GM Kiora's Wrath of the Righteous

Game Master Kiora Atua

Chosen heroes have arrived in Kenabres at the dawn of the Fifth Crusade. Will they be the ones to end a century long war?

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WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Xanderghul and students:

Bellandrus frowns, his steely grey eyes not breaking from Xanderghul's own as he contemplates his words. "Yes, Kýrios," he says simply, then stares at his desk, deep in thought. Xanderghul's student wait, expectantly, for their assignments to be given out.

Bellandrus had formerly been a a junior acolyte of Deskari. Now that he no longer prays to the Demon Lord of the Apocalypse, Xanderghul helped him pull innate powers derived from his abyssal bloodline. The discovery that he had magical powers without necessitating prayer or ritual was a revelation to Bellandrus. He seems the most talented at conjuration, successfully summoning a small fire elemental for the first time just a month ago, though he has proven talented in nearly all schools of magic.

Laila ibn Shaba traveled from far away Kelesh with her family to join the Deskaran forces. She dresses exceedingly conservatively, with a head to toe shawl covering nearly every inch of skin but her face. If asked, she says it is because she detests the cold, but in truth it is to hide the Deskaran ritual scarification that covers her limbs. Her magic so far seems to be innate, leading Xanderghul to believe she must draw from a sorcerous bloodline. However lately he suspects that her powers may actually be psychic in nature.

Meryl Whitworth actually has no interest in spellcasting - rather, he is attempting to self-train in alchemy. When Xanderghul had found him, he was hopelessly addicted to fel leaf chew, a drug derived from a plant that grows in the Worldwound. He survived his detoxification through sheer strength of will - an incredible feat, as most cannot survive fel leaf withdrawals. His fascination with mind altering drugs grew into a fascination with all edible substances and their effects on the body, especially his body, though he has long outgrown his desire to find more intoxicants of the mind. Instead, he hopes to develop concoctions that enhance the body and mind, rather than destroy it.

You can design three of your own.


Female aasimar brd 8/clr 1/mag*/Bound 3 THP 0 HP 99/99 | Init +7 Percpt +26/+30 | AC 23/15/19 CMD 21 CMB +6 | Fort +9 Ref +14 Will +12 (+4 comp/chrm); (+4 vs. brd/lang/sonic, +3 vs. rune) | AP 2/5 BP 20/23 MBP 0/3 MP 0/7 Glit 0/1 X-Ret 1/1 Insp 0/1 LM 0/1 Chnl 2/3 Fvr 7/8 DS 3/3
Spells:
Bard (CL 8; cn +13) 1st 2/6 2nd 1/5 3rd 1/3 Clr (1;+2) Mag (3;+5) Rng: SI
Skills:
Acro +16 Bluff +22 Dipl +28 Dis +22 K(hist/any/untr.) +11/+10/+6 Ling +14 P(ora/act/sing,wind/danc) +26/+22/+20/+18 Ride +5 S Motive +26 Splcrft +14 Stealth +21 UMD +17

Isilme and Tael:

Perform(String): 1d20 + 5 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 5 + 3 + 2 = 21

Isilme smiles and claps at the young elf's performance. They had come far in the time she had been training them. "Taurn de e'Arvandor! Lle caela karne curu, Tael, ar'sana-aya alasse'." They clearly had talent and just needed the experience to support it.

Elvish: Wonderful! You have improved greatly, Tael, and should take pride."

She walks up close and gestures for Tael to lift the violin, then gently adjusts their posture. "You must hold the bow up higher like this," she says adjusting their elbow to raise and straighten the bow with respect to the strings. "Additionally, while your fingering is precise and your vibrato is flawless, but you should work on listening to your tone instead of merely relying on your technique." She borrows Tael's violin quickly, lifting it up and playing a few bars of the melody, first using Tael's intonation and then again having corrected the pitch. "Hear the difference?"

She hands the violin back to the young elf and ruffles their hair. "Keep at it and it will not be long before you can learn your first masterpiece."


Male Human (Kellid) Menhir Savant 9/Hierophant 3 | HP 46/120 | AC 22, T 13, FF 20 | Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +14 | CMD 20 | Resist Acid 10 | SR 13 (evil outsiders), 17 (demons) | Init +3 | Perception +17 | MP 2/9 | LP 1/2 | Place Magic 5/9 | Wild Shape 3/4

”If anything, the trolls aided the demolition efforts,” Ehren replies with just a hint of amusement. ”But while the walls were not in much better shape than the buildings, having a literal hole in the town’s defenses was less than ideal, so some temporary fortifications were raised.”

Looking to Aron, the archdruid nods in agreement with his suggested course of action. When they had asked Siani about the matter back in Sesker’s Gully, she had only been able to provide vague descriptions passed down to her. ”Perhaps there are writings from crusaders who survived the village’s fall, though I do not know how descriptive they might be. I might also be able to find some pertinent memories…” Ehren pauses to grimace. ”...though I suppose I do not exactly have an artist’s hand.”

Ehren and the BEES:
Ehren had been slightly embarrassed when Crocris pointed out the obvious flaw in his plan for a truly sustainable Drezen. Having nearly taken Mother Heartwood’s miraculous power for granted, the fact that she could not solve all of the land’s problems had eluded him. With this revelation, the druid was all too happy to do his part in correcting the situation, especially since the Underfolk would be involved. After all, there could be no flowers without bees.

”We will have to calm the bees down first. They are not likely to attack us outright since they have no hive to defend, but capturing them will be far more difficult if they are agitated,” Ehren explains, truncating a lecture he received years ago from a certain eccentric beekeeper. She had taught him a valuable lesson about patience that day - as well as how to treat a bee sting. ”Some smoke will do the trick. Its scent will mask their pheromones and prevent them from communicating with one another, delaying their defensive response. From there it is as simple as shaking them into a box. Even if you do not manage to capture all of them, as long as you are able to get the queen bee into the box, the rest will instinctively follow her.”

”There are certain herbs that are better at dulling the bees when burned, but a regular torch should suffice. Just make sure that it is only smoldering, though. You do not want to burn the whole tree down.” As he watches the writhing mass of bees, it occurs to him that there is a detail he overlooked. He remembers that incidentally, he also learned a lesson about gravity back then. He looks over at Lann with a crooked smile. ”Hm. How well do you think scaling cavern walls will translate to climbing trees?”


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Shabti Wizard 9 / Warpriest of Xanderghul / Archmage 3 | hp 99/102 (healthy), AC 17, touch 13, ff 15, CMD 17 | Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +9 (+2 vs. confusion, insanity) | Init +4, Perc +10, darkvision 60ft, (mythic power 0/9)

Xanderghul Gives Instruction:
GM wrote:

Bellandrus had formerly been a a junior acolyte of Deskari. Now that he no longer prays to the Demon Lord of the Apocalypse, Xanderghul helped him pull innate powers derived from his abyssal bloodline. The discovery that he had magical powers without necessitating prayer or ritual was a revelation to Bellandrus. He seems the most talented at conjuration, successfully summoning a small fire elemental for the first time just a month ago, though he has proven talented in nearly all schools of magic.

Laila ibn Shaba traveled from far away Kelesh with her family to join the Deskaran forces. She dresses exceedingly conservatively, with a head to toe shawl covering nearly every inch of skin but her face. If asked, she says it is because she detests the cold, but in truth it is to hide the Deskaran ritual scarification that covers her limbs. Her magic so far seems to be innate, leading Xanderghul to believe she must draw from a sorcerous bloodline. However lately he suspects that her powers may actually be psychic in nature.

Meryl Whitworth actually has no interest in spellcasting - rather, he is attempting to self-train in alchemy. When Xanderghul had found him, he was hopelessly addicted to fel leaf chew, a drug derived from a plant that grows in the Worldwound. He survived his detoxification through sheer strength of will - an incredible feat, as most cannot survive fel leaf withdrawals. His fascination with mind altering drugs grew into a fascination with all edible substances and their effects on the body, especially his body, though he has long outgrown his desire to find more intoxicants of the mind. Instead, he hopes to develop concoctions that enhance the body and mind, rather than destroy it.

Tabitha Bennett was born in Cheliax to a group of rebellious demon-worshipers, and has lived most of her life as a refugee or a criminal, strung along on the whims of her family from hiding place to hiding place. Their trek to the Worldwound was a last resort for the family, who were being chased out of Cheliax with warrants against them in all nearby settlements. Tabitha has hated living with her family since she was a preteen and viewed their losses in Northern Mendev as a tragic but deserved end. She's developed a fascination with necromantic magic that Xanderghul carefully fosters, as she views it as purer than the other schools.

Stryve Potter has little philosophical interest in magic. Mostly, he joined the arcane students' group because he viewed it as a status increase, something he could lord around others if he was able to master it. Born in the Worldwound, Stryve has used his canny survival sense to know when to switch sides, when to grovel and when to fight back. His switch to Xanderghul and Drezen, while opportunistic, is beginning to change his viewpoint, as he's never had anybody watching his back before. He remains cynical and defensive when pressed, however. His talent is illusion magic. The ideas behind the spells - keeping things veiled, disguised, or hidden - match his psychology well.

The youngest of the group, Havok is a primarily orcish tiefling. His mother was a pirate and a bandit who regularly preyed on (mainly) Crusader patrols and supplies, but he was left at a bandit settlement when he was young due to being a liability on the road. He grew up an orphan and became scrappy and survivalist as a result. The choice to join Xanderghul's retinue was a thoughtless one for him, as it was a simple choice to increase his life's fortunes, and discovering his talent for magic was a welcome surprise, because he views it as another tool in his survivalist box.

- - - -

Xanderghul begins to hand out assignments, reminding everybody that if they're unsure about how to accomplish something, nearly everyone in Drezen is an available resource for them, and Xanderghul would prefer if they asked at least one source before they came to him for help. He also reminds all of his students that this is the first in a series of other pieces of instruction. If any students finish their task, the group is to meet again so the students can share what they learned with the others.

To Laila, he gives a task he hopes will force her to research divination magic: 'Retrieve proof of a secret that someone is keeping without being caught'.

To Meryl, he gives a task he knows will interest the tiefling: 'Research and test an antitoxin to one harmful Worldwound plant.'

To Tabitha, he assigns a task that he hopes will connect her with other people: 'Verifiably prevent one death.'

Stryve, he knows, revels in being the center of attention. Xanderghul is still looking to expand his circle of students, so he assigns the start of that task to a student he knows will enjoy it: 'Interview and recruit one person to willingly attend our classes.'

Xanderghul feels he must assign Havok a task that the orc-tiefling will feel personal benefit from, but he also has many tasks of research to complete, so he assigns: 'Research the weaknesses of ten types of demon.'

Bellandrus is the head of the class and knows it. Xanderghul himself draws a lot of pride from his position as the instructor, and he knows others derive similar feelings of pride from their positions, so when he's given the rest of the assignments he holds Bellandrus behind. The danger of a prodigal student is that he may turn against you and the others if he feels cheated, which would be a tragic waste of talent. Xanderghul decides to try and appeal to a sense of arrogance, saying: "Bellandrus, I want to give you an important task. You have done well and learned a lot, but I fear that you are still unaware of the things that you do not know, and that makes you arrogant."

Looking down at his student, Xanderghul pronounces, "For your task, I'd like for you to be my substitute. The students will come to you for guidance and advice, and perhaps even instruction. It will be your responsibility to provide answers and guidance when they need it. Your task will be completed when all five of the other students have survived completing their tasks."


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Shabti Wizard 9 / Warpriest of Xanderghul / Archmage 3 | hp 99/102 (healthy), AC 17, touch 13, ff 15, CMD 17 | Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +9 (+2 vs. confusion, insanity) | Init +4, Perc +10, darkvision 60ft, (mythic power 0/9)

Xanderghul in Downtime:
Xanderghul doesn't really attend council meetings or contribute to government agendas or have an opinion on the bodies of statues in houses of worship. Unless specifically called for with a missive that explains why it is that he's needed, Xanderghul does what he wants to do.

