"We're worn down to the bone, and this would be a good shelter for the night. We can return to Heldren in the morning." As soon as he finished speaking, Alec lowered the blade of his falcata only to quickly smash the necromancer in the head with the hilt of his blade.
falcata, nonlethal: 1d20 + 5 - 4 ⇒ (19) + 5 - 4 = 20
falcata, nonlethal, CONFIRM: 1d20 + 5 - 4 ⇒ (11) + 5 - 4 = 12
nonlethal damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
nonlethal damage in confirmed: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Baradim heard the witch's protest and he would give a shrug, settling down into one of the chairs there. The fatigue of the day was finally setting in and both Baradim and Snowpaw looked beaten and exhausted. Tilting his head back against the wall, he jumps for a moment when Alec smashes the necromancer in the back of his head. There is a hiss that escapes the half-orc's lips as he crawls over, shaking his head. "Be careful, friend. You may have ended our captive's life sooner than we wished." Leaning down, he sniffs the man first before checking his pulse and where the ranger had caught the man on the back of the head.
Heal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Callix returns to the room, armed and armoured, an iron tankard hanging from a thick chain around her neck. "Thanks for the loan," she says with a smile as she hands the handaxe back to her rescuer, drawing one of her own weapons and hefting it, "but I'm used to the weight and balance of these three."
Then she abruptly, turns to face the witch, the Ulfen axe still in her hand, "Gates. Winter fey. Teb Krothen. Izoze. Blackravens. Talk. Now. I need to know what in the dregs of a rotten barrel is going on here before I agree to heal anyone..." Especially a winter witch I might need my magic to cut down.
Her eyes locked on the witch's, she adds, "And yes -- Baradim, was it? -- I do agree should be getting the Lady back to safety."
Letitia gapes as Alec strikes Rokhar with the hilt of his sword, sending him sprawling on the ground just as she hoped to get some more answers. She opens her mouth to give him a scathing rebuke, but then the newly rescued prisoner steps out of a side room with axes in hand, staring her down.
By the Frost, not this again. Letitia's pale blue eyes roll as the Ulfen stares her down. "No, Ulfen, I do not need to answer to you," she hisses.
She turns to Baradim. "The lady will be safe enough here. We rest here, heal up, and then move to the gate. We do not need to waste time going back where we've already been."
"Sage words Baradim. I am sorry Letitia, but I need to escort the Lady... but I do understand if you prefer to follow your pursue here... although it would be a terrible lose. I will help you find the gate once the Lady is safe though" the Sentinel takes the small jail of the Atomie "Besides, we have to deliver Rohkar for judgement and we really need to gather more supplies if we really plan to travel deep into the forest... and into the snow..."
"Will you join us Callix?" looking at Alec's attacking the necromancer Samuel sighs "Well, we have to lock him and the other two downstairs into a room. I can do the first watch"
"Like Alec says it is better if we rest here tonight and march on the morning"
Letitia folds her arms, glaring coldly at Samuel. "I believe you'll do as the Lady orders, will you not?"
She turns and marches down the stairs to find the Lady Argentea. "Your guardsmen and women seem intent to escort you back to Heldren even as an invasion happens all around you. We have learned of the source of the winter and where the invasion forces are pouring through. But rather than go there and strike at the heart of the threat to your realm, they would rather use you as an excuse to go back to Heldren. Is this what you wish, my lady?"
Baradim hears his name mentioned and when the two women seem to grow more irritated, it was his moment to roll his own eyes. "'Civilized' people. How untrusting they all are." It seemed that Letitia was not willing to divulge anything to her and while there was a need for privacy, Baradim knew that Snowpaw was feeling quite weak right now. Even a night's rest would do little to restore his companion's well-being. It seemed that everyone was at each other's throat and standing up, the half-orc would turn to them all.
"Enough disagreement! Enough petty beliefs! My charge is dead downstairs along with so many men and this is what you decide will upset you? Have any of you given a thought to Greadra's death? No, no you did not. You're too busy being scared." There was a distaste in his mouth as he gestured to towards Letitia but turned his attention towards Callix. "She is in exile from where there wintry folk hail from, though she is still too proud to answer. We are here to find the Lady Argentea and the source of this strange weather, this...gate...being the place."
