"You are correctly informed. Her weaving is peerless. However, she cannot simply be called upon like a common seamstress. Her work is usually reserved for visiting knights of the Dawnflower or emissaries from the south."[/b]
Sweet Pea's praise disarms the priest, leaving him surprised, but a warm smile soon spreads across his face.
Diplomacy: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (6) - 2 = 4
"But... But I promised Ms. Laurel I'd get her a nice shawl for the winter... and the lady said this Lissel was the best place to get one... Surely theres some way?" Krogge whines apathetically.
diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
"Good priest please allow me a moment. My friend here is asking for something of caring for a good woman in a less than pleasant land. That woman uses her skills and training to provide relief for innocent families and workers. You high priestess is not a craftsman and her works are reserved for knights and emmisaries? Krogge her is a champion of the people of falcon's hollow, a man of fine morals. I would place his heart against the finest knight of the Dawnflower.If its an emmisary you seek, perhaps she would allow me to ask her for a boon.
He held a simple paw up using it to sort of well point to his chin and feline features.
"I am called Rrruh, A wandering monk of the four winds. I come from the lands of Garundi and have traveled much of the world, would she speak to me?"
He began offering a bow.
Rrruh's well-spoken appeal chips away at the low priest's reticence.
"Very well," the priest groans, his whining tone approaching that of Krogge's. "I will inform Lissel of your request. If you are fortunate, she will grant you a task to earn her favor - and perhaps one of her works as reward."
The priest turns on his heel to retrieve the high priestess, leaving you waiting in the well-decorated temple hall for some time. Interminable minutes pass with no one emerging to speak with you. One of the other acolytes, scrubbing the floor at the foot of the walls, strives not to awkwardly meet your eyes.
This interlude allows for Randu, guided by Sage, to find his way back to your side.
I'll give you a moment to catch up with each other before Lissel comes out to speak with you.
"Worry not friend Krogge. I am sure I can have this high preistess see reason. She is no doubt an important woman, but I can perhaps convivce. You are looking for a shawl yes yes, any particular design or color?"
Krogged smiled a toothy smile and his toothy friend. It was rare for others to go out of their way for him, "Thank you Mr. Rrruh. I need something to gain favor for Ms. Laurel if you must know..." He says quietly, almost beginning to blush.
"OH! There you are, Randu!" Sweet Pea exclaims, turning around, "Isn't this a pretty place? We're looking for a shawl, but the shawl maker is all fancy and stuff, so we might hafta go on a QUEST."
Before Randu can recount his exploits, led along to parts unknown by Sage the owl, you are interrupted by the arrival of the High Priestess Lissel, with the pinch-faced lower priest following at her heels. Despite the unmistakable march of years written in the lines upon her face, she remains quite lovely. Her tightly braided hair refuses to betray even a hint of gray.
"Yours is quite the unexpected request, I've been told," she gaily begins, offering a warm smile. "Aside from the mayor and his council, most people who call upon me hope for a benediction or aid for disease. Being called upon for a spot of weaving? I must say, I am intrigued."
When Krogge explains himself, it is clear upon the aging beauty's face that she is taken with his purpose, pleased even.
"I can hardly turn down such a charming request."
As if by instinct, Lissel holds up her hand to silence the acolyte behind him, cutting off his objection at the ankles.
"Of course, such a noble gift demands an original work," Lissel continues. "Now, I'm no Abadaran who measures her time in silver and gold. I measure the worth of my time by how it benefits the town, so I propose an exchanging of favors.
"The past few days has seen an influx of loggers stumbling in for treatment of the most ghastly of injuries. The only thing I can liken it to...once, while on a pilgrimage in Qadira, my caravan was beset by a sandstorm. The porters caught out in the open, in the biting winds, came back with their skin practically flayed and their lungs struggling for breath. Such has been the condition of the loggers brought to our mercy. Since the forests of Andoran are hardly known for sandstorms, I'm at a loss for the cause of these injuries. If you would be so kind as to investigate and hopefully put an end to this mystery, I will send you home with a shawl whose every thread will be as glorious as the dawn."
Sweet Pea stares enraptured by the beautiful high priestess. She hangs on very word out of the woman's mouth. "We'll do whatever you want!"
Knowledge(nature): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7 to see if I know anything about what could have made the loggers' injuries.
Randu blushes. He got so caught up in a chance to avenge he... well, he listens to what the priestess says.
He also tries to think of what might make the wounds like that.
Healing: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
[ooc: Knowledge Arcane:[/ooc] 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
[ooc: Knowledge Nature:[/ooc] 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
[ooc: Knowledge Planes:[/ooc] 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
Apologies for the delay
Sweet Pea's rather...sheltered upbringing does not acquaint her with any forest phenomena that could cause such injuries. However, Randu has an inkling of what might be responsible.