Now that he's got a place of his own, a place where he can teach and study and work and where he can delegate to other people who will accomplish things for him, what Xanderghul wants to do most of all is work. His new ring allows him to hardly ever take breaks, as he barely has to sleep and he doesn't have to eat or drink, Xanderghul spends most of his time in a frenzy of activity. He attempts growing plants of all types - both Abyssal and natural. He studies every book he can find that he hasn't already read, scribbling all over their margins what his own thoughts on their contents are. He practices with his magic and attempts to divine new uses of them and secrets from them. He spies on people and pulls pranks, and he designs curriculum for his students.

His trip to Absalom is one that lasted months, for he and his students took the long way. They set out with nothing but whatever each person could carry on their back (Xanderghul has his handy haversack filled with random bits and bobs and luxuries and food and every tool a person could need, but he certainly doesn't share) and five gold per person. They traveled to Nerosyan by supply caravan, and they traveled to the Inner Sea by boat. His students, without the coin to buy a room, stayed in the hold of the ship while Xanderghul sold his magical talents for a luxurious suite in the passenger quarters. Once they arrived, they stayed wherever they could find. Several of his initiates ended up staying in various temples, some of them found the local homeless encampment, and some found some kind soul to house them. Xanderghul's agenda was a few big-city ticket items and then to study. They attended the opera, they partook in a bar brawl, worked as day labor dockworkers, participated in a local cultural festival by one of the cultural minorities, and more. Once they had enough of the fun, he visited a library with all of his initiates and told them they had to stay there all day. Whatever they found that they were interested in, he gave resources on how to further study that. After a month of doing this, they left and went back to Mendev by the same way they had come, and on the way back his students were ready with bribes and trades and they services the whole way.

They've just got back recently, so everyone is still getting used to being at home and having your own bed and food available at the cafeteria. Xanderghul is just as much a flurry as ever, and seems to have an inexhaustible appetite for work.


Living Steel Female InE 0 / SYF 1 / KtW 0 / SCB 1 Valiant Keeper Half-Elven Ran 7/War 2/Fig 9 (VMC) HP (129/129)
Stats:
AC/Touch/Flat/CMD 27/14/24/28 | Fort/Ref/Will +10/11/11 | Init +05
MP 2/9 LP 0/3 AM 2/3 SP 5/11
Skills:
+18: K(Pl), 16: Perception +14: P(Soldier); +13: K(Du, Re), A(Poetry), Survival; +12: K(Na) +10: Acrobatics; +8: Athletics; +7: Spellcraft, Stealth; +6: Heal, Ride; +5: Diplomacy, L(Drezen); +3 Ling; +2: K(No, Lo, Ar)

Val and Ary:
"Honestly... I'd hope we'd wind up with a lot more folks like you and Isilme. I kind of want Drezen to be different than the rest of Mendev... not in a bad way, mind. But you guys have a lot of points about us willing to put up with far too many 'necessary evils'." Ary says, words dripping with air quote. "Nerosyan is pretty idyllic overall, but I'd like to avoid the pitfalls of Kenabres' Past. Which means that we really need to work on getting more Desnans and Cayden worshipers and fewer Asmodeans, yeah? A place where someone like Ayavah isn't killed on sight for having an alien viewpoint... attitudes not-withstanding. And the only way we're going to do that is by making it clear that they're wanted here. We run the risk of alienating some folks, but... maybe it's better if we're a little more focused on doing what's right, than doing what's legal." Ary says, pausing in place for a moment as they broach the topic of the dwarves.

"I think that's for the best, probably. I don't think Torag's philosophies were ever meant for Joran. I don't think they're meant for most people at all. No offense intended towards those who live these things... but I can't help but think 'perfect from the first attempt' is really a good mindset to strive for. It's practically setting up for failure. Good idea to strive for perfection, though... just Daisy's got a better idea of it. I'm hoping things go well between the two when he goes to help with the shrine."

As they reach Valaria's apartment, "I've got one more thing on my mind, though. We've got a certain prisoner whose circumstances were decided for her for the majority of her life, forced into decisions that most of us couldn't possibly survive, and now she's being punished for it. And I get that I'm probably too close to the issue... but as we've done with the majority of our prisoners, I want to try to rehabilitate her... we've already been having her to work - not because we've forced her to, but because she's continued to put forth the effort on her own out of sheer boredom. And... I understand that writing is a thing that pays royalties, yeah? I know it wouldn't be much, but what do you think of checking into moving her proceeds into a group that will aid the slaves of Cheliax?"

* * *

"Wonderful, Salmir. I'm still trying to find more folks willing to apprentice those not joining the crusades in their arts. There's a Shelynite couple that's interested in as many as are interested in learning... but I'd hate to overburden them. The Loumises have also requested an apprentice, so there's that." Ary responds, looking to the Tiefling before scanning the room.

As things are beginning to die down in the discussions, Ary calls out to Crocris before he has a chance to leave. She knew how much he'd rather be tending flowers, but getting a SitRep from him without going out of her way was difficult enough without being busy in the surrounding environs. "Have you had any success with growing Mother Heartwood saplings?"

* * *

"Of course I can help. When's her bed time, and how late can she be at the construction site?" Ary responds, half-joking, but all-grinning.


Living Steel Female InE 0 / SYF 1 / KtW 0 / SCB 1 Valiant Keeper Half-Elven Ran 7/War 2/Fig 9 (VMC) HP (129/129)
Stats:
AC/Touch/Flat/CMD 27/14/24/28 | Fort/Ref/Will +10/11/11 | Init +05
MP 2/9 LP 0/3 AM 2/3 SP 5/11
Skills:
+18: K(Pl), 16: Perception +14: P(Soldier); +13: K(Du, Re), A(Poetry), Survival; +12: K(Na) +10: Acrobatics; +8: Athletics; +7: Spellcraft, Stealth; +6: Heal, Ride; +5: Diplomacy, L(Drezen); +3 Ling; +2: K(No, Lo, Ar)

Moniez/2: 28d20 + 392 ⇒ (11, 16, 15, 1, 2, 10, 18, 5, 9, 15, 11, 17, 20, 15, 17, 20, 15, 4, 20, 16, 19, 19, 3, 10, 3, 12, 8, 13) + 392 = 736/2=368gps. Work has perkz. That's a lot of booze.


Perception +19 | Init: +5 | HP 130/156 (10 shawl), Con 14 | AC 24 (+1/adj foe), Touch 23, Flat-footed 20 | CMD 29 (31vs trip,repo,grapple) | Fort +14, Ref +16 Will +16,+2 vs enchant and death | Evasion | Favor 3/7 | S.Ins: 4/4 | Channel 0/3, DC 14 will | LoH 2/5 | Smite 0/1 | Ki 3/7 | Redirect 4/5, DC 17 rflx | Mythic 5/9 | Legend. 3/4 |RSC 1/1

Did Hinagiku get news from Shu Lien during th 7 months?

Joran:

Hinagiku remains pensive for a moment. What had stricken her upon seeing into Joran’s soul was his dedication to his brother. One that was probably as strong as the one he had for his village of origin. After a brief somber expression, Hinagiku’s face soften into her peaceful expression.
”It seems to me that caring for your family, extended or close, has long been important to you. Maybe this is one thing to think about, maybe you are still meant to look out for others... but maybe something else resonates better with your soul. Something you have overlooked before. I cannot tell you what that is... but, I do have a question, you are a greatcraftsman, in many ways.”[b] she adds, looking toward the newly build column [b]”Is craft something of great importance to you? Enough to be a worthwhile goal?”

The idea of contacting the Drifter, instead of going after her, pleasantly surprises Hinagiku. And, despite Valaria’s opinion that they were unlikely to be peaceful, the monk decides to voice a counterargument.
”This is true Mrs. Valaria, they are unlikely to be here for simple pillaging, but there is always a chance that they might answere favourably to speaking with us. Getting the message out there would not cost us anything anywya. ”

Once the meeting comes to an end, Hinagiku waits outside the great hall for Xanderghul and Ary. She wanted to congratulate both on their recent accomplishments.

”It has been a while Mr. Xanderghul.” she says, with a casual nod of politeness, as he comes out of the room. ”I wanted to congratulate you on your new position. I will be calling you Venture-Captain Xanderghul in the future. Will you be recruiting Variska to the pathfinders?”

Once she is done, and after Ary finally comes out of the room, for having spoken with most of the people individually, Hinagikku gives her a slight casual node.
”It’s good to see you too Ary. I also wanted to congratulate you, the program that was put in place to help the rescapees from Mantarin truly seemed to have worked well. Being sworm in at Armasse will be definitely achievement, both for them, the city, and you. ”

Hinagiku’s evening:

Depends whether Xandergul is pu for a extra roleplay!


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Isilme, Tael:

Tael beams at the praise. "Yes, ma'am," they say. "I can hear it. I will be better when you come to my recital next week, I am sure of it."

The doors at the back of the performance hall creak open, revealing Aravashnial. "Suilad. Isilme, Tael, forgive my interruption," he says, as he strides down the center aisle towards them.

Elvish: "Greetings".

"Suilad, Master Aravashnial! Hannon le, Isilme, amin karnatha amin kela autfilbono."

Elvish: "Thank you, Isilme, I will make my leave and practice."

Tael packs their violin into its case and gives both elves a quick bow, before making their way out of the hall. As soon as the door shuts, Aravashnial's face cracks into a wide smile and he pulls Isilme into a tight hug.

"We were chosen for funding!" he says, joyfully. "I was very pleased that the Lord Commander agreed with my proposal. I was so nervous..." he says, honestly. In the past year he had become much more comfortable with being vulnerable in front of Isilme, now, in more ways than just emotional.

Isilme:

You can sense a letter in his pocket. You instinctively know that it is addressed to you.

Isilme, if using Wordcaller:

Quote:

Dear Li'an Va'ardalia,

I am pleased to announce that I have been chosen to be inducted into the Order of the Holy Sentinels. My ceremony of inauguration is scheduled for the 25th of Gozran at the Temple of the Empyreal Guardians in Nerosyan. As we have been friends and allies since the beginning in Kenabres, I would be honored if you would attend. Your invitation is enclosed.

Signed,

Hrut Ingvarson, Warden of Drezen

From your working relationship with Hrut as Warden of Drezen, you have come to appreciate that he is a strategic and military genius, despite his lowly roots as a merchant's son. However, in other aspects, he can be quite dense - he never really got what happened to you and Li'an, and often calls you both names interchangeably, despite any attempts to correct him otherwise.

DC 20 K.Local, or Nobility, or DC 30 K.Religion:

The Order of the Holy Sentinels are a chosen, hallowed order of the Empyreal Guardians. It is an exceedingly high honor for Hrut to have been chosen, as only three knights are ever inducted into the Order at one time. New inductees are only sworn in when previous members retire or pass away.

In some sense, the inauguration will be your last chance to say goodbye to Hrut. The Order of the Holy Sentinels stand as the sacred guardians of a powerful scrying artifact in the heart of Nerosyan, and as such, they are never seen in public.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ehren and the BEES:

Lann grins, fishing a smokestick out from his pack. "Smoke? Yes, I've got smoke covered! Just one moment..." He lights the long stick, which immediately begins releasing a thick cloud of smoke. Holding it below the bees, he allows the smoke waft up towards them.

"I have tree-climbing handled... but can you help shake the trunk so that they fall in?" he says, climbing up to the lowest branch, and then extending his arms out to accept the box they had brought from Crocris.