The anger slowly simmers away and he turns, standing up. The tiger seems to whine and he shakes his head, waving off the concern coming from Snowpaw. "If you all excuse me, I must prepare the rites to ensure Wolfspirit's soul arrives where it is needed." With heavy steps and a tired gait, he would follow Letitia downstairs but not to the lady. Instead, he'd pull Greadra's cold body from the dead and move it somewhere quiet before he knelt down beside her head. Closing her eyes, he began to pray.
|GM My Red Sun|
Really enjoying the RP going on in this group. y'all are awesome, keep it up!
Rohkar nods as Letitia asks about the portal. "Aye, that is my best guess as to the location of their portal. They talked about it in my hearing a few times, but I have not seen it. My scouts' reports narrowed it down to somewhere near that spot...
Rohkar is cut off as his head is smashed into by Alec and he crumples to the ground instantly. Baradim determines the man is still living, but only barely. it will take significant time or healing for him to regain consciousness now.
Callix finds the chest easily in Rohkar's small room and retrieves her gear. in addition, the chest is full of various items likely looted from other victims of the Raiders:
a gold ingot engraved with the Taldan royal seal, a spyglass, a silver lady’s ring, three shards of tiger’s eye gemstones. all together these valuables are worth 120gp
additionally, there is a silver dagger, and a leather portfolio containing several pieces of parchment, several of which look to be magical scrolls.
After some heated discussion, Leticia seeks out the Lady and asks her opinion.
"First let me thank you again for saving my life. I do not know what they had planned for me, but it wasn't likely to be pleasant. I do agree with this young woman that ending the threat of the fey is of the utmost importance. It would not be worth the cost if saving my life put my whole country in danger.
However, I also see that you are all injured and tired, and have a friend to mourn. rushing into the fey too quickly may prove to be too much even for you.
I believe I can take care of myself in this lodge for a few days until you can come back for me. Or I will follow escorts back to town and hire a new caravan.
If you cannot come to an agreement, I will side with my loyal guradswoman Callix. she has kept me alive these past days and I will follow her lead
Baradim was right. In the heat of the moment, Alec had forgotten about Greadra. He looked down at the crumpled form of the necromancer at his feet and his sword arm shook. His jaw clenched as his hand strained against the pommel of the sword. It took significant effort to restrain himself from killing the man right then and there.
Finally he just shook his head and muttered. "I'm going to help Baradim. Greadra was not a small woman. I'm sure he could use a hand."
He turned his focus towards Letitia. "Can't you see they're right? I don't know what blinds you to sense, but doing this, finding whatever it is and stopping it will be no easy task. We need supplies. We rest here. Take the lady back first thing in the morning, reprovision at Heldren, and then save the world...and you, from whatever this is that is going on."
He tried to feign a smile but most of his body simply hurt too much for it to be genuine. He turned and followed after Baradim. "Wait up," he called. "I'll give you a hand."
Callix's nostrils flare and she tightens her grip on the axe in her hand, her knuckles turning white and her mother's voice shouting in her head to strike down the winter witch... then she takes a breath, turns away and spits.
You're lucky I've spent the better part of twenty years learning not to listen to my mother... even if it's turning out she may have been right.
She spins the axe in her hand with a practiced motion, sliding it to her belt, then locks eyes with the witch again, her opinion clear on her face,"Quite right. You need not answer me. And I need not trust, help or heal you," she says with an icy tone.
She nods at Baradim's outburst turning away from the witch, her icy expression melting to one of compassion, "I.. am sorry for your loss. I did not know her, but she gave her life in the battle against this lot, and so I may very well owe her my freedom. And that of the Lady I swore to defend. I will honour her memory by doing what I can for her companions..."
With that, she places a hand on the tankard and whispers a small prayer and touches the druid, filling him with healing energies.
CLW (From Bless): 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
She turns to Samuel, "I will certainly help bringing this one to justice, and returning the Lady to safety... and, if we can, learning the source of this frost.... though I do have some reservations about the company you keep..." ..but, as they say, keep your enemies in your sights...
She follows the group to approach the Lady, then nods at her assessment, "I would see you returned to safety, but I do see your point about he greater threat... and the one about rushing into danger. I'd feel better making a decision if I knew more about what was happening", she finishes with an acerbic tone.
She sighs, "But either way, I think the immediate need is for me to heal Alec, who seems about to collapse, and for us to rest... A more complete picture may present itself in the morning -- or maybe the wee caged fey will feel a little more talkative when he gets a little hungry."