They are drawn to loud noises and vibrations, especially metallic sounds such as chopping and sawing, which fuels superstitions about them seeking revenge against loggers and sawmills. As befitting something made of wood particles, these Sloughs are quite flammable.
"It is hardly a blessing, but the loggers seeking our help have at least described where these incidents have occurred," Lissel adds sadly. "If you would be good enough to investigate, I can easily direct you where to start your search."
"I can do that if you'll make the shawl!" Krogge says with a wide, toothy smile of appreciation."Thank you so much priestess, Where should we head to investigate?" he says, then thinks about anything he might know about that could cause what she is describing.
K. Nature: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
"The injuries have occurred north of here, exclusively befalling loggers and hunters who ply the arms of the forest upon the plains," Lissel says with a sigh. "It is a particularly dangerous stretch of forest, being especially wild and closer to the Moon Silver Pool. I'd hoped they would leave it alone."
The high priestess provides directions that should help you easily begin your investigation.
"Those sounds pretty nasty." Sweet Pea says, "Hmm, I bet they burn really good..."
"Very nasty Sweet Pea, we should bring some torches and oil along just in case." Krogge advises.
"sounds like greed again overwhelms some folk in the world. We can certainly look into it High Priestess Lissel.
She was definitely lovely and he would have been inclined to look into it for her on that alone, but the fact she was willing to help Krogge with his request... well that made it paramount.
"We could indeed look into some alchemists fire miss Sweet Pea, that is an excellent idea, and the oils and torches aw well Krogge.
"You are certainly in luck, then," Lissel says with a smile. "More and more shops in town are catering to adventurers and explorers these days, so I am sure you will have no trouble finding such an item. Although, I would recommend caution. Be sure not to go burning down whole swathes of the forest."
Lissel further recommends a particular shop: Boils and Bubbles, located nearby on Silver Street. There, you find an apothecary and alchemy shop that offers many common concoctions and creations at typical market price.
Krogge smiled at the priestess, "I would never do harm to the forest m'lady, Where I'm from its my home. These woods don't seem very different that the ones bordering Falcon's Hollow. I will give them the same respect."
Krogge certainly doesnt have nearly enough for an alchemist fire or acid but might be able to afford a few flasks of oil.
"I have some coin, but ... not a lot. Oil pints and torches it is then to combat these woodchip monsters you called them yes yes?"
The cat folk tilted his head to the side and watched Randu for a moment, but nodded.
He moved to the priestess and bowed slightly in front of her, offering her a feline smile.
"We will hasten to solve this problem for you miss Lissel."
He finished turning away letting the others make their goodbyes. Sooner started than sooner done.
Go ahead and make your purchases, then we'll advance the scene to the edge of the forest.
Following Lissel's directions leads you out the town's north gate and down the sloping path that deposits you back upon Darkmoon Plain, at the foot of the Elberwick Rise. You skirt the few, broad ranches that dot the uneven, scrub-carpeted plains and approach the northern verge of the Arthfell Forest.
The loggers that work the edge of the forest all eye you warily as you approach. They are a particularly gnarled, grizzled sort. Their hands are calloused and missing fingers, their faces heavily creased with time and wear.
Outside of replenishing any missing arrows Krogge would spend little time in the market and is ready to go as soon as possible.
Along the way Krogge will keep his eyes out for any signs of dust clouds or any fauna in general.
Perception : 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
and trying to find any rare or interesting herbs as well.
Survival : 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Once they arrive to the camp,"Randu, you know how these camps work right? who can we talk to about the dust attacks?
Sweet Pea travels as they had the day before, splitting her time between walking with the group an flying high circles above the road.
As they arrive at the village, she immediately approaches the first one who comes to meet them. "HI! I'm a Sweet Pea, and these are my friends! We're here to help out with the sawdust thingies."
When Sweet Pea alights from the sky like a green hawk, it causes a commotion among the ranchers and loggers in the area. However, Krogge notices that her arrival does not elicit as much fear as it might back in Falcon's Hollow. This is more so a matter of surprise and wariness rather than the superstitious xenophobia that the Consortium has sold to their laborers in the Hollow.
A young, moon-faced logger approaches Sweet Pea, and although her eager greeting leaves him taken aback, it does not scare him off.
"Well, it's...nice to meet you, Sweet Pea," he returns the greeting, a clear curiosity unfolding upon his face. "Those sawdust thingies have scared away a lot of the other loggers. I think I heard them say that metal sounds attract them."