After they are done, Lann places the lid on the softly humming box and starts strapping it closed with several leather clasps. "Excellent. Did you know that mead is made from honey?" he asks with a smile. Such common knowledge was still news to an under-dweller like himself. "Perhaps we can learn how to make it as well... mead I think is my favorite tavern drink. Much better than mushroom beer. Just... don't tell Crel."

Their conversation was interrupted with the arrival of Houna, her enormous wolf companion, Hrida, loping ahead of her as she sprints across the field to them. Houna and her kin had arrived a month ago to make a pilgrimage for Mother Heartwood. Awestruck by the beautiful tree in all her restored glory, they had chosen to stay, resuming their cult worship of the life-giving tree. Houna had taken away a favorable impression of the heroes when they had last met, and was pleased to see that her goddess was in capable hands.

"Archesgob," she says as she arrives. She extends her hand to reveal a letter, sealed with a rubber stamp bearing the symbol of the Empyreal Guardians. "Neges, i chi."

Hallit: "Archdruid. A message, for you."

Opening it, it reads:

Quote:

Dear Ehren Ferron,

I am pleased to announce that I have been chosen to be inducted into the Order of the Holy Sentinels. My ceremony of inauguration is scheduled for the 25th of Gozran at the Temple of the Empyreal Guardians in Nerosyan. As we have been friends and allies since the beginning in Kenabres, I would be honored if you would attend. Your invitation is enclosed.

Signed,

Hrut Ingvarson, Warden of Drezen


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Xanderghul and Students:

Bellandrus eyes widen as he receives his assignment, and his chest puffs out a bit in pride. "Yes, Kýrios," he says, eagerly. "I will see to it that all of our tasks are done."

He stands, gathering his books and notes to stow away into his messenger bag, then heads for the door. He stops just before opening it. "If it is true what you say, if I will live to be hundreds of years old, then I will use all of those years to master it all. And someday, Kýrios, I will challenge you to an arcane duel, and I will win," he says in his soft voice, before exiting the classroom. The statement was not made in an effort to intimidate, but it is said with absolute certainty.

Xanderghul doesn't have time to even gather his things before the door creaks open again. This time, it is Ser Jorsal.

"Hello there, Venture Captain," he says without a hint of jealousy in his voice. "Congratulations! We should get a drink to celebrate." He takes the seat next to the podium and rests his hand on the pommel of his longsword. "So, how did it go? Were the Decimvirate as rough on you as they were on me?"


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Shabti Wizard 9 / Warpriest of Xanderghul / Archmage 3 | hp 99/102 (healthy), AC 17, touch 13, ff 15, CMD 17 | Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +9 (+2 vs. confusion, insanity) | Init +4, Perc +10, darkvision 60ft, (mythic power 0/9)

Xanderghul with Ary and Hinagiku

Xanderghul chuckles at the praise. "Those fools don't know what they've done," he jokes. "Appointing the insane immortal to a position of leadership! Pfah."

"I have a lot of work ahead of me. Do you have any new recruits for your small temple?" he asks. "Perhaps you might come see my own students. I think some of them would appreciate learning breath training or self-defense from you. What do you think?"

Xanderghul with Students:
Xanderghul hums quietly with satisfaction as he begins to gather his things when Jorsal pops into the room. He frowns when the knight suggests getting a drink, and responds, "You know, Jorsal, I don't think I enjoy drunkenness as much as I enjoy not ever peeing, so I'd be happy to go with you but I prefer to keep up my no-solids no-liquids diet unless it's for something really special."

At Jorsal's next question, Xanderghul shrugs. "I don't know how rough they were on you, but it doesn't seem like they have much of a choice besides appointing me. I can only hope that I'm able to recruit a few good staffers here before things start to pick up again. I can't keep doing everything all by myself," he says. "As good as I am, my time is better spent doing something besides all of the legwork."

"Some good came out of your possession, though: the Pathfinders get more autonomy from the Crusades. A concern was raised because of the power you had over Crusader efforts, so now I'm being asked to keep a level of distance between the information I receive and what I share with the Crusades, which suits me just fine."

"What have you been up to?"

Xanderghul's Various Concerns

Once he's arrived, settled in, and distributed his expectations among his students, Xanderghul seeks out a number of sources and people. Variously seeking answers or favors, he conducts a number of meetings.

First, he visits local libraries and consults with Crusader scouts. What information is there available on the Lake Lost to the Sun? He understands that it was a creepy lake even in the times of Sarkoris, with waters that were deemed to be bottomless. Is there a known and significant cultist or demon presence there? If not, is it culturally or tactically significant in any way, or is it worth ignoring?

Second, he meets with Valaria and other Crusaders who deal with local patrols. He understands that banditry has been a common problem locally. Are these bandits part of organized clans with leaders and home bases, or are they just small-time thugs? Organizations of thieves need to be hunted down and dealt with quickly.

Third, he tracks down Isilme. He considers the ex-azata to be a rare peer in terms of knowledge and passion for knowledge. Perhaps she would be interested in coming to teach classes on magic to his students? She has magical knowledge that he lacks, after all. All Xanderghul asks is that she refrain from proselytizing.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Crocris shakes his head. "No, Lord-Commander, I have not had success with growing from her fruit nor from grafts. But I suspect she has spent much of her energy as of late keeping the Abyss at bay... for all of our benefit, naturally, but not the best time for offspring."

"The kellid Heartwood Cult* has... some.... superstitious concerns about attempting to reproduce her, based on their history with the demon, Laktharis having claimed to have come from the same sort of origin. I could ask the Archdruid to talk with them, if you would like," he adds.

*see Ehren's most recent spoiler for more details.

Ary and Sana:

"Oooh, don't keep her up more than four hours after dinner... and try to be careful with the sweets! She'll be bouncing off the walls 'til sunrise if you're not careful," Anevia says, happily. "And if you're gonna make her haul masonry around all night, at least put a helmet on her, safety first, y'know," she says with a wink. "Thanks so much, lord-captain-commander, really!"

I'd like you to set up a scene for babysitting Sana... basically where you wanna do it, how you want to entertain her, etc :)


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Hinagiku has not heard from Shu Lien recently.

Hinagiku and Joran:

"Skill at t'forge and hammer is the greatest purpose a dwarf can have," Joran says, simply. "Been working at the anvil since I was old enough to lift a hammer. It's what I do. Used to find some pleasure in it, when I was young. Now, it's just work. Not much pleasure in anything 'sides drinkin' these days."


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Xanderghul and Jorsal:

Jorsal chuckles. "Right, I've forgotten you've switched to an "All Air" diet." When he had initially found out, Jorsal had expressed surprise that Xanderghul would give up good food, something he considered a true joy of life, but hadn't pressed or shamed his lifestyle choice beyond that. "I confess, never having to face another military latrine is a benefit I hadn't thought of."

"They had concerns I was too close to the Crusades to work as an objective Venture Captain," he continues. "Guess I ended up proving all their fears as true! But you'll be fine. Valais was a fine administrative assistant before..." he frowns, and shuts his eyes. He takes a deep breath, working through the horrific memories. After he's calmed down, he continues as if nothing had happened. "Anyway, you'll find someone capable to help out."

"I do have news, actually," he says. "I'm being promoted to Warden of Drezen. Hrut's getting pulled back to Nerosyan, to join the Order of Holy Sentinels. I'll be stepping in to his duties once that's done."

"Speaking of, I have a letter for you," he says, pulling out an envelope and passing it to him. It is sealed with wax, stamped with the official seal of the Queen of Mendev.

Xanderghul's Letter:

Quote:

Crusader Xanderghul,

Your presence is requested at the Starrise Spire on the 25th of Gozran. I am pleased to inform you that in honor of your heroic service to the Crusades at the battle of Drezen, you will be formally knighted during a ceremony to take place at 7pm. If you are unable to attend, please send word via [i]sending as soon as possible.[/i]

We thank you for your many years of service to the Crusades.

Signed,

Crusader Queen Galfrey

DC 20 K.Local or Nobility, or DC 30 K. Religion:

The Order of the Holy Sentinels are a chosen, hallowed order of the Empyreal Guardians. It is an exceedingly high honor for Hrut to have been chosen, as only three knights are ever inducted into the Order at one time. New inductees are only sworn in when previous members retire or pass away.


Female aasimar brd 8/clr 1/mag*/Bound 3 THP 0 HP 99/99 | Init +7 Percpt +26/+30 | AC 23/15/19 CMD 21 CMB +6 | Fort +9 Ref +14 Will +12 (+4 comp/chrm); (+4 vs. brd/lang/sonic, +3 vs. rune) | AP 2/5 BP 20/23 MBP 0/3 MP 0/7 Glit 0/1 X-Ret 1/1 Insp 0/1 LM 0/1 Chnl 2/3 Fvr 7/8 DS 3/3
Spells:
Bard (CL 8; cn +13) 1st 2/6 2nd 1/5 3rd 1/3 Clr (1;+2) Mag (3;+5) Rng: SI
Skills:
Acro +16 Bluff +22 Dipl +28 Dis +22 K(hist/any/untr.) +11/+10/+6 Ling +14 P(ora/act/sing,wind/danc) +26/+22/+20/+18 Ride +5 S Motive +26 Splcrft +14 Stealth +21 UMD +17

Isilme and Aravashnial:
Isilme nods at Tael's response, knowing they would certainly put in the work to live up to her expectations.

When Aravashnial walks in she beams at him, already able to tell he was excited about the results of the funding discussion. "I know! It is wonderful news, Ai'sintar!" she says, not hesitating to return the embrace warmly. "There was never anything to be nervous about. Even if the school was not funded now, I am certain Ary would have seen to it sooner rather than later. You have done such a great job with the children already, and I do not doubt it will become one of the finest schools in the inner sea!"

When he begins to reach for his pocket she pulls his arm back up, returning it to embracing her. She had sensed its presence almost immediately upon his entering, and didn't hesitate to read it as Tael was leaving. "No need," she says with a mischievous grin, "I have already read it. It seems Hrut is being inducted to the Order of Holy Sentinels it seems! Truly an impressive accomplishment, although I do wish he would refer to me as Isilme." She sighs briefly and chuckles, amazed that he still had issues differentiating her from Li'an. "I do hope you will come along for the ceremony, the company would be most welcome!"

After discussing the details of the invitation further for a few minutes, she interrupts. "Enough about that, I managed to procure this fine bottle of elven wine from Kyonin," she says reaching out and causing a cabinet to fly open with one cantrip before using another to draw the bottle to her side, followed by one glass and then another. "We have some celebrating to do, and I have already informed the appropriate people not to bother us this evening unless Aponivicus herself shows up," she says with a wink.

She hands one of the glasses to Aravashnial and then fills them both with the lavender colored wine--the color a result of the combination of fruit and magic used to ferment and prepare the beverage. With a wave of her free hand the doors to the room--still ajar from Tael's exit--snap shut, and the lock slides into place. "To the school, and to teaching together..." she says, raising her glass to toast.
Auto-succeed on DC 20 Know(Local) using Bardic Knowledge and Loremaster to take 10

Isilme and Xanderghul:

"Xanderghul," she calls, seeing the mage entering her private teaching chamber/study. "what a pleasant surprise! Decided to take some music lessons?" she says with a wink, knowing that was unlikely to be the reason for his presence. Though he had been away in Absolom for a while dealing with Pathfinder administrivia, she had corresponded to him on a couple of occasions to get interpretations of some obscure arcane texts Aravashnial had borrowed from him.

While Aravashnial was an excellent mage, Xanderghul's collection often included works which had been written by their authors to obfuscate their teachings as much as possible. The writings on divine runes were few and far between, and those who had committed any such knowledge to parchment often intended for it to remain inaccessible to all but a select few. Needless to say that the Shabti's love of knowledge and ability to push past the boundaries of mortal spellcasting granted him a unique insight into the nature of those works.


