“By whatever deity watches over me” Sentir says the odd phrase with familiarity. He goes on, quietly, “What are they talking about?” The odd and terrible sounds brings back nasty memories of his harsh homeland and it takes a moment to put them aside. Wondering what si going on, he apporaches the playing childern.
Hiding his burned hands thoroughly, he asks in a higher-pitched and non-threatening voice. “What an interesting song! I like it, what is it about?” he asks the children at large, trying to be friendly.
Diplomacy to keep the kids calm: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Any one want to aid another? Kids are likely to run off/murder us with a haunted song of some type. LOL
Diplomacy help: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
The redhead is quick with a mischevious smile
It's a skipping song. You've never played skip the rope? Well, probably not, as you are a boy... Wonder if I could still skip... I wasn't too bad in my youth. Lets say I manage to do it, I double dare one of you to do the same, if the girls agree to move the rope in rythm.
Her green eyes twinkle
You know, back in Karcau,where I live, it is considered rude among the little girls to learn a song without offering another one in exchange. So, just for the fun of it, would you agree to teach us the skipping song, and I'll teach you a song too, though maybe not a skipping song.
When Sentir addresses the group the girls, they immediately stop playing and singing, opting instead to stand quietly and nervously together. They seem to relax, however, by Sentir's smooth, friendly manner and Vivian's attempts to relate to them.
"I'll sing it for you again if you want, what's your song about?" One of the braver girls replies to Vivian, "I don't know what our song is about, just all the kids in town have been singing it forever."
Some of the other girls nod in agreement, still appearing a little uncomfortable with grownups they don't know, but clearly not frightened.
If any of you wish to continue on your business and leave the scene, let me know.
Drace grunts as they listen to the group of children. "Well. That's haunting."
Drace watches as Sentir and Vivian speak to the children. "Turned up anything interesting so far today Doctor?"
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
The doctor happens by the gazebo and is a bit surprised to see so many of his fellow mourners converge. He happens to hear the girl's repetition of the skipping song to Vivian. Interested in how curious and disturbing the rhyme is, he jots the rhyme down into his journal.
"Hello, Mr. Kross! Not really. I introduced myself to the apothecary and offered my services in the event that she needed another medical opinion. However, I am dubious regarding whether she'd be inclined to take me up on the offer. I fear that, despite my best effort, I may not be relating particularly well to the townsfolk."
"I don't think it is anything you did Doctor. The people in this town are a fair bit insular than usual. It may take time for them to warm to us...if they ever do." Drace goes on to talk about what they found out about the prison earlier in the morning.
"We were about to check on the Posts to see if there was anything interesting. Other than that Sentir and I are at loose ends. We were considering to take a look at the false crypt the professor mentioned, but that is probably done best as a group...I wouldn't know enough to make heads or tails of anything we found in there."
"Where is your day taking you?"
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Acrobatics for skipping the rope?: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Even as a grown up and wearing a dress, Vivian is quite quick and agile, adapting herself to the rope's rythm, as the girls sing again the song.
Then, when her turn is finished, she trade song for song, taking the young girls in a slow dance, hand in hand
Perform sing: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Of course, as it was a song I learned in my hometown, it's Karcau in the lyrics, but I guess you can use Ravengro instead.
As I came down through Karcau City
At the hour of twelve at night
Who should I see but the Chellish lady
Washing her feet by candlelight
First she washed them, then she dried them
Over a fire of amber coal
In all my life I ne'er did see
A maid so sweet about the sole
Whack for the toora loora laddy
Whack for the toora loora lay
Whack for the toora loora laddy
Whack for the toora loora lay
As I came back through Karcau City
At the hour of half past eight
Who should I spy but the Chellish lady
Brushing her hair in the broad daylight
First she tossed it, then she brushed it
On her lap was a silver comb
In all my life I ne'er did see
A maid so fair since I did roam
As I went back through Karcau City
As the sun began to set
Who should I spy but the Chellish lady
Catching a moth in a golden net
When she saw me, then she fled me
Lifting her petticoat over her knee
In all my life I ne'er did see
A maid so shy as the Chellish lady
This was a beautiful, and gentler song, not a song for nightmares, and obviously Vivian has quite some talent as a singer.
Hey, boys, don't dare to think I forgot.. Will one of you dare to skip the rope too? Or will you admit your defeat, by the price of a silver piece to each of the girls?
She winks at Dace
Here the original song, by my favorite Irish band, the Dubliners: The Spanish Lady
"For quick and graceful movement, I'm afraid I'll have to defer to Sentir or the Doctor." Drace said with a jingling laugh as he rattled his armor purposefully. "I'd be more afraid of taking a spill and squishing someone!"