CLW (from Shield of Faith), Alec: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
CLW (from Divine Favour), Alec: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Her spells exhausted, Callix takes a breath then adds, "I will say that if we're not immediately pressed for time, bringing that one to justice and the Lady home would allow us to resupply, which might make all the difference in what's to come."
Letitia throws her hands up, fuming. "What supplies? What supplies does that little town possess that we do not already have here with us, or cannot make ourselves?"
She gestures at the crumpled form of Rohkar on the floor. "You've plenty of evidence to dispense his punishment for his crimes. The fey locked in the closet will not give you more information than we already know. And," she gives the Ulfen woman an icy stare, "you apparently have someone with more healing than my potions can give.
"Going back is folly. It gives more time for Irrisen to send more and more fey. The winter will set in. It will spread. The white wolves will soon be howling in your forests. Ice trolls will soon be devouring what stores of food you have left."
She gives Callix a dismissive sneer. "But unfortunately, your Lady has placed the decision in the hands of an Ulfen. It surprises me little that she chooses to retreat."
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Callix says, "I did not realize that you'd progressed so far in your training that you could craft all manner of magic items, witch. Did that come before they teach you to trap the souls of children in their skulls to watch the Irrisen border? And then feed the bodies to your pet trolls? Or is it earlier in training, when you only learn to skin ermines alive for pleasure and strangle kittens?"
She stands and turns to face the witch, her expression contemptuous, "A good thing that the Lady left the decision in the hands of one with common sense... or are you trying to rush us all into a place where you can sell us for a chance to regain the status you lost? At least I can say where my loyalties lie, and they are not divided."
Her voice turns even colder as she adds, "And worry not, witch. I am the daughter of a Blackraven. I do not back down from those of Winter."
The white witch folds her arms and tosses her hair with a shake of her head. "I strangled a hare, not a kitten. And it was at the behest of Queen Elvanna, right before she then ordered my mother to strangle me. So, no. I'm not trying to turn you in, because there is no regaining my queen's good graces. At best, I would earn a swift death, but I am not of the sort to settle for such a prize. I want to cut her reach from extending here into Taldor, or perhaps find out why she hasn't been deposed yet."
Callix starts to open her mouth, then closes it and shakes her head. She takes a breath, then says softly, "Then you've seen the evil for what it actually is.... and we have a common enemy..." She looks down for a moment, then, clearly struggling with herself, says, "..which would mean we both have a better focus for our fury," her tone lifting at the end, almost making a question of the statement.
If this is true, if she is really an exile, and one who fights against the winter witches... maybe she knows of a way to lift the curse? Mother would love to see home again, and I'd certainly not mind a few hundred miles of separation...
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"Cold weather gear, snow shoes, healing potions, maybe some of that bottled fire you used, more of that weapon coating you shared with Samuel. There are a lot of tools we could use to better arm ourselves with. We can escort the lady back to safety, turn in this scum to the local constable" he said as he nodded towards the unconscious man.
"It would seem we all have a shared hatred for those who are driving this, or a motive to end this...and them, but it would be folly to go rushing in emotionally."
He glanced out towards where Baradim had headed. "Haven't we already paid the price, in blood, to learn that lesson?" he asked solemnly.
As the healing energy washed over him, he nodded his thanks. "Much obliged ma'am. My name is Alec, a local hunter in these parts." He sheathed his sword and offered his empty hand to Callix.
The spark of mutual understanding seemed to light between Letitia and the Ulfen, and then Alec spoke. She lets out an exasperated gasp. "I can make the healing potions, alchemist's fire, and cold iron blanch! Here! Now!"
She waves her hand around. "And the whole lodge hasn't been searched yet! There may be the gear you're talking about! This is a hunting lodge, is it not?"
She stomps off to Rokhar's room and starts going through the scrolls and parchment. It's about time we identified that stuff. I think Rohkar also had a few scrolls on his person as well?
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Baradim's angry steps would stop only for a moment to receive the blessing upon himself, his eyes closing as the fatigue in his limbs seemed to finally give and the ache from his wounds eased.