Male Human (Kellid) Menhir Savant 9/Hierophant 3 | HP 46/120 | AC 22, T 13, FF 20 | Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +14 | CMD 20 | Resist Acid 10 | SR 13 (evil outsiders), 17 (demons) | Init +3 | Perception +17 | MP 2/9 | LP 1/2 | Place Magic 5/9 | Wild Shape 3/4

Ehren and the BEES:
Grinning at Lann’s ingenuity, Ehren nods when he requests his assistance.

”Certainly. But make sure you hold on tight,” he warns half-jokingly as he hands Lann the box. He gets a grip on the tree’s trunk and waits until the Underfolk is in position, before giving it several firm shakes. Not so long ago he might not have been able to budge the tree, but thanks to months of hard labor, his otherwise thin arms now have a little bit of muscle to them. In just a matter of minutes, their mission is accomplished.

Ehren chuckles at Lann’s remark. ”Beer is one of nature’s many gifts, but I am sorry to say it is out of my expertise. I am sure someone among the Caydenites and Toragdans would be more than happy to teach you. Hm. Maybe bring Crel along if you do decide to go. He can learn to brew something that takes more than one glass to-- Ah, Houna.”

The archdruid smiles when the huntress and her wolf companion suddenly arrive. The look on her and her kin's faces when they first beheld the restored Mother Heartwood was still fresh in his mind. He was not surprised when he heard that they had decided to remain in Drezen, nor when he learned that they would resume their worship of the god-tree. There were, however, a number of unforeseen consequences.

For one, on multiple occasions Ehren has emerged from his abode beneath Mother Heartwood's roots, only to find the tree surrounded by a congregation of Kellid cultists. Such dramatically (and unintentionally) timed entrances inevitably drew him into their ritual, an issue exacerbated by the fact that he was the only one who could actually speak to and understand her. Despite clarification being given on his part, some still believed that he became archdruid specifically because he fulfilled his promise to restore their goddess, despite it happening after the fact. There were even whispers among some of them that he shared a very special and personal relationship with Mother Heartwood, that was not in their place to fully comprehend.

Needless to say, Ehren has spent a good deal of time since then seeking alternate sleeping arrangements.

”Diolch,” the druid says, accepting the letter as it is handed to him. Recognizing the wax seal, curiosity compels him to open and read it on the spot. Scanning the letter, Ehren smiles when his suspicions about the letter’s sender are confirmed.

Hallit: "Thank you."

”Hrut will be joining the Order of the Sentinels,” he summarizes for Lann and Crocris’s benefit, his voice slightly enthused. He has no idea what the Order is, but joining its ranks is obviously a great honor for Hrut. ”The ceremony is in Nerosyan, in a week’s time.”


Female Tiefling (Pitborn) Bard (Weapon Champion) 9/Champion/Trickster 3 | HP: 96/114 | AC: 25, Touch 18, Flat-Footed 19 | CMD: 26 | Fort: +10, Reflex +13, Will: +10 | Init: +6 | Perception: +16, Darkvision 60 ft. | Performance: 5/24, Shatter: 1/1, Lore Master: 1/1

Val and Ary:
Val lets Ary talk as they make their way through the city. It's hardly a bustling metropolis, but it certainly looks better than it did a year and a half ago. "I think that the crusades have spent a lot of time without anyone really looking at their problems. They're too comfortable. Maybe being out here and having people who are more willing to ask questions and actually change things will be the first step in more of Mendev actually making some much needed changes."

Val nods in agreement. "Have you ever heard the phrase 'life is a journey'? It's hardly unique to Desnan, but we have sort of a different take on it than most. Life is about where you go next in both a physical and mental sense. Trying to become perfect before you go anywhere is just foolish. You only improve by making the journey, not by staying at home until you think you've already done everything there is to do. I think Joran will be happier once he gets out of the rut he's in and figures out what road he's taking next, but Torag isn't going to help him do that, I think."

The tiefling purses her lips as Ary's conversation takes a turn. "Well, I think we both know what prisoner you're talking about. And I hope that the writing is at least helping her find some solace for the time being. I can't say I'm quite as familiar with not having control over my own life. I've had a lot of hard times in the past, but I spent a lot of time running away so I didn't lose control of my own path. I think... that you'd be helping a lot of people if you wanted to support efforts to free people who have been trapped in slavery. More people should have the right to choose their own lives. But you're going to be making a lot of people cross if you're not careful. Including Nurah if you don't talk to her about this."


Living Steel Female InE 0 / SYF 1 / KtW 0 / SCB 1 Valiant Keeper Half-Elven Ran 7/War 2/Fig 9 (VMC) HP (129/129)
Stats:
AC/Touch/Flat/CMD 27/14/24/28 | Fort/Ref/Will +10/11/11 | Init +05
MP 2/9 LP 0/3 AM 2/3 SP 5/11
Skills:
+18: K(Pl), 16: Perception +14: P(Soldier); +13: K(Du, Re), A(Poetry), Survival; +12: K(Na) +10: Acrobatics; +8: Athletics; +7: Spellcraft, Stealth; +6: Heal, Ride; +5: Diplomacy, L(Drezen); +3 Ling; +2: K(No, Lo, Ar)

Ary and Val:

"Well, I mean... I would prefer that we had a legal method to move with. And of course I'd speak with Nurah beforehand, but I wanted to know if it were possible, and you're quite literally the only person in the world I know of that might be able to accomplish such a thing from here. Even if it's literally buying people and then moving them here to be free, though I'd prefer if we didn't treat people like property. But..." Ary shakes her head. "If you think you have a way, just let me know. I'll test the waters with Nurah tonight."

With Crocris

"Well... we did require the help of the ley in order to perform a ritual to empower her as she is now. Is it possible that attempting to plant the saplings on natural ley-lines, directly near the Menhir could infuse them with enough energy to sustain some degree of growth?" she asks, looking from Crocris to Ehren. Is Ehren already on the way out?

Ary-Daisy-Xander

"I'm hardly responsible for its success." Ary says, smiling to Daisy all the same. "It's the continued efforts of everyone involved that has seen its success. It was... a daringly hopeful project, and one that even a single individual could have caused to falter terribly. We were lucky to have the groups that we did step forward to take action in guiding and educating them. With any luck, we could extend it further, to more groups - lesser crimes and such. When I was young, I got by by being a thief... if I hadn't been pulled out of that life, I'd have probably wound up a pretty terrible one." Ary says, offering the kitsune a grin, before turning her attention to Xanderghul. "So, will your Lodge be your mansion you've been working on, or something else entirely?"

Will try to do some Sana posting in the morning if I have time, sorry!


Shabti Wizard 9 / Warpriest of Xanderghul / Archmage 3 | hp 99/102 (healthy), AC 17, touch 13, ff 15, CMD 17 | Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +9 (+2 vs. confusion, insanity) | Init +4, Perc +10, darkvision 60ft, (mythic power 0/9)

Ary - Daisy - Xander

Xander nods. "I'm hoping to claim nearby buildings as well, if the space turns out to be not enough. It's a lot of work to figure out how to refurbish buildings by yourself, though."

Xander and Jorsal:
Examining his letter critically, Xanderghul takes but a moment to read through it. "You're being promoted, and it seems I'm being promoted as well. Galfrey has seen fit to knight me."

"If you're being appointed Drezen's warden, does that mean you'll be around, or does it mean you'll be around but so busy with work that it's basically like not being around?"

Xander and Isilme:
Before answering, Xanderghul examines Isilme's study. He looks at every decoration and thing she's left hanging or resting around, saying "hmm" at inopportune moments all the while. "No, that's not why I'm here," he says, although a flash of himself and the others as a band, playing for a screaming crowd of a million demons passes through his head. "I'm here to ask you for something. I have about two dozen students among those we liberated from Mantarin. They're making good progress, especially the arcane students, but I think it's time to expose them to different brands of functional philosophy. As long as you don't try to spread your religion among them, I'd be happy to have you come in and teach classes on your areas of expertise. Not every one of them is going to want to be a scholar like I am, and you're a fine duelist, you know three sorts of magic and you're a fine musician as well."

Xanderghul seems intensely uncomfortable with what he's just said, but he continues unabated. "Yes or no?"


Living Steel Female InE 0 / SYF 1 / KtW 0 / SCB 1 Valiant Keeper Half-Elven Ran 7/War 2/Fig 9 (VMC) HP (129/129)
Stats:
AC/Touch/Flat/CMD 27/14/24/28 | Fort/Ref/Will +10/11/11 | Init +05
MP 2/9 LP 0/3 AM 2/3 SP 5/11
Skills:
+18: K(Pl), 16: Perception +14: P(Soldier); +13: K(Du, Re), A(Poetry), Survival; +12: K(Na) +10: Acrobatics; +8: Athletics; +7: Spellcraft, Stealth; +6: Heal, Ride; +5: Diplomacy, L(Drezen); +3 Ling; +2: K(No, Lo, Ar)

"Have you considered asking Aron for aid? I'm certain that there are soldiers who would be willing to help out." Ary says, looking over her shoulder to see if Aron had already left, "You could always make your lodge into more of a campus, I suppose."

JustSanaThings™:
Ary arrives at the officer's quarters very slightly earlier than expected, knowing that if she's early, perhaps the two can get a little more time alone. She really does take Sana to the construction site in the early afternoon, keeping the child close, though she doesn't work, instead simply sitting with Sana and explaining all the things that are going on to the best of her understanding, keeping an eye on both Sana and the progress. She didn't like the idea of not being somewhere when something could go wrong, which is why she spread herself so thin.

As sunset approaches, she starts to head back to the citadel with Sana, ready to get her into the well-lit building before dark. For dinner, Ary has her usual relatively bland foods, and water, but she'd made sure to get a more palatable meal (with some sugar in the form of juice) for Sana. Both had a little milk on the side.

Afterwards, Ary spends time telling Sana stories, complete with sock puppets, from the varying religious studies she'd worked through, teaching her by proxy about Shelyn, Desna, Iomedae, Sarenrae, amongst a few others.


Perception +19 | Init: +5 | HP 130/156 (10 shawl), Con 14 | AC 24 (+1/adj foe), Touch 23, Flat-footed 20 | CMD 29 (31vs trip,repo,grapple) | Fort +14, Ref +16 Will +16,+2 vs enchant and death | Evasion | Favor 3/7 | S.Ins: 4/4 | Channel 0/3, DC 14 will | LoH 2/5 | Smite 0/1 | Ki 3/7 | Redirect 4/5, DC 17 rflx | Mythic 5/9 | Legend. 3/4 |RSC 1/1

Joran:

”Humm, it might be bold of me to say, and I don’t mean to press you, but if your craft is so important to you, maybe Hua Xin and I can try to help you rekindle your flame for it. We have spent our lives perfecting our own trade, and some of the teachings of the Master of masters have helped us find new meaning in it, and new ways to perfect ourselves. ”
diplomacy: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (12) + 15 = 27

[ooc]Ary-Xander-Hina[ooc]
”It’s true that many people were involved and all played an important part, but we cannot dismiss the person who had the vision to accomplish this.” Hinagiku adds in a kind tone, implying that she knew Ary well enough not to truly press the matter. ”I would like to visit the familes and people involved though, this whole thing started when Mrs. Valaria, Mr. Xanderghul, and I went to get the youth from Mantarin. I feel like my time on the front has prevented me from truly investing in these young people.... would you like to join me on such a visit?” she asks to the two others.

