular leech – but something of dark magic, am I right?

She smirks. "You would be right, yes, but this doesn't necessarily concern Argosal. No, this is merely getting rid of one of his spies, and cutting off his supply of corpses." she said, placing a hand on her hip and jutting the weapon on her side out.

"Of course you can be guaranteed a reward? There are a few things you don't know about the dragon disciples, after all, or rather... hmm..." She stops a moment, putting a finger to her lip.

Walking up to roman, she looks you over slightly. "Oooh... Familiar..." she circles you, going through great pains to pick up details much to Roman's dismay. "Good sir, might you have... lived in Zeltos, prior to your demise?" she asks inquisitively.


Female Kitsune Bard 3; AC 17, 13 touch 14 flat-footed; HP 21/21, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +4; +5 Initiative, +6 Perception

Hana, with her arms crossed, stays silent. If they were heading back to her homeland, it'd no doubt be interesting.

hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2
Duboris wrote:
"Good sir, might you have... lived in Zeltos, prior to your demise?"

"Can't say I did, ma'am. I died there, for sure. Got my head split in two like a watermelon by a Seeker. But living there? Someone close to me did... still does, I hope." Roman corrects himself immediately, unsure about how much to reveal about his past "Zeltos is a bad place to die, but it's a worse one to live in."

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

Bromen finds himself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Bannon. Hard to spend four decades training to save the world from the evils of arcane magic without hearing the term "lich" a few times. He feels torn between his duty and desire to destroy the creature, and his knowledge that he is grossly unready to do so. How badly can I fail? Already died once......

With the basic tenants of the Pillars of Mage Combat running through his head he tries to stay focused on the continuing conversation.

The woman stands, cross-armed. Looking you over through her golden mask, she seems bothered by something. "You seem... Familiar, though I can't for the life of me imagine why." she says, walking away toward the sigil. "Regardless! Find me when you are ready to depart. I've things of my own to do." and with that, she disappeared towards the viewing room.

Stopping a moment, Tera looks around the room sheepishly, the toll of everything that's happened weighing on her. As Mephisto leaves, she begins walking up the stairs. "Friends, though I ventured with you shortly, I'm afraid my purpose lies elsewhere..." she says. Turning to look at the lot of you, she seems both upset and resolved. "I shall head to Agristrad at some point in the future, but alas, I am afraid I must see to other errands. I wish you luck in Argosal."

Walking up the stairs, she seems both worried and crestfallen, somewhat, but she was strong. She'd make it at some point.

Everyone may do what they wish at this point :3

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

Bromen gives the warrior women a silent salute as she walks away. He cannot help but recognize the all-too-familiar sag of her shoulders that comes from the weighty burden of her duty. Heavier than a mountain...

He slowly looks around their ragtag group, flush with their recent victory but still one blade weaker than they were. And the one so obvious to lead them. Bromen was a simple soldier: he had a clear mission and a definite purpose, but all his training and preparations had been geared toward a solitary battle. Certainly not leadership. Who would take the reins now?

"That masked woman got one thing right: we need t'decide where t'go next. Takin' on the undead doesn't sound like fun, but fightin' against the mist is what we're here for, I think." He throws another glance over his shoulder in the direction Mephisto went.

"Hate to jump when that one told me to, but anyone else have another idea besides Argosal?"

Male Human Wizard 3, +5 Initiative, +6 Perception, AC 11 / Touch AC 11 / Flat Footed AC10, Saves F+2/ R +w / W +6 HP:19/19
Mephisto wrote:


She smirks. "You would be right, yes, but this doesn't necessarily concern Argosal. No, this is merely getting rid of one of his spies, and cutting off his supply of corpses." she said, placing a hand on her hip and jutting the weapon on her side out."

"So, we won't be dealing with the Lich...directly. " Though Mephisto's comment did little to ease the Wizard's anxiety, Bannon seemed more aggreeable with the task at hand. "Anybody in league with a lich is a fool and equally dangerous. There's no telling what the spy or spies had bargained with in return for their ghastly deed...and as such, we shouldn't plunge into this matter head first. Have we a contact or a method to spy upon the Frozen Pass?"

After saying his piece, Bannon took a position near Bromen who shared similiar sentiments. Casually placing a smooth hand on the warrior's shoulder, the wizard spoke in dwarven to his comrade.

"Nok! Netook! Argruf aelow maesh, bar-gar epokne!"

"Lich! The Master Evil! What a challenge lies before us!

Alrighty then, if everyone's snug and done with their work, then it's time to carry on. Each of you have 2 days of rest on this, you're all already fully healed. After resting, Bannon has 40 hours of time, (Roughly 5 days of work) to do whatever it is he wants to do with his magical items.
During this time, you guys can choose what you wish to do. Feel free to do somewhat of a super post and reflect on what you think of the area and roll a few knowledge checks and think back on what's going on.