Arcobatics: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 = 8
Sentir shakes his head. He didn't mind making a fool of himself, but it was a lot harder to hide blackened hands while skipping rope. Still, Vivian's smile was inviting enough and they did have to keep the kids happy.
“All right, let's give it a try.” The oracle says, jumping among the spinning ropes and laughing children. He does passably well and doesn't (quite) end up on his face. There is sweat though showing as he jumps out.
"Enough!" he says, in mock exhaustion. "That is enough. Thank you girls."
Then he turns to Drace and the Doctor, lowering his voice, " Be sure to mentiont his song to Kendra. I am curious if it really has been 'done forever'."
Acrobatics: 1d20 ⇒ 11
Tara is unable to hide her disappointment at not being able to access the library, but quickly cheers up at learning who the man depicted in the stain-glass is. "Hmm, well that is true. We will all face our judgement, no matter if we are king or peasant." Tara is just about to leave when Teil speaks. "Oh yes. If you find anything, please let us know. We will be staying at the Lorrimor estate for the foreseeable future."
As they prepare to leave, Tara pauses to whisper to the teifling. "Shall we meet up with the others, or would you like to try town hall for more information?" Pushing her hair out of her eyes, Tara waits until Teil is willing to leave before accompanying him.
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Stefan applauds at Vivian's performance. "Vivian, that was a lovely rendition! I haven't heard 'The Chelish Lady' performed in quite some time."
At the offer of jumping rope, the doctor demurs. With a laugh, he says, "You children are very, very good at skipping! I'm afraid I've never been one to skip rope, even when I was young." He leans in to one of the children and stage-whispers (so everyone can hear), "I'm not much of a dancer, either. Two left feet!" He rises and concludes, "I think it would best for everyone—especially me—if I just watched!"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
The doctor returns to Drace's question from before the entertainment began. "I'll join you looking at the Posts. Then, I thought I'd head back to the Lorrimor residence to take a careful look at Petros' library. He may have some more notes about his adversaries that we could find useful."
Sorry, it's been a busy day.
Drace, Sentir, Stefan, Vivian
Vivian has little trouble skipping rope, to the amazement of the girls. They are also impressed with her song, but it's clear when they try to repeat it, they only remember the chorus.
The group further wins them over when Drace attempts at skipping rope, but fails to make a few critical jumps thanks to his armor. The girls laugh in delight at the funny man.
Sentir manages to keep up a steady rhythm for the few moments he attempts to skip rope, but his arms become visible in the attempt and the girls look at each other and become a little quieter.
They seem to fully accept Stefan's polite refusal. "Fancy folk don't jump rope." One of the girls says with a sage-like nod.
As Drace and Stefan break from the group to examine the posting poles, the girls start skipping rope once again, but this time the song starts with, "Whack for the toora loora laddy."
Anyone going to the posting poles
There is, alas, little information pertinent to your current investigations on the posting poles. The various paper fliers speak of an upcoming wedding, a call for workers at a nearby farm, and someone's missing cat. There is a faded notice called the 'Wealday Parchment' written by Councilman Gharen Muricar. It covers some political news concerning the county government and also speaks of the funeral of one Professor Petros Lorrimor who met his untimely end on the grounds of Harrowstone. The notice ends with a warning to everyone to avoid that place due to safety reasons.
Vivian leaves the girls with a smile on her lips as she hear them
You have time enough to grow up and face the horrors of life... Enjoy your childhood.As mommy says "there's no small good deed. But evil deeds starts small too sometimes"
She walks, at a slow pace, to Hartmount's house, enjoying the scenery and taking mental notes of the streets disposition and useful landmarks in the town.
Sentir hides his sadness as the young children shy away from him. Briskly he hides his burned and blackened arms, and walks away. He shakes his head, ashamed and disappointed by his own drawbacks. Why must he carry the punishment of a crime fro the whole world to see? A crime that most would applaud him for?
Lost in his own dark thoughts, he walks alone back to the Lorrimor home, not really looking at anything. His vague aim is to find an empty room and loose himself in the chilling voices of the dead.
Stealth To Avoid Others: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
With the doctor and Sentir heading back to the Manor, Drace will go with Vivian to Hartmount's house. Preferring that no one traveled alone after the sort of reception they had yesterday at the funeral.
Oh, now I got my personal bodyguard? Or do you simply have a redhead fetish, Drace?
She smiles and winks at the armored warrior, hooking arms with him as they walk
Shrugging to Tara, Teil suggests: "This seems to be a dead end, so the town hall might be a better place to try and gather information..."