Xander, afterschool:

Seeing as though Ehren was going to be quite busy walking the farmland and dispensing nature related wisdom, Hinagiku elects to spend the day and night in Drezen to meet up with friends and acquaintances. Her first stop is to go and see Chaleb and visit each of the condemned. She then spend the early evening in Annabelle’s company, just before the cavalier has to begin her shift. Finally, as the evening slowly morphs into the night, Hinagiku makes her way to Xanderghul’s school. After patiently waiting for all the students to leave, she she’s Jorsal and the wizard leave together. To be honest, she hadn’t expected that. Normally, she would have joined the two, but knowing that they hadn’t spent much time together lately, she decides to leave them be. And so, from the shadowy corner of the street she had been waiting on, she furtively makes her way back to her home where she spends the evening meditating.


Female Tiefling (Pitborn) Bard (Weapon Champion) 9/Champion/Trickster 3 | HP: 96/114 | AC: 25, Touch 18, Flat-Footed 19 | CMD: 26 | Fort: +10, Reflex +13, Will: +10 | Init: +6 | Perception: +16, Darkvision 60 ft. | Performance: 5/24, Shatter: 1/1, Lore Master: 1/1

Val and Ary:
"You've hit the problem right on the head," Val says as Ary gives voice to the issue. "Sometimes the law is only helping the cruel. Cheliax is a messed up place and they're not going to give up their slaves if they have any say in the matter. Most of the population are indirectly slaves to worse things than stuck up nobles if you really think about it. I don't really know any Eagle Knights or other liberators too well, but I can try to get in touch with a few old friends in Andoran and see if they know anyone to get in touch with."


Shabti Wizard 9 / Warpriest of Xanderghul / Archmage 3 | hp 99/102 (healthy), AC 17, touch 13, ff 15, CMD 17 | Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +9 (+2 vs. confusion, insanity) | Init +4, Perc +10, darkvision 60ft, (mythic power 0/9)

Xander-Hina-Ary

When Ary asks him if he's ever considered asking for help, Xanderghul gives a noncommittal shrug. It's well-known that he doesn't like asking people for anything, a habit reinforced by nine thousand years of solitude. "Are the rehabilitated criminals all housed together, or would be have to traipse around the entire city? My schedule doesn't have a lot of free time at the moment."

Xanderghul asked Val for some details on what she's been doing recently as regards local bandits. Does she have any information for him?


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Isilme:

With your scene with Aravashnial concluded, I don't have anything else further for you. The next events I have planned are the various ceremonies in Nerosyan, but that is a week away. Feel free to initiate other scenes you wanted to play out, or just describe how you spend your week leading up to the visit in Nerosyan.

Alternatively, just let me know you're ready to move on and have nothing further to RP.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ehren, BEES:

Lann raises his eyebrow (half of his face was reptiliian, after all) and smiles. "Oh! That sounds really important! I can't think of someone who deserves it better." He fastens the buzzing box to a strap on his horse and adds. "I bet it'll be a beautiful ceremony... I am jealous! The churches in Nerosyan are really something else."

"You should invite Hinagiku along! I bet she will find it fascinating."

I don't have anything else further for you. The next events I have planned are the various ceremonies in Nerosyan, but that is a week away. Feel free to initiate other scenes you wanted to play out, or just describe how you spend your week leading up to the visit in Nerosyan.

Alternatively, just let me know you're ready to move on and have nothing further to RP.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

After the meeting... Ary, Hinagiku, Xanderghul, Ehren (?):

Crocris cocks his head to the side. "I did not think of that. I will give it a try."

Aron, at this point, had already left.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Xanderghul, Jorsal:

Jorsal shrugs. "Yes? Both?" He laughs. "Though I don't know if you're one to talk about being overworked. Do you ever sleep anymore?"

"The lad, Meridrand, is also being knighted. It'll be a pretty big ceremony, it seems. In any case, I'll let you get back to your work. It was good getting to talk with you!"

I don't have anything else further for you. The next events I have planned are the various ceremonies in Nerosyan, but that is a week away. Feel free to initiate other scenes you wanted to play out, or just describe how you spend your week leading up to the visit in Nerosyan.

Alternatively, just let me know you're ready to move on and have nothing further to RP.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ary, Sana:

After dinner, Sana is riveted by Ary's stories, and isn't afraid to get involved in them, making suggestions about what she thinks should happen next, or asking questions about why something happened the way it did. Afterwards, Fenton arrives, excited to play with Sana after a long evening of horsemanship training with Indisy. The little halfling adored Sana, viewing her a cherished little sister, despite the fact that she was much taller than himself.

"Sana, let's play knights and dragons, next!" Fenton says, pulling out a wooden sword, once Ary was done with her storytime.

"Nah, I want a tea party. Let's play tea party instead!" Sana interjects. She opens a box with a tea set, complete with floral printing. Irabeth and Anevia had saved for it for her last birthday, and it was one of her most treasured possessions.

"Oh, alright," Fenton says somewhat dejectedly, plopping down onto a pillow next to her.

They are interrupted by the rather abrupt arrival of Anevia and Irabeth. Anevia was wearing a nice fitted tunic over her armor, with dress pants and boots. Irabeth was similarly dressed well, and it was actually a little jarring to see her out of her plate armor. Of course, she wasn't completely unarmored - she wore simple leathers instead, and her blade and shield were still strapped to her back regardless.

"Mommy! You're back early!" Sana says brightly, running over to Anevia to give her a hug. Anevia scoops her up and tries to lift her over her head... but fails. "Oof, you're getting heavy, baby girl!" She grins. "I'm back cause I got news! I'm going to be a knight! Rogue-turned-knight, who'dathunk?"

"You mean both my mommies are gonna be knights?!?" Sana exclaims excitedly.

Irabeth beams proudly as Fenton gives her a smile. "Oh, wow, really? That's awesome!" he squeaks.

Irabeth pulls out a letter and hands it to Ary. "A message arrived for you, as well, Ary."

Ary, letter:

The letter is stamped with seal of Crusader-Queen Galfrey.

Quote:


Lord-Commander Bishop,

I hope that this letter finds you well.

Your presence is requested at the Starrise Spire on the 26th of Gozran. I am pleased to inform you that in honor of your heroic service and acts of valor to the Crusades, we have found you to be a paragon amongst your peers and a true example of the Iomedaen values of honor, valor, justice, and leadership. As a result you will be formally inducted into the Third Sword-Knights during a ceremony to take place at noon. If you are unable to attend, please send word via sending as soon as possible.

I would like to personally thank you for your work you have done so far at Drezen. Without your incredible leadership, none of what we have accomplished so far would be possible.

Signed,

Crusader Queen Galfrey

Ary, lore:

Knightings within the Crusades are often done in large religious ceremonies, honoring multiple knights at once. Since the Crusader Queen is often focused on the war efforts, it is not uncommon for there to be a delay between the heroic event and a crusader being knighted for such an event, as it took some time for these ceremonies to be organized. Unfortunately, this also results in many crusaders being knighted or inducted to the Sword-Knights posthumously.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Joran, Hinagiku:

Joran shrugs, finishing off his ale in one big gulp. "Yea. I guess I'll be here pretty regularly to help ye patch this place up anyway. So, what could it hurt?"

I'd like a description of the sorts of things Hinagiku would try to teach Joran, or encourage him to do, that took place over the last 7 months.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ary, Valaria, Arvin:

The next day, Arvin arrived at Citadel Drezen to respond to the Lord-Commander's summons. He meets Ary and Valaria at the Officer's Planning Room within the citadel.

From far away, it would be easy to mistake Arvin for a woman. He is tall and slender, with long, straight dark hair pulled up into an elaborate up-do. He wears a long yellow and black gown, made of silk and satin and tall, black heeled boots that clack against the stone floor of the keep. His dress is fitted tightly around his body, and has a plunging neckline, revealing his toned chest and abdomen. At his side is a black leather whip.

"Lord-Commander," he says with a dramatic bow and flourish. His voice is deep and baritone, and he has very long eyelashes that frame vivid green eyes. "Thank you for being so accommodating in your city. Your dedication to religious equality is admirable."

"And this is... the heroine of Kenabres, Valaria Alazario! I have heard much of you from Ayavah," he gestures to take her hand, and if she allows him to, he kneels and kisses it. He wears exotic oils that make him smell of sandalwood and vanilla, but the scent is only detectable when someone is very close to him. "She speaks very highly of you. I would love to get to know you better," he says with a smile.

After the introductions, he takes his seat at the officer's table, taking in the decorations of the room. "It is good to meet both of you at last. Is there anything that you need of me?"


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Female Tiefling (Pitborn) Bard (Weapon Champion) 9/Champion/Trickster 3 | HP: 96/114 | AC: 25, Touch 18, Flat-Footed 19 | CMD: 26 | Fort: +10, Reflex +13, Will: +10 | Init: +6 | Perception: +16, Darkvision 60 ft. | Performance: 5/24, Shatter: 1/1, Lore Master: 1/1

I think I finally have Val's retraining worked out. If it's alright, I'm going to write out a scene.

Seven Months Ago:
The sun was falling and the stars were beginning to show themselves over Drezen when Val returned to the shrine. Her muscles burned slightly from the exertion of the day on the road, keeping watch on the road leading into the city. It seemed that even a demon infested wasteland still had its share of bandits and wandering beasts other than just the demonic hordes. She liked to stop in the shrine before moving up to her apartment when she wasn't completely dead on her feet and thank Lady Starsong for the day's good fortune. Or ask for better fortune, more often than not. The tiefling has the shrine to herself as she bowed her head and silently prayed for several minutes. Her nose wrinkles as she saw dust on the edges of the altar. It was tradition for travelers to clean the shrine when they passed through, but it seemed that there hadn't been anyone through today. She fetched a cloth and carefully started wiping the altar clean, leaving the stone smooth and polished under her hands.

Val sighed as she folded the rag and set is aside. She didn't even remember the last time she'd done this. There was too much to do and too much danger for her to have time for simple indulgences like this. She dropped heavily on one of the benches around the shrine and looked up at the sky, watching the stars slowly become clear as the last of the daylight faded away. She hadn't had the time to do much of anything other than patrolling and fighting. When was the last time she'd given proper obedience to Desna? The fact that she couldn't answer her own question didn't sit right. The bard got to her feet and took a few steps, trying to find a rhythm. It was far from the first time she'd done one of the Desnan dances without actual music, but her body didn't quite want to fall into the steps.

Val groaned as she rubbed her legs. She might have pushed herself a little too hard today. There always seemed to be more fighting to do. As she leaned down, she could see the worn hilt of her starknife hanging at her hip and she flinched as she pushed herself upright again. Was that all that she did now? She spent more of her time fighting outside the city than she did on... anything at this point. When was the last time she'd shared a drink with a friend and told a bawdy tavern story? Or shared a personal story and given someone advice? Fighting helped protect people, but when was the last time she'd helped anyone other than keeping the demons away? Maybe it was time to change that.

Val, Ary, and Arvin:
Val let her eyes drift over the Calistrian as he entered the room. It was rare that she saw someone else who dressed anywhere near as brazenly as she did in Mendev, so it wasn't hard to imagine he caught eyes wherever he went. "I've heard many good things about you as well," she says, allowing him the somewhat dramatic greeting. "It's good to finally meet you in person. I very much hope we get along in the future." She glances sideways, letting Ary make the first move. She was teh one who wanted the meeting after all.


Living Steel Female InE 0 / SYF 1 / KtW 0 / SCB 1 Valiant Keeper Half-Elven Ran 7/War 2/Fig 9 (VMC) HP (129/129)
Stats:
AC/Touch/Flat/CMD 27/14/24/28 | Fort/Ref/Will +10/11/11 | Init +05
MP 2/9 LP 0/3 AM 2/3 SP 5/11
Skills:
+18: K(Pl), 16: Perception +14: P(Soldier); +13: K(Du, Re), A(Poetry), Survival; +12: K(Na) +10: Acrobatics; +8: Athletics; +7: Spellcraft, Stealth; +6: Heal, Ride; +5: Diplomacy, L(Drezen); +3 Ling; +2: K(No, Lo, Ar)

Ary-Val:
"Thanks, Val. That's all I ask." Ary says, nodding to the tiefling at her door. "I'll go check in with Nurah and find out exactly what she'd like to see done. I'm not sure how much money she's making but it will be nice for her to have the option if we can manage it. Hopefully see you around a bit more." Ary says, starting to break away, but not turn away quite yet.