Male Human Wizard 3, +5 Initiative, +6 Perception, AC 11 / Touch AC 11 / Flat Footed AC10, Saves F+2/ R +w / W +6 HP:19/19

After Mephisto's little display, Bannon left the meeting and made his way straight to Marco's shop in haste. Few words were exchanged between the two spell casters, as they both knew what must be done. Borrowing a stool and part of Marco's work bench, The Wizard went quick to work.

Bannon's Crafting Time, Part 2!:

Bannon the Abjurer wishes to copy the following spell into his spellbook

To transcribe a spell
Level I's: DC 16 ( spell level + 15 )
“Identify” Spellcraft Check: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13 Not again!
- - - - - - -

Bannon also wishes to craft the following scrolls for future use.
( Pending GM's approval )

Spell Level x Caster Level x 25GP = Price of Scroll

Level 1 Spells

Vanish CL 3 ( 2 ) = [ 1 x 3 x 25GP ] x2 = 150GP ( 75 Aether ) 2 Hours

Disguise Self CL 3 ( 1 ) = [ 1 x 3 x 25GP ] = 75GP ( 38 Aether ) 2 Hours

Level 2 Spells

Bulls Strength CL 1 ( 1 ) = [ 2 x 1 x 150GP] = 300GP ( 150 Aether ) 2 Hours

Arcane Lock CL 1 ( 1 ) = [ 2 x 1 x 150GP ] = 300GP ( 150 Aether ) 2Hours

Total Time Spent: 8 Hours
Total Aether Spent: 413 Aether

”Yes...no...hm...” were all that muttered as the Wizard flipped through his spell book, turning by pages covered in Bannon's doodles and notations. ”There's gotta be a way to...survive within Argosal”

Every so often, Cornelius either fluttered to various sections of the mercantile quarter, joining Arcus and his newly proud forge or take a palce near the psudodragon that kept Marco company.

This intense study occurred for several days until the Wizard grew tired and needed additional stimuli whether through debates with Marco or even wandering around the Nexus and finding his companions.
But even in his recess, the mere mentioning of the Lich who guided Argosal troubled the Wizard. ”Such...destructive...but cunning magic”

In his waking moments, he tried to recall what he remembered about Liches and their machinations.

Knowledge Arcana Check: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Heck, even after his embarrassing encounter with Orca, Bannon tried to implore the paladin for her advice.

Diplomacy UNTRAINED: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Knowledge, Religion on Liches: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21

While he mulled over what Orca chose to share, Bannon's last best hope was Marco.

Taking a seat near his companion while amazed at his new stack of created scrolls, Bannon asked the experienced Wizard for anything he knew on Argosal and its Lich problem.

Diplomacy UNTRAINED: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23

Sweet! First RE!

M Dwarf Fighter 6 / inquisitor 3 | HP 88/88 | AC:23, T:15, F:19 | CMD:25, CMB:+11 | Save (F+11, R+7, W+6) | Init:+6 | Perc: +13 , DV 60'

The next few days seem to drag on forever for Bromen. Clearly unsure of what the next steps should be, but having to wait a while to decide anyway, the group began to fragment toward their personal agendas without making any clear choice. He understood the feeling: he was unsure of the next steps for himself either. Part of him envied Tera for having such a clear path in front of her……

On one level it seemed so easy. The mist and what it was doing to the world, the entire world, seemed to be the manifestation of the evil predicted by the Spellbane prophesy. A prophesy he had been training to fulfill his entire life. Problem is, that training had taught him enough about liches to know he was epically unready to face that challenge.
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22 to see just how little he actually knows about the magics involved in becoming a lich

But the mission seemed so much clearer before. Before he had died, that is. Now, he is just not sure. If you are destined to spend your life doing something, are you free from it after you die? Again, that voice in his head whispering heavier than a mountain…..
Needing some time to think, the warrior leaves the rest of the group and heads over to the merchant area. Seems like the right place to go – the clanging of a forge and the deep-throated singing in dwarven should be enough to set his mind at ease. But Bromen was never raised to the forge, had never lifted a hammer in his life, and the sounds are more distracting and jarring than reassuring. It is mere moments before he moves on looking for another place to think.

Not finding comfort in the sounds of home, Bromen seeks comfort in the only place he has ever found it: the familiar weight of the dorn in his hands and the Pillars. He finds himself in a wide secluded area that seems suitable for practice, unaware that Tera had used the space in the exact same way not that long ago. Rolling his shoulders and cracking his knuckles he lets out some chain and begins swinging the weapon around himself.

The First Pillar – ‘None shall stand between the Spellbane and the enemy.’ Bromen sends the dorn dergar left and right, forward and back, building momentum with each swing and striking out at imagined enemies. Every few attacks he drops a shoulder and charges forward a few steps, using his weight and momentum to knock away combatants that are not there in order to clear a path then entering into another rapid routine of attacks. In his mind’s eye these obstacles are minions, hired or conjured, trying to keep him from the true arcane target behind them. It is a routine he knows well, moving fluidly from practiced scenario to scenario, with no interruptions beyond a grunt or gasp of exertion and the constant whistling of the dwarven chain-flail through the air.