With that he joins her heading towards the town hall.
Who knows what kind of strange ideas can get through that silly brain of mine? I've made you play skip the rope already, and the day hasn't ended yet...
So, tell me more about yourself, if you dare.
Laughing along Drace nods. "Well, born and raised in Caliphas. I come from a pretty large family. We have...well...I don't think we actually know how many cousins, aunts or uncles there are spread around the world."
"We're Hunters, of everything really. Beasts, demons, undead. We hire out to take care of odd problems or annoying beasts that won't leave the common people alone. Then we carve up the beasts and sell them to alchemists, wizards, and collectors. It's a good living...if one likes long periods of boredom - followed by short periods of terror."
"What of yourself?"
Stefan and Sentir
Walking off by himself Sentir has little trouble avoiding people, as it would appear most villagers seem intent on avoiding the strangers anyway.
Arriving at the house, Kendra is busying herself looking through the house's large library for any records of previous incidents such as what occurred today at the Memorial. Sentir has no trouble isolating himself in the one of the guest rooms, while Stefan also makes use of the Lorrimor tomes to do additional research on the Whispering Way.
Upon spending the rest of the day reading, Stefan finds little additional information other than what he has already remembered, but there are still many relevant books in the library upon which to consult.
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Stefan spends the rest of the afternoon going through his old mentor's library. When they're in the same room, he chats with Kendra, mostly reminiscing about her father. As the afternoon turns to evening, he shuts the book he had been reading with a loud snap. "I'm not finding anything about the Whispering Way that I don't know already. Are you having any luck?"
Vivian and Drace
Councilman Vashian Hearthmount's home is fairly larger than most homes in Ravengro, and relatively well-maintained with military flags and banners hanging from the front, as well as what is assumed to be flower beds once the weather becomes warmer. The large oaken door has a metal knocker shaped like a griffon.
Upon rapping on the door, the older, well-fed man answers the door with a surprised expression, "Uh, Madam Deberth and Mr. Kross, what can I do for you today? It would appear you've decided to honor Professor Lorrimor's request and remain in town. Although if you wished to leave, I would see no disgrace in that, I'm sure you lead busy lives."
If you wish to ask for access to the Town Hall archives, please make a Diplomacy check.
Sentir sits on the bed, in the lonely room. It had been easy to slip inside unseen. He didn’t dwell on the fact that he was able to disappear so easily and completely. It was hard on the ego. Calming himself, he grabbed some paper and pencil he had found in the house. The oracle steels his mind as he reaches beyond, to the voices of the great unknown.
His question? Weal or woe, to visit the false crypt?
Oh, powerful deity, guide my hand as I reach for knowledge…He loses himself in his mantra, sinking into the magic. On it’s own accord his hand begins to scribble on the page. It would take a long time, be he could feel an answer coming to him.
Sentir casts/performs Automatic Writing. Let's hope it gives us a lead.
Born and raised in Karcau, in the local temple of Pharasma. My father was a soldier, so he died when I was young, maybe 5 to 6 years old. My mother, Eliza, is a priestess of Pharasma, as you already know.She has quite a temper, so she never rised in the hierarchy, but she is loved by the weak and the poor, because she never turned her back to them.I guess she's not interested in becoming a revered holy mother of Pharasma, and prefers to work close to the faithfull, to led by example more than from afar.
Vivian breathes deeply
When I was a small child, I found the life in the temple boring sometimes, you know, the long ceremonies, the wailing and mourning, the gloom mood. People come to Pharasma's temple to die, often.Mostly, in fact. So my mother will simply says that I should cherish the fact that this temple was my home, that I was fed and clothed and loved, in good health. She was right, of course, but when you're a young girl, you want to play games, run in the sun... Not to learn all the sacred facts about the Lady of the Graves, and the holy chants-well, I enjoyed singing, at least, as you can testify by now. And I became quite good at hiding myself to skip some of the lessons.
Another slight pause
When I was old enough, around twelve years, I began to help my mother and learn how to heal wounds, to mend broken limbs, to give the last prayers when we arrived too late or couldn't do a thing to save the person... And I learned how to help a woman to deliver babies, and to become a mother. I've probably seen more girls naked than you, Drace.
She laughs, and her laugh is vivid like a torrent, quick like a sunray...
and it dies abruptely. The redhead face is, if not sad, at least serious again. To Dace, Vivian seems strangely more mature and wiser than she should, being not quite twenty years old yet. There's more to see than just a fun loving, rope skipping, jesting charming rogue.