* * *

"Suit yourself, Xander. I just think we're all stronger together. At the very least, you could bounce some ideas off of Aron or Joran. Worst case scenario, they save you time or money, or even improve on what you were already planning." Ary says with a small smile. "And your folks deserve the best you can provide." she says, shifting her attention to Daisy.

"I'm afraid that I can't, Daisy. I'm going to be watching over some construction on the south side, to make sure I'm there if something goes wrong... and I'm going to be babysitting Sana for the rest of the night as well. Perhaps another time?"

* * *

Ary-Sana:
Ary is glad for the bit of time that her squire manages to afford her. Truth be told, Ary didn't know as many of the answers to the inquisitive Sana's questions as she would have liked. Attending sermons and hearing the stories from clerics firsthand hadn't resulted in Ary asking why, but rather questioning what the message of the story was. In turn, she tries to pass on the moral lessons found within when prompted.

Sitting back and watching the two, she's equally surprised at the early arrival, slipping out of her chair to go welcome the pair. She snaps the book shut that she'd had in her hand and holds it to her side. "Yeah, congratulations, Anevia! Probably the only knight to have successfully out-hijinxed a Dream Hag Coven as well!" Ary says, placing an arm on the woman's shoulder. "I'm glad for you." she adds as she turns towards Irabeth as she's tugging out the letter. "Not often you get turned into a page, is it, 'beth?" she says, taking the letter in hand but not opening it just yet, instead motioning to the pitcher of water on the table, "If either of you are thirsty, I still have a bit left. Sana has gotten her fill of fresh juice." she says with a grin, moving to take the pitcher in hand, though after filling drinks for the others, she carefully opens it with her gauntleted hand, allowing herself to sink against a wall and out of the center of the discussion for a moment as she reads. "Huh." she says softly as she finishes. She curls the letter back up and places it neatly on her desk. "Looks as though I'm to be knighted again as well." she says, slipping from happy for her friend to pensive - her mood not dark, but still thoughtful.

* * *

Ary-Valaria-Arvin:
"Honestly, you've Ayavah, Valaria, and Isilme in particular to thank for that." Ary says, motioning to the unopened bottle on the table - it was the same elven-diplomat dwarven wine that Joran had introduced her to months ago, "If you drink, I'm open to sharing. I've actually several requests... it was mentioned that you were interested in opening a brothel locally? I was... hopeful that I could steer you in that particular business venture a bit, in exchange for my blessing to operate within the city?" Ary says, moving to pour for him if he accepted the drink, "Not that you need my blessing to build within the city, but I'm hopeful that it would be significantly more ideal for everyone involved."


Female aasimar brd 8/clr 1/mag*/Bound 3 THP 0 HP 99/99 | Init +7 Percpt +26/+30 | AC 23/15/19 CMD 21 CMB +6 | Fort +9 Ref +14 Will +12 (+4 comp/chrm); (+4 vs. brd/lang/sonic, +3 vs. rune) | AP 2/5 BP 20/23 MBP 0/3 MP 0/7 Glit 0/1 X-Ret 1/1 Insp 0/1 LM 0/1 Chnl 2/3 Fvr 7/8 DS 3/3
Spells:
Bard (CL 8; cn +13) 1st 2/6 2nd 1/5 3rd 1/3 Clr (1;+2) Mag (3;+5) Rng: SI
Skills:
Acro +16 Bluff +22 Dipl +28 Dis +22 K(hist/any/untr.) +11/+10/+6 Ling +14 P(ora/act/sing,wind/danc) +26/+22/+20/+18 Ride +5 S Motive +26 Splcrft +14 Stealth +21 UMD +17

Isilme and Xandergul:

Isilme laughs as Xanderghul attempts to extract a promise not to convert his students out of her. "Come now, Xanderghul, when have you known me to go out of my way to proselytize? I may be devoted to my Lady Starsong, but the only converts I will produce will come incidentally from inspiring a love of journeys."

His offer lined up well with the teaching she had been doing alongside Ai'sintar. The riftwarden children were certainly a different lot from the ex-cultists Xanderghul had taken upon himself to train. "I would enjoy teaching your class, certainly. Thank you for the offer! I find it to be a good way to further my knowledge, and I would be interested to watch you teach once or twice as well. Just let me know when you meet next and I will come introduce myself and observe to get a feel for the students."

"Apart from that, how were your wanderings? Did you perchance miss the endless demonic threats while you were out in Absolom?" she asks jokingly.


Male Human (Kellid) Menhir Savant 9/Hierophant 3 | HP 46/120 | AC 22, T 13, FF 20 | Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +14 | CMD 20 | Resist Acid 10 | SR 13 (evil outsiders), 17 (demons) | Init +3 | Perception +17 | MP 2/9 | LP 1/2 | Place Magic 5/9 | Wild Shape 3/4

Ary, Hinagiku, Xanderghul, Ehren?????:
"I can speak with Houna and her kin," Ehren says to Crocris, nodding his head. "They are right to be wary after what happened, but they should not let their fear cloud their judgment."

Without a doubt, having more heartwood trees in the region would be a tremendous boon. Even if they only had a fraction of their mother's power, they would provide many with a self-replenishing supply of sustenance. That said, there was a significant obstacle in the way of the materialization of this plan.

"The ley is strong here, but that alone will not be enough for saplings to sprout. It takes a remarkably skilled hand to cultivate magical plants..." he says to Ary, while giving his fellow druid a glance. This was one of several projects he originally had in mind when he first visited Kenabres to recruit him. With a grimace, he goes on to explain their more pertinent limitation. "...as well as some remarkably expensive fertilizer. Prohibitively expensive, as Horgus might put it."

Ehren and the BEES:
"Oh, I intend to," Ehren replies with a small smile, having not intended otherwise. As he inspects the invitation enclosed with the letter, a thought comes to his mind.

"You know, I do not think Hrut would mind if you came along as well. You missed out on some of our early trials, but you were there pretty close to the start."

I have a scene with Hinagiku in mind, but I am also brainstorming Other Stuff.


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Perception +19 | Init: +5 | HP 130/156 (10 shawl), Con 14 | AC 24 (+1/adj foe), Touch 23, Flat-footed 20 | CMD 29 (31vs trip,repo,grapple) | Fort +14, Ref +16 Will +16,+2 vs enchant and death | Evasion | Favor 3/7 | S.Ins: 4/4 | Channel 0/3, DC 14 will | LoH 2/5 | Smite 0/1 | Ki 3/7 | Redirect 4/5, DC 17 rflx | Mythic 5/9 | Legend. 3/4 |RSC 1/1

Joran:

I am purposefully leaving Joran’s craft unclear in the post because from what I remember he does not work at the forge anymore. Although, if he does, Hinagiku will focus on that instead of whatever he is working on now.
In the months following Joran’s visit to their home and temple, Hinagiku spends quite a bit of time with the dwarf. First to finish the temple’s renovation, and then just spending time with him while he works, and, every so often, going to the tavern. At first, it seems as though she is simply a quiet student, making little conversations and asking few question, going with him to the pub every so often. But, in truth, she is simply follows the preceps of her faith, taking one small step at a time while keeping in mind that everything is connected, and that knowledge about any craft can be hidden in anything, from people’s relationship, to the living body, to the art of battle. And so, as she slowly begins to understand his trade, she tries to draw from her own experiences lessons that might help the dwarf. At first, she subtly weaving some quotes of the Master of masters into her speech, hoping he might draw wisdom from them. But, one day, after three months have past, Hinagiku comes out of her silent observation and comes side to side with Joran. She’s looked at his worked, meditated on it, even drawn upon her connection to her mother to see the true substance of the dwarf’s craft, and suddently came to a realization.

”Mr. Vhane, I am sorry to interrupt you, but I was just suddenly rememinded of how things grow and shape themselves to their lot. Hummm, just like the wooden beam that warps and sags under the weight of a building until it finds the right shape, or just like the mending bone which needs to be treaded upon to truly heal. I know little of your craft, but maybe this same principle applies here. No?Could it be that the parts you are assembling, the order in which you do, the work you do, has to be done in a specific order for each piece to grow better into its position?” she asks, modestly, hoping that her insight might be meaningful to the artisan.

Aid(craft)(surge): 1d20 - 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (15) - 1 + (1) = 15

Ary-Xander-Hina
”Sorry Ary, I meant visit in the coming few days or weeks, I don’t think coming unannounced would be well seen by anyone.” .


Living Steel Female InE 0 / SYF 1 / KtW 0 / SCB 1 Valiant Keeper Half-Elven Ran 7/War 2/Fig 9 (VMC) HP (129/129)
Stats:
AC/Touch/Flat/CMD 27/14/24/28 | Fort/Ref/Will +10/11/11 | Init +05
MP 2/9 LP 0/3 AM 2/3 SP 5/11
Skills:
+18: K(Pl), 16: Perception +14: P(Soldier); +13: K(Du, Re), A(Poetry), Survival; +12: K(Na) +10: Acrobatics; +8: Athletics; +7: Spellcraft, Stealth; +6: Heal, Ride; +5: Diplomacy, L(Drezen); +3 Ling; +2: K(No, Lo, Ar)

Diplomacy (surge): 1d20 + 5 + 1d6 ⇒ (7) + 5 + (3) = 15 Fren?


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ary, Valaria, Arvin:

"Ah! Dwarven wine? You have exotic tastes, Lord-Commander," he says, offering to pour both women a drink. "Cairn o'Mohr, 4709? Lovely. The high iron content in the soil near Coralesion gives it the deep red color."

Taking a sip of his wine, he waits for Ary to speak, then smiles broadly. "Oh? Is that what this is about?" He seems relieved. "Naturally, I'd be happy to include private quarters for the leader of this fine city, it would be of no trouble of all," he says, misunderstanding what Ary was getting at entirely. "Do you prefer men, or women? Or both?"


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ary, Sana:

"I'm gonna be a knight too, someday, once I grow up!" Sana says brightly, as Anevia pulls her onto a couch.

"I know you are, sweetpea. But first... you're gonna... get tickled!" Anevia responds, pushing her shirt up and dancing her fingers on her belly. Sana squeals, the sound almost ear-shatteringly high pitched, but it doesn't stop the rogue's assault. She wriggles on the couch, trying in vain to get away.

Irabeth smiles at her wife and daughter from the table, having accepted Ary's offer of a drink. She raises both eyebrows. "You are to join the Sword Knights? That's an amazing honor. Though, to be honest, I'm not surprised. I always felt that it was just a matter of time." She watches her expression, unsure of how to interpret it. "Is it not what you wanted?"


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ehren and the BEEs:

Lann grins. "You think so? If so, I'd love to come along."


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WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Hinagiku and Joran:

Joran had spent the past few months visiting with Hinagiku once or twice a week. At first he was bemused at the paladin's interest in the forge - most of his work nowadays was just that - work. When he wasn't assisting Aron with various construction projects, he was found in the Drezen forge, crafting the many essential materials needed for running a city of Drezen's size. Nails, bolts, iron fastenings and frames, tools, and occasionally arms and armor... though in truth his opportunity to craft weaponry or armor was rare and far in between, as this sacred task was generally delegated to the forgepriests of Torag. Certainly such work was not given to a lowly ex-cleric of Torag, and former criminal like Joran.