As the dwarven warrior shifts his stance into another routine it is clear that he is less familiar with this next Pillar. The Second Pillar – ‘The Spellbane shall give the enemy nowhere to hide.’ The movements are not as swift, not as smooth, as Bromen not only swings out with the dorn dergar but tries to adjust its reach as part of the attack routines. His movements begin to cover more ground as he tries to respond to threats on all sides, using both the full length of his chain as well as a choked-up grip for short-ranged strikes. A few times his hand misses as he tries to reposition the chain, and more than once he has to stop the routine to start over. His frustration starts to build but so does his resolve. He works through several forms until he is able to complete the full series without errors - although at a much slower than would be useful in real combat.

The Third Pillar – ‘No enemy shall cast against the Spellbane.’ Bromen actually stops in the center of the room as he prepares to begin the final elements. While he knows every move he has barely practiced them. It was almost funny; he had been sequestered for almost four decades, told that the prophesy was too critical to ignore and that all the signs pointed to the Spellbane being needed now, yet he had barely tapped into the powers he would need. He never doubted the oracles and their predictions, never doubted the threat he was meant to stop. The only thing he ever doubted was himself………

He starts slowly. His actions are deliberate, his jaw set as if he can make his muscles perform flawlessly by sheer will. It does not go well, and Bromen finds himself spending as much time watching for observers to avoid ridicule as he does practicing the forms. All too quickly he realizes that he is simply not ready. Not yet. His knuckles go white on his dorn as he launches into the First Pillar again, faster and more frenzied than before.

When he finally stops Bromen has no idea how much time has passed. Yet another reminder of where he is and what has happened. But the workout has done its job: at long last the dwarf found the answer to his questions of destiny. Of course the duty was still his. Job’s not done, is it? This realization does not help him make his choice of next steps but it at least gets him back on the path he needs to be on. It is obviously a rocky path but with typical dwarven determination Bromen was set on not failing again.
As Arcus continues to work at his forge churning out gift after gift for Bromen and his companions, he finds himself back to that secluded spot several times, the rhythm of the practice soothing his mind just as much as it strains his muscles. Eventually Bromen begins to explore more of the Nexus, venturing into The Spirit to observe some of the other cast of characters that populate this place. He remains reserved and talks only to the companions he has already traveled with. Part of him knows that he should be making connections to others, a network that can help him solve the mysteries ahead of him. But at the moment there is only one other connection he wants to solidify.

Arcus is just about finished when Bromen finally makes his way to Worship for an audience with Orca. He does not exactly keep it a secret but he does not advertise it either. And maybe he waits a bit to make sure he is not being watched before he enters the sanctuary.

”Apologies, priestess, but can I have a word with ye? Was wonderin’…….yer obviously blessed with the divine touch. And I know magic can give me th’edge I need t’do my job, but adding an arcane taint to meself is…….well, more than I can handle.” His hand absently reaches down to touch the dorn dergar at his waist, an ancient weapon passed down from generation to generation to battle the evil magics of the world. ”Ye’ve got the healing touch, but have ye ever…..enchanted anythin’? I know I’ll feel better with divine power in m’hands that I can trust…”

The dwarf is not exactly sure what to expect, asking such a bizarre thing from a deaf mute cleric, but the thought of going into battle with a weapon that had been touched by Marco…..or worse, Bannon…… Bromen truly believed that he could resist the taint, that he could wield arcane magics against liches and the mist to fulfill his destiny, but that did not mean he could not explore other options.

As the final hammer strike falls at the smithy, Bromen is there to join his companions and claim their rewards from the grateful forgemaster. The time for deciding had come, and while Bromen had come to grips with quite a few things over the last few days he still was not sure what their next destination should be.

hp 28/28, grit 2/3 Male Human Gunslinger 1 / Fighter 2

Roman goes back to the tools and the black powder he had left crystallizing. He shakes the metal can he had put aether-made saltpeter in Almost ready. Good. he adds some reagents, then shakes again and puts it in a cold place to settle Probably won’t do no damage if it exploded, but that’d be a damn waste of time. he bites his lip Oh, right. Got plenty of that too now.

He had tried to bury himself in conversation and work ever since he learned that he was, in fact, dead. But now, as his hands mechanically craft the bullets, his mind can’t help but going there.
Dead. Heh. Guess I lasted longer than my mom expected. Nine Hells, more than I expected! he uses the pliers and grabs the bullet-shaped red hot lead. Ok. Dead. But can still go an’ meet the living. That’s good. I can say goodbye to Iulia. Don’t change a thing. Take down Zeltos, free the girl. Be a good shining knight, like them fairytale ones. Take out the black mist. You were an a**hole when you lived, old man… go ahead and be a hero after dying! he grins to himself That would be the damn best joke you ever played…

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