And I've probably seen more dead people than you too, even if you're no stranger to fights and battles... Nevermind. We're nearly at Hartmount's house.And I still have more stories to tell. This is only the beginning, and I guess it will become curiouser and curiouser.
Her tone is playful again
But I got nothing to fear, cause I got a valiant knight in armor by my side. His name is Drace, he moves with grace, he is an ace... Or "his name is Drace, I want his embrace, he want to un-Drace me."
The brightest smile ever.
Eyes like glittering emeralds.
A young and agile body.
A quick mind, and a quicker tongue.
How could the dull and sad temple of Pharasma produce such a woman?
There's probably only one and one only Vivian Deberth.
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Meanwhile, at the Lorrimor residence...
"Unfortunately, I didn't discover much while I was out... although I did introduce myself to the apothecary. The others were each following up some leads on their own." He starts to pick up another book but stops himself. "Wait, there was something odd..."
The doctor retrieves his own personal journal, opens it, and flips through several pages.
"We happened to come across some children skipping rope to a strange and disturbing song. They seemed nonplussed by it, but I wrote down the words. They said that children have been singing that song 'forever,' and I was wondering if you'd encountered it before...
'Put her body on the bed / Take a knife lop off her head.
Watch the blood come out the pipe / Feeds the stirge so nice and ripe.
Drops of red so sparkly bright / Splatters spell her name just right.
With a hammer killed his wife / Now he wants to claim your life.
Tricksy father tells a lie / Listen close or you will die.'"
He shivers a moment.
"Like I said, very disturbing imagery for a children's song-- it's obviously about a murder. Would you have any idea where such a song came from?"
Preparing himself mentally to commune with forces he barely understands, Sentir begins to concentrate and slowly falls into a trance. First, he hears only vague whispers that grow louder, but yet more indistinct, as his eyes roll back into his head and his hand begins scribbling over the paper uncontrollably. Soon, the only thing he can sense is the overwhelming static of a thousand voices whispering at him at once and all sense of time is lost.
With a sudden jolt, the real world returns into focus, underscored by the cramping he feels throbbing in his writing hand. His writing paper is a mess of indistinct lines and scribbles, except in the very center which reads, 'Weal'.
1d100 ⇒ 38
Kendra takes a few moments to read over the Doctor's transcription, and nods, "I'm afraid that does sound vaguely familiar, a ghastly thing isn't it? I do not know where it comes from, it spreads among the children like some type of naughty secret, but most parents forbid their children from reciting it. Is there some sort of connection to recent events?"
Tara is unable to suppress a groan when they encounter another roadblock on her way to learning. As the changeling thinks as to what to do next, she runs a hand through her hair and makes a tsking sound. Offering a sweet smile to the man who explained the situation, Tara turns to speak with Teilaenthis. "It sounds like Ms. Deberth. Did you want to call it a day and return to the Lorrimor estate or would you like to catch up with the Ms. Deberth and see if we can gain access to the town library?" Cracking her neck Tara wonders why most of the knowledge in this town is inaccessible. Don't the leaders of Ravengro know that education is the best defense against fear mongering?
Man, I had thought that I had posted. It turned out that paizo decided to randomly log me out instead.
Turning slightly red for the moment Drace coughs. "It is important to help those coming into this world and those leaving." He said diplomatically. "Either way, we do have a long road ahead of us."
Once they arrive at the Hearthmount residence, Drace greets the man. "Yes, we've decided to stay for a short while. At least until we know Kendra has moved past her grief."
Drace pauses for a moment and looks to Vivian. Having been wrapped up in their conversation, he's forgotten to ask why they came this way.
But thankfully, Vivian knows why they came here, despite all her jibber jabber.
She delivers a small curtsy to the lord of the house as he opens the door.
Sir Hearthmount, you are right. We'll stay with Kendra for some time. But that's not the main reason we came here: I have a request to present. We would like to have access to the town's library, to do some research that, hopefully, could shed some light on the untimely demise of Professor Lorrimor.Knowing which books he consulted, what kind of information he was seeking, could only be helpful to us. As he was one of Ravengro's citizens, he was able to look for historical knowledge in the Town Hall's archives, but we cannot claim the same privilege, having only arrived yesterday, in the tragic circumstances you know about. So we respectfully ask you the permission to be enlightened.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Vivian and Drace
Councilman Hearthmount looks a little skeptical as he replies, "My apologies young lady, but we have rules protecting those records and I cannot give access to them unless you're a government official or permanent resident. I am disheartened as anyone at Professor Lorrimor's demise, but I'm told a piece of the crumbling prison fell on him. An ignoble fate, to be sure, but nothing that warrants investigation unless you want to convince the county government to finance the condemnation of Harrowstone."