Regardless, Joran was patient enough to explain to Hinagiku what he knew and to field answers to any questions she had about his work. The dwarf had decades upon decades of experience, and it showed. But it wasn't until the three month mark, when Hinagiku gently suggested that one of the core ideals of crafting was taking something through several steps to improve upon it, that something seemed to click.

Seemingly overnight Joran became fascinated with not crafting things anew, but rather with repair work. And certainly there was no shortage of this to be done around Drezen. Dented breastplates, shattered shields, sundered longswords, even glaives that had been melted after meeting a foul babau's flesh - these were the cost of the endless war against the demons that stalked the Marchlands.

Where previously Joran had shrugged off Hinagiku's efforts to share the teachings the Master of Masters, he started to show an interest in his texts and sacred truths. Eventually Joran was learning to meditate, and then studying the natural ebb and flow of chi, the life-force omnipresent in all things, both living and inert.

His own crafting became influenced by eastern teachings. Rather than learning to hide damage wrought on on the arms that he was to repair, he started to accentuate it, while still restoring functionality to the piece. This turnabout resulted from meditating on a Iroran verse: 'Perfection lies in the heart of imperfection, for there is beauty in the irreversible nature of the passing of time and in the ephemeral aspect of the universe. Appreciate the humble beauty of the simplest things, patinated by years endured and trials confronted.'

His work was not without controversy. Many of the Toragdans bristled at his philosophy, believing his craftsmanship to be an eyesore, an embarrassment to behold. Yet other Crusaders still found the beauty in his work, and many came to seek Joran specifically to repair a cherished weapon or armament, knowing that his special touch would yield an heirloom with history etched into its very form.

The morning after the council meeting, Hinagiku found Joran awake before the sun, carefully working on a set of damaged scale mail. He had come to live with she and Hua Xing a month ago, having tired of his accommodations with the other dwarves, and wishing for more ready access to a quiet place of meditation throughout the day. He is so deep in his work, that he doesn't even notice the knock on the door. Not wishing to disturb his trance-like state, Hinagiku answers it.

She opens the door to find the young Meridrand Pallisard. "Oh, hello, lady Hinagiku," says the handsome soldier. "I hope that I find you well." He himself was doing splendidly. His fiancee had decided to forgive his indiscretion, and though he often spoke of how it pained him to be away from the beautiful Jonelle, he looked forward to the day they would be wed. He saved each and every spare silver from his wages to fund their wedding day, wanting it to be as perfect an occasion as possible.

"Is Joran available? I wished to ask for a commission."


Living Steel Female InE 0 / SYF 1 / KtW 0 / SCB 1 Valiant Keeper Half-Elven Ran 7/War 2/Fig 9 (VMC) HP (129/129)
Stats:
AC/Touch/Flat/CMD 27/14/24/28 | Fort/Ref/Will +10/11/11 | Init +05
MP 2/9 LP 0/3 AM 2/3 SP 5/11
Skills:
+18: K(Pl), 16: Perception +14: P(Soldier); +13: K(Du, Re), A(Poetry), Survival; +12: K(Na) +10: Acrobatics; +8: Athletics; +7: Spellcraft, Stealth; +6: Heal, Ride; +5: Diplomacy, L(Drezen); +3 Ling; +2: K(No, Lo, Ar)

Ary+Arvin+Val:
Make a Request: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
"Yeah, it's pretty much the only thing I can drink." Ary says, offering him a smile, but then falters a bit, brow furrowing and pausing for a moment. "I'm sexually agnostic. I don't really know the proper term, I value the wait for the right person more than anything else, though I'm more physically attracted to women." she says, being honest on the subject matter. "But... that isn't what I meant at all, no. Though thank you for the offer, I suppose." she says, looking to Val for a moment, before returning her eyes to Arvin, "I actually have... goals for the city, and I think that you're in the right position to aid me in those things." she pauses for a moment to take a sip of her drink, before continuing.

"Prostitution will come to Drezen regardless of what we do, whether we 'allow' a brothel or not. So I feel it's best that we do our best to get ahead of the curve. Having a classy establishment that has screenings and security to protect the men and women who work there is absolutely vital, even down to the fact that I'd be willing to offer Crusaders that are so inclined to act as guards there to help with costs. Further, I can check in with Horgus and Aron to ensure that you receive a good location to build, but I would like some... promises in exchange." Ary says, taking a moment once more.

"My primary goal for Drezen is shared knowledge. Knowledge leads to understanding, leads to less disagreement, less hate. Certainly, too much of that can lead to more - oversharing is a thing, after all, but simply understanding the why is important. I would like your aid in this endeavor, in particular, along the levels of sexual education. Both in safe sex and better understanding the needs and wants of partners. In addition to a brothel... I would like for your temple to be a school, of sorts, if you're willing. I wouldn't expect for there to be a lot of interest amongst the Crusaders, but if the focus can remain on educating others through some sort of courses that escalate, and allow people to leave when they're uncomfortable, I think the entirety of the city, as well as your clergy, could be made significantly safer... healthier, and happier. What do you say?"

Ary-Sana:
"Honestly... I'm not sure. It's sort of a dream come true, but... I don't know." Ary says with a slight shrug. "Induction is a huge honor, but life feels like a constant whirlwind of late. There's always something new, something important going on... and I just realized that I have no idea what will be going on for the 26th of Gozran, so I have no idea how I'm going to clear my schedule for it." Ary says, moving to her chair and flumphing down into it.


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Shabti Wizard 9 / Warpriest of Xanderghul / Archmage 3 | hp 99/102 (healthy), AC 17, touch 13, ff 15, CMD 17 | Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +9 (+2 vs. confusion, insanity) | Init +4, Perc +10, darkvision 60ft, (mythic power 0/9)

Isilme and Xanderghul:
"They were hardly wanderings," scoffs Xanderghul. "My curriculum was planned out to the hour, including my probability of random attacks per day being met exactly over the course of our travels. My students have learned a lot about how to live and the possibilities afforded to them." Xanderghul is bragging, but it's clear he feels true and honest pride about his work. "Seven of them even exhibit some arcane skill, something which I'm fostering among them. It's very exciting to work with such an underprivileged, but talented, group."

"Do you actually put on shows at your mask of a theatre, by the way? I understand you use it as a cover."

Ary, Hinagiku, Ehren, and Xanderghul:
"Generally I schedule about three weeks in advance. If you need any significant block of my time, I expect to pencil you in well in advance," says Xanderghul, before he pulls out a little scheduling booklet. "Speaking of, I had best be going."

So, I'm fairly ready to move forward? It looks like the next major scene is the knighting ceremony, yeah? I'm still waiting for information from somebody on the local threats, in case we need to organize our own expeditions.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ary, Arvin, Valaria:

Arvin smiles with amusement, swirling his wine with his left hand as he speaks. "Ah, I must confess, I've never understood the concept of 'saving oneself'. Rather, I've always felt that one's previous lovers only add to, not detract from, the experience of finding someone special. In a way, those that came before can only prepare you for that special night of ecstasy. For instance, if I was called upon to perform a dance for a Queen, it would be foolish for for me to think that I would be worthy of such an act of service, without years and years of practice. And lovemaking is indeed very much a performance art."

As she goes on with her proposal, he puts his goblet down, and peers at her over his bridged fingers. His nails are delicately manicured with shiny white lacquer, but filed short and rounded.

"Consent and reciprocity are core tenants of the Calistrian faith, I assure you," he says finally. "Prostitution is a sacred calling for us, and you can trust that any workers I hire will be cared for with respect and dignity. However, if holding tantric classes for your men will help smooth things over further between us, then it is something that I am glad to do. Gods know how sexually repressed these citizens are. A little escape from it all... I believe can only do them good."

He leans back and looks her in the eye. "In exchange... a tax cut would be much appreciated. Between property and business permits, the fees for an immigrant to set up here can be...stifling. Is there anything you can do about this?" He glances at his nails and continues. "In addition, I request that the Crusades respect the anonymity of my clients. What goes on behind closed doors at a brothel is a...private affair. I will not tolerate spies, scrying, or intrusions upon the privacy of my guests."


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ary and Sana:

Irabeth shakes her head. "Do not worry about it. A calling like this is once in a lifetime. Drezen will stand firm until you return. Trust in the council you appointed to keep things running in your absence, in the meantime."

I don't have anything else further for you. The next events I have planned are the various ceremonies in Nerosyan, but that is a week away. Feel free to initiate other scenes you wanted to play out, or just describe how you spend your week leading up to the visit in Nerosyan.

Alternatively, just let me know you're ready to move on and have nothing further to RP.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage
Xanderghul wrote:

So, I'm fairly ready to move forward? It looks like the next major scene is the knighting ceremony, yeah? I'm still waiting for information from somebody on the local threats, in case we need to organize our own expeditions.

I am looking to conclude the scene with Arvin/Valaria/Ary, as well as the scene with Hinagiku/Joran before moving forwards. You are correct that the next scene I'd like to RP out are the various ceremonies in Nerosyan, however I am open to any scenes that the players push for before then. Thanks for letting me know you're ready to go, though!

As far as major threats, beyond those outlined in the transition to this time-skip (see the council meeting), there aren't any pressing things that you know about. The bulk of the Deskaran forces suffered a major loss at Nerosyan, and has not fully recovered, granting the heroes the opportunity to expand outwards from Drezen. However, as Valaria mentions in her post, the Marchlands are infested with random demons, demonic vermin, monsters, and even just bandits or alternative cults, so the surrounds are still highly dangerous. There is, additionally, a hexmap posted on Roll20.

Xanderghul, Ehren, Isilme, the Lake Lost to the Sun:

The Lake Lost to the Sun was a grim place even times of ancient Sarkoris. It is a large, narrow body of water with unusually still, dark waters of unknown depth. Its waters look nearly black even under the noonday sun, and have the curious habit of reflecting the image of an overcast sky even on sunny days.

Consulting with Ehren, the arch druid is able to inform you that the druids of the Green have passed down the wisdom that the lake is protected by ancient, primordial nature spirits*, and as such, the kellids never settled its dark shores, nor ventured out onto it to seek fish. He does know that Jestak left with what remained of her followers, and her two daughters, nearly a year ago to investigate the lake, and hasn’t been heard of since. She of course did so against his advisement.

Consulting with Isilme, she can inform you that her scouts have found the water’s edge utterly free of demons… and any other life forms, for that matter. Not even vegetation grows near the lake. Upon approach, her scouts found the area to have a ‘malicious aura’, accompanied by a strange scent of bile mixed with honey, that drove them to turn back to Drezen, rather than investigate the region too closely.

Upon looking through Crusader records, Xanderghul was able to find that there is a report of the lake holding a lair of water orms, utterly destroying a group of soldiers who attempted to row across its dark depths during the First Crusade. The Crusades have not attempted a similar endeavor since.

*Xanderghul understands that druids typically use the term 'nature spirits', as a less scientific term for the fey.


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Female aasimar brd 8/clr 1/mag*/Bound 3 THP 0 HP 99/99 | Init +7 Percpt +26/+30 | AC 23/15/19 CMD 21 CMB +6 | Fort +9 Ref +14 Will +12 (+4 comp/chrm); (+4 vs. brd/lang/sonic, +3 vs. rune) | AP 2/5 BP 20/23 MBP 0/3 MP 0/7 Glit 0/1 X-Ret 1/1 Insp 0/1 LM 0/1 Chnl 2/3 Fvr 7/8 DS 3/3
Spells:
Bard (CL 8; cn +13) 1st 2/6 2nd 1/5 3rd 1/3 Clr (1;+2) Mag (3;+5) Rng: SI
Skills:
Acro +16 Bluff +22 Dipl +28 Dis +22 K(hist/any/untr.) +11/+10/+6 Ling +14 P(ora/act/sing,wind/danc) +26/+22/+20/+18 Ride +5 S Motive +26 Splcrft +14 Stealth +21 UMD +17

Isilme and Xanderghul:

"It seems things are going well with the students then," she says in response."How is construction of the lodge progressing? I suspect we could provide each other information that would be of use once you have pathfinders coming and going from there."