Along the way, you discover some wild blackberries and early buds of Bishop's Weed.
"doesn't look like much game comes through 'round here" he mentions as he passes out some blackberries for everyone to enjoy as he gathers them.
"Well, can't say it would be right smart to try to attract them awful things," the young logger replies. "But the clanging of axes, the grinding of saws - that seems to rile them up but good."
He nods in agreement with Krogge's words.
"Yeah. Can't say I know much about the woods myself, but a lot of the other jacks have been buying advice from the more experienced hunters and trappers for coppers and even silvers. They been trying to learn how to spot danger based on how them critters act."
"That is not something you can just trade a few coins for and know. Each animal is different and even the same animal can act different if the locale is different." he thinks for a moment before asking,"Do these sawdust clouds attack the animals as well??
The question takes the young logger by surprise.
"Wow, I hadn't thought of that. I don't really know for sure, but I haven't heard any stories about them attacking animals. I know I haven't seen any critters with those injuries, so I guess they don't."
Your combined knowledge of the wild world informs you that even if these sloughs don't typically attack animals, they may be the creation of some unpleasant magic that animals can sense and seek to avoid. Thus, areas that animals noticeably avoid could be indicative of the sloughs' presence.
"So we go in banging metal on metal with our eyes open and ears peeled then."
He began with a slight nod. The more the knew the more he disliked the things even more.
Following Sweet Pea as she flits off randomly towards the woods, the party finds itself plunging through the treeline. The undergrowth is very thick, and both plant and terrain are quite gnarled. Sweet Pea's eager charge comes to a halt, with the rest of the party skidding to a stop behind her, when you discover a body sprawled upon the forest floor in a narrow clearing.
There are a number of appropriate skills we can use to examine this scene: Heal, Knowledge (Nature), Profession (Herbalist), Perception, Craft (Woodworking), or Knowledge (Arcana). Please pick one to use and make a skill check. If you want to propose a different skill use, please go for it.
Krogge draws his throwing axe and approaches the body carefully, eyes peeled for any danger stlll lurking nearby
Perception : 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Sweet Pea watches Randu examine the body, and offers the occasional bit of helpful input. “Yeah, I don’t think he’s gonna make it.”
Heal, to assist: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
This man has been dead for less than a day. His skin shows clear signs of the same, nearly all-encompassing abrasions across the entirety of his body. However, it seems that what ultimately killed him was suffocation. His mouth and throat show the same signs of abrasions, accompanied by lingering traces of sand or sawdust.
One additional oddity also sticks out. His left forearm, beneath a silver armband he wears, bears some kind of burn mark quite unlike the rest of his injuries. Furthermore, it appears that parts of the burn have healed, only to be overtaken by newer burns - creating a succession of scar tissue.
A mace of blackened iron lies upon the ground near his rigid fingers, locked in rigor mortis.
His belt pouch has been ripped open, spilling its contents beside his body.
The only undamaged goods upon the body are the silver armband, the MWK cold iron heavy mace, a small copper flask, 15gp, and 45sp.
Randu thanks Sweat Pea for his help... sure, some of it is a bit obvious, but Sweat Pea's ken eyes bring things to HIS attention he might have missed, "It's this forearm that baffles me. a noment more."
Casting Detect Magic.
And if it helps, Spellcraft on that arm band 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Krogge stows his axe and draws and nocks his bow, crouched near Randu and keeping watch.
I thought I'd made a post. I guess it got eaten. Sorry for the delay.
The armband shows no aura, and despite its value as jewelry, it is not magical. However, the copper flask displays a faint magical radiance. Examining its contents more closely, Randu recognizes the smell of the ingredients and deduces that it contains an elixir of love.
The seeming burns produced by the silver armband brings Randu and Krogge, who have both heard enough fearful stories from Valers, to conclude that this man may have been a werewolf. The reason why he would willingly wear such a painful accessory likely died with him.
As Krogge keeps watch, the forest remains eerily quiet. Not a single bird or cricket's call hangs upon the air, and the still air seems almost afraid to rustle a single leaf. A gut hunch leads you to believe that this man fell prey to the sawdust slough, and that the danger is yet not far off.
Krogge sniffed the air and listened for a moment,"Nothing... There's not even a cricket singing.... Best stay sharp around here everyone. I've heard enough tavern tales in the hollow to reason he was likely a werwolf; See the burns? why else would it look like that? I'd wager what ever did him in isn't far off either." he warns quietly.
"I suppose it is worth a try miss Sweatpea, though I wouldnt get your hopes up. They seem a bit aggresive and I dont think they will stop."
He said to their bundle of energy and joy.