Tara and Teil
You return to the Lorrimor home to find both Kendra and Dr. Von Herzog doing research in the late Professor's library, with Kendra adding that Sentir went off to his room.
You can make a Knowledge (arcana) or (religion) check on the Whispering Way with a +2 from the Professor's books. You can also aid another, if you prefer.
Sentir stared at the word, clear as crystal, sitting in the center of the page. Weal? The oracle had only asked out of desperation, at finding no leads in this insular and superstitious town. The false crypt was a lead, surely, but most likely a dangerous one best left to last. But here, was the great voices of the beyond beckoning him, guiding him. Should he take them up on it?
He looked outside and saw hours had passed since he had sat down, to begin the magical agony of the writing. It had been years since he had pressed so deep into the voices....He shook his head.
Perhaps the others had returned? Sentir rushes down to the library, throws open the door and say, dramatically, “I have a lead!” He sees that Herzog is sitting there, with Tara and Teil standing, talking with Kendra.
“Where are the others? I have consulted the spirits, and they have told me we would be well-suited to go to the false crypt. It seems like the best lead we have.” His voice trails off as he realizes the others may very well consider him mad…or worse, part of the vague horror of the village.
Teilieanthis pours over the tomes, selecting many while he calmly leafes through, pausing on a mage or two and returns the books where he finds them. He seems ot have a method, but it is difficult to discern. Sometimes he just holds the books and stares a the covers for a moment before discarding them.
Knowledge Religion: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Knowledge Arcane: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Looking through some of the books that Teilieanthis had set aside, Tara scours the personal library looking for something on the whispering way. "There has to be something else in here." She mumbles, as she flips through another tome repeating the same information she found yesterday. When Sentir makes a dramatic enterance.
"Oh really?" Setting the book down, she offers an upbeat smile to the oracle. "That sounds better than what I've found. I'm afraid both libraries in town were dead ends. But I'm sure that investigating a the false grave can give us some insight. Did we want to wait for Mr. Kross and Ms. Debreth to join us or should we just leave word with Ms. Lorrimor?"
Knowledge Religion Aid Teil: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 7 + 2 = 15
Teilaenthis and Tara work together to examine the religious angle of the Whispering Way, but despite looking through many of the professor's books they only discover much of what Dr. Von Herzog related to the group already. These facts include the following:
• The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.
• Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. The Whispering Way’s most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.
• The Whispering Way itself is a series of philosophies that can only be transferred via whispers— the philosophies are never written or spoken of loudly, making the exact goals and nature of the secretive philosophy difficult for outsiders to learn much about.
Much like the doctor, however, Teil and Tara realize that there are bound to be more books in the Lorrimor library to consult that may have useful additional information.
Once we wrap up with Vivian and Drace the group can investigate the False Crypt if you'd like. It will be after dark before you can leave, thanks to the time spent in research.
Seeing she can't convince Heartmound-yet- Vivian will curtsy again and bade him farewell
We fully understand. Thank you for your time, Sir Heartmound. We won't bother you much more, but may I ask you if, to the best of your knowledge, the archives from the Town Hall are available for consutation only, or if the professor might have taken some to his home to read at his leisure?
After hearing the man's answer, she will go back to Kendra's house with Drace.
"Unless he made an arrangement with another Councilman without my knowledge, Professor Lorrimor would not be allowed to take any books out of Town Hall, as all consultations of our records are expected to be done on site, as is our policy." Hearthmount explains in a rather patronizing tone. "If by chance you do find a book in his personal library that belongs properly to the town, I would hope you would return it. In any case, I'm fairly busy today so I wish you both good day." With that he gives Vivian and Drace a quick nod and retreats back inside his home.
On their way back to Kendra's home, Vivian says to Drace
Too bad, I planned to ask Kendra to go into the Town Hall, as she IS a "permanent resident", and to bring back some books for our more educated fellows to read. Can't win everytime, I guess. Unless you cheat, of course.
She smiles and winks
Tell closes a book and sits eerily still a moment, then speaks. "Hmmm... Perhaps a larger library will help. Or a perhaps some more immediate clues. We should join the others to explore the crypt the Professor was intent upon.
"I think we may have gotten all the information we're going to get for the time being. I definitely think checking out the crypt is a good next step. If nothing just to find out what the professor was referring to in his notes." Drace spoke as they made their way to the Lorrimor home. "I always say...if you're not cheating, you're not trying hard enough."
Not sure how quick we want to skip ahead and get set to go check out the crypt. But Drace would be ready to head out as soon as they return (probably best considering the time of day). He would fill everyone in on their part of the day when he returned.