"Of course! No self-respecting bard would have a theater hall go to waste, regardless of any other uses," she says with a wink. "You should come by next week and see one of my students, Tael, perform. We also have a troupe of performers coming from New Stetven for the next month. It took a bit of convincing but their performance of Katrin Ladah's The Penitence of the Black Prince is well reviewed and should be popular given the number of crusaders here. They are also well known for several bawdy numbers--including Longrod the Pathfinder and the 'Scepter of Love'--they'll be putting on in the evenings, though I suspect those are more to Val's taste than yours."


Female Tiefling (Pitborn) Bard (Weapon Champion) 9/Champion/Trickster 3 | HP: 96/114 | AC: 25, Touch 18, Flat-Footed 19 | CMD: 26 | Fort: +10, Reflex +13, Will: +10 | Init: +6 | Perception: +16, Darkvision 60 ft. | Performance: 5/24, Shatter: 1/1, Lore Master: 1/1

Ary, Val, and Arvin:
The conversation very quickly takes a turn that Val wasn't expecting, but she keeps it off her face to the best of her ability. Best to show a united front. And it's not like she actually disagrees with Ary in any way. The crusaders would certainly benefit from exposure to other faiths and ways of doing things, as well as from some stress relief. "I believe consulting with our financial adviser would be wise to work out the exact details, but I believe that some monetary benefits are fair considering your agreement to help the community and help with our interfaith project."


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Ary, Valaria, Arvin:

Arvin grins wider, setting his empty goblet on the table. "Excellent! It sounds like we are all of the same mind, then?"

At that moment, the door behind them creaks open, revealing little Fenton Bootblack, Ary's halfling squire. "Excuse me, Lord Commander," he says, after a moment of gawking openly at Arvin's flamboyant appearance. He had never seen someone like Arvin before, having grown up in rural Mendev. He manages to regain his composure, though, and trots over to Ary after a brief salute, handing her a letter with a red seal. It is stamped with the crest of the Empyreal Guardians. Arvin, for his part, seems accustomed to such stares.

"A letter, for you," says Fenton. He then pulls an identical letter out to hand to Valaria. "There's one for you too, ma'am," he adds.

Arvin nods, and stiffens to stand up, his hand braced against the table's edge for support. "I will take my leave then... assuming we are all done here, yes?"

Ary's letter:

Quote:

Dear Ary Bishop,

I am pleased to announce that I have been chosen to be inducted into the Order of the Holy Sentinels. My ceremony of inauguration is scheduled for the 25th of Gozran at the Temple of the Empyreal Guardians in Nerosyan. As we have been friends and allies since the beginning in Kenabres, I would be honored if you would attend. Your invitation is enclosed.

Signed,

Hrut Ingvarson, Warden of Drezen

The letter does not come as a surprise. Hrut had already come to you two weeks prior, informing you of his resignation as Warden of Drezen. He said that the Empyreal Guardians were pulling him back to his station of Nerosyan permanently.

Valaria's letter:

Quote:

Dear Valaria Alazario,

I am pleased to announce that I have been chosen to be inducted into the Order of the Holy Sentinels. My ceremony of inauguration is scheduled for the 25th of Gozran at the Temple of the Empyreal Guardians in Nerosyan. As we have been friends and allies since the beginning in Kenabres, I would be honored if you would attend. Your invitation is enclosed.

Signed,

Hrut Ingvarson, Warden of Drezen

Valaria:

I don't have anything else further for you. The next events I have planned are the various ceremonies in Nerosyan, but that is a week away. Feel free to initiate other scenes you wanted to play out, or just describe how you spend your week leading up to the visit in Nerosyan.

Alternatively, just let me know you're ready to move on and have nothing further to RP.

Ary receives a +4 circumstantial bonus to the K.Religion roll below for being Iomedaen.

DC 20 K.Noble or K.Local, or DC 30 K.Religion:

The Order of the Holy Sentinels are a chosen, hallowed order of the Empyreal Guardians. It is an exceedingly high honor for Hrut to have been chosen, as only three knights are ever inducted into the Order at one time. New inductees are only sworn in when previous members retire or pass away.

In some sense, the inauguration will be your last chance to say goodbye to Hrut. The Order of the Holy Sentinels stand as the sacred guardians of a powerful scrying artifact in the heart of Nerosyan, and as such, they are never seen in public.


WotR Global Buffs/Debuffs: Inspire Courage

Gonna go ahead and move on. We can wrap up any existing scenes in spoilers, after all!

25th of Gozran

Weather: Sunny, Cold (requiring heavy furs), Strong Winds (-2 to ranged attacks, check tiny)

And it was so that the heroes all found themselves in Nerosyan the following week. With Ary and Xanderghul themselves anticipating being knighted, and others coming in support of their friends and loved ones, they all had cause to be in the Diamond City this day.

In the morning was Hrut’s induction into the Order of the Holy Sentinels, while in the afternoon a large Crusader knighting ceremony was scheduled at the Starrise Spire. Tomorrow was the more prestigious ceremony devoted to new members of the Sword-Knights, who comprise the innermost leadership of the Iomedaen church. For now, Hrut’s induction was to take place at the Cathedral of Al’Asadriel, the headquarters of the esteemed Empyreal Guardians. The Cathedral was found in the oldest part of Nerosyan within the Confluence District, in a neighborhood colloquially known as the Windings, due to its incredibly confusing street patterns (even by the standards of old cities).

Inductions into the Order of the Holy Sentinels were rare and far between, so the cathedral was packed with attendees, and the event was invite-only. With such full attendance, those invited were given assigned seating. Ary finds herself seated near the front near other crusaders of similar rank and title - mostly other Commanders stationed at other forts.

Between the high ranking Crusaders and clergy located near the front, were many esteemed diplomats, noblemen, and other such allies of the Empyreal Guardians possessing of renowned social status.

Isilme, Valaria, Ser Jorsal, Lann, and Ehren were all invited personally by the inductee, and found themselves seated in the middle. Hinagiku had come along as Ehren’s plus one, and Xanderghul incidentally had come along as Ser Jorsal's. (The knight honestly asked the archmage along on the hopes of using an illusion to leave the service early - these sorts of highly ritualized ceremonies could often drag on for hours).

While the crowds settled into their seats as escorted by various pages and squires of the Empyreal Guardians, Hrut himself is nowhere to be found, as he prepares mentally and physically for the ceremony elsewhere in the cathedral.

In any case I want to give you guys a chance to react to the scene change, or to elaborate your characters spent the last 7 days or so. No real need to linger on this scene, so I’ll move forwards into the ceremonies once at least 3 have checked in.

Various lore checks about the Empyreal Guardians, etc:

Empyreal Guardians, K. Local, or Nobility DC 20:

The Empyreal Guardians are a knightly order dedicated to the teachings of solar Al’asadriel. The Empyreal Guardians are present all over the Inner Sea, and are composed of a variety of knights who learn to channel the power of the celestial and divine flow into the arts of their blade.

This Order has had an active chapter in Mendev after the Iomedaen paladin known as Saint Clydwell had an unearthly encounter with Al’asadriel in person. He afterwards pledged himself to the order of the Empyreal Guardians and has since recruited a number of other crusaders to his cause. The Empyreal Guardians in Mendev are mostly composed of Iomedaens, though they do not specifically bar any other religions from joining. Followers of Al’asadriel himself are also drawn to Mendev to join the Empyreal Guardians here, as joining the fight against the demonic host is in line with the solar’s ideals.

Empyreal Guardians Part 2, K. Local, or Nobility DC 25:

Students of the Empyreal Guardians swear to the Code of Al’asadriel; passed down from the [solar](https://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/angel/solar)h imself, it places an emphasis on protecting the weak and innocent from those who would prey upon them. When a Guardian’s training is done and he is deemed ready to go out into the world, his tutors take him to a sacred place. The exact place varies depending on both student and teacher; it might be the site of an act of great heroism, the ruins of a once-holy church, the tomb of a righteous warrior, or a place of great cultural significance to those the student wishes to protect. The student stands vigil for a day and a night with neither food nor water, contemplating the duty he will take upon himself, and then swears the following oath:

“In my own name, unsullied and bound to my virtue, and in the name of Al’asadriel, this I swear: with my blades I shall defend the innocent from those who threaten them wrongfully. With my eyes I shall look for evil and with my words and deeds seek to turn it back to good, or else destroy it. With my mercy and conviction I shall lead others into the light, and with my courage I shall hold back the shadow, until the day I die or Al’asadriel returns to release me.”

Al’Asadriel, K.Religion DC 25:

Once a mighty and puissant servant of the empyreal lord Ragathiel, the solar Al’asadriel was cast down for defying him when he was ordered what he believed to be an act of evil. Having forsaken his duty for the sake of what was right, Al’asadriel gathered mortals to his side and taught them the fighting arts he knew, sending them forth into the world to defend the weak and the innocent. These mortals would become known as the Empyreal Guardians.

Al’Asadriel Part 2, K. Religion DC 30:

Of deep concern to the cult of Al’asadriel, the empyreal lord has vanished. His faithful still travel the lands, lending their hands, hearts, and blades to the defense and succor of the weak. His faithful say that he must be out there, somewhere, as he still answers their prayers for magic and aid. Ever since the [solar](https://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/angel/solar) vanished, more and more cultists of Al’Asadriel every year set aside their normal duties to go hunting him, utterly convinced that he is held in durance vile. Al’asadriel himself either cannot or will not comment on the subject, even when questioned with magic, and so the cycle continues – his clerics raise up students to take up the quests they’ve grown too old or tired for, who in turn convert faithful of their own.

Ary has a +4 circumstantial bonus regarding the Order of the Holy Sentinels due to being Iomedaen.

Order of the Holy Sentinels Part 1 DC 20 K Noble/Local or DC 30 K. Religion:

The Order of the Holy Sentinels are a chosen, hallowed order of the Empyreal Guardians of Mendev. It is an exceedingly high honor for Hrut to have been chosen, as only three knights are ever inducted into the Order at one time. New inductees are only sworn in when previous members retire or pass away. The Order of the Holy Sentinels are chosen to protect a sacred scrying artifact deep within the heart of Nerosyan, and as such, are rarely seen in public.

Order of the Holy Sentinels Part 2 DC 25 K Noble/Local or DC 35 K. Religion:

The Order of the Holy Sentinels descend from the hallowed Saint Clydwell himself. Saint Clydwell was a famous Iomedaen cleric who sacrificed himself during the First Crusade to cast a powerful spell, sealing an Abyssal horde encroaching upon Nerosyan within an extra-dimensional prison.

One of Saint Clydwell’s greatest acts in life was the defeat of the balor, Goriath. As the balor descended upon Saint Clydwell’s fortification, he cried out to Iomedae for valor - to his surprise, the mighty solar Al’Asadriel appeared before him, helping him to cut the monster down. The solar lingered for four days afterwards, teaching the saint techniques in battle before unknown in Mendev. In return, the Saint pledged himself to the Empyreal Guardians, and founded the order present in Mendev.

Order of the Holy Sentinels Part 3 DC 30 K Noble/Local or DC 40 K. Religion:

Saint Clydwell is also credited with the crafting of the Demonscope, an incredible artifact within Nerosyan that allows for the scrying of any demon present within Starrise Spire, the highest seat of the Crusades and the Church of Iomedae. No demon, no matter how powerful, can evade the Demonscope’s gaze. It is the sacred duty of the Order of the Holy Sentinels to protect this artifact, and as such, only the most renowned and skilled Empyreal Guardians are entrusted with this task.

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