"She was brave, she was fierce. She did not bicker about such small and wasteful things like heritage, place of birth, whether one was a witch or not. She knew the important things! How to live, how to be merciful, how to be respectful to all! Something all of you could learn!" The shaman's anger seemed to almost boil over again now before he took a breath. The scars upon his body made him appear so old now, so tired, in the faint light that was there. He left them to their arguments before descending back down the stairway to drag Greadra's body into one of the less bloodied rooms.
She was could, so terribly cold. Her eyes were closed though, a peaceful look upon her. "Maybe she saw the spirits before she left. I only hope they were here to come and take her." Reaching into his pouch, he would pull out some dry earth and begin to sprinkle it across her form. Slowly but surely from downstairs, a mournful song began to play out. The guttural sounds that left his throat were powerful yet forlorn, sad yet hopeful. His strong hands banged on a shield in rhythm as he sung of her accomplishments, the trials and tribulations she had faced, the darkness she fought against. Only after a time did his song weaken, his words faltering, before the soft sounds of crying filled that empty room.
Callix takes Alec's hand firmly, "I am Callix Ingritdottir, warpriest of the Drunken God, and daughter of a Blackraven. I'm a lot of things, but never 'Ma'am'."
Callix watches Letitia storm off, and chuckles, strangely pleased by the slight - slight - easing of tension between them, then says to Alec, "To be honest, I was rather hoping to find a healing wand. Based on the condition the group was in, and still are after all my spells, I'm thinking we could use the help. But, to be fair, the witch is right -- we should figure out what's here that we can use before we make a decision about what to do next... though, that does bring us back to the issues of the prisoner and the Lady."
Samuel stayed calm as the argument explodes on. He observes the exchange of words, not finding the time to make up his own ideas.
When the old loyal half-orc opens up his feelings and disappointment, the respectful silence as he walks out gives the Taldan his opportunity to speak up "We are under a very pressing situation, but let's try to keep calm so we take proper decisions"
Turning towards Letitia "Letitia, we are not as used to snow as you are. This trip has been tougher than we expected, look, even the stout Baradim is freezing. From your days at town you sure have understood we here in Taldan are used only to hot summers and dry winters. This is tougher for us than it is for you. The little coats and tools we could find in the lodge for winter are probably gone with the Sentinels"
He then points to the fallen Rohkar "We cannot leave them in our back, someone have to take them to judgement, he and the other two" then he points to Lady Argentea "She is bold to suggest staying in the lodge. But if the sentinels were not able to defend it we cannot think she will survive here. If she attempts to walk back alone to Heldren, we know what is going to happen. The forest is full of terrible beasts we barely survived..."
"We need Callix hands now more than ever. Her healing abilities are required if we want to fight the fey, but she has an oath to protect the Lady and cannot let her stay behind alone, unguarded, unsafe" the man looks for the Ulfen's eyes for support on his words.
"And finally but most important..." Samuel's expression becomes dull "...if you are right about the monstrosities you evoke, and I trust you, I have seen enough to trust you... heading towards the center of the forest is just going to get us killed. The worst that can happen is Irrisen getting over us and no one else in Heldren or Taldor knowing a word of it."
"It is paramount we make sure Heldren receives our report, so them and Taldor can prepare for what is happening. We can think we are superheroes and just jump into the danger, but if you are right and there is the whole Irisen behind this menace, how a bunch of lowborn and outcasts will safe Taldor? And once we die..." Samuel remembers the fallen companion "...and once we die... no one would know what happened here"
"We must come back to Heldren. If we rush now we will most probably perish and everything will be lost regardless..." the Sentinel looks straight at Letitia's eyes but there is some softness and tenderness on the look I understand your suffering "...or is it what you plan Letitia? For us to rush in and die leaving everyone unaware?"
Samuel nods in understanding "Good" turning to the Ulfen woman then "Callix, would you register the lodge with me while Baradim and Alec prepare a tomb for Greadra?"
The Taldan attempts to find traces of the vanished Sentinels and gather tools for securing the lodge for the night, and for the trip into the snow.
Afterwards he looks to prepare beds for the stay and explains where the kitchen is so the group can have a good and warm supper.
The Sentinel will also place the prisoners into a closed place under supervision. Rohkar, with his hands tied and locked in the upper chamber where the atomie was found. The other two bandits, locked in the basement. As for the atomie himself, he will keep him locked in its jail, and close to him where he can make sure what Vrixx is doing.
|GM My Red Sun|
The group settles hings down for the evening.
in searching the lodge, Samuel finds very little trace of the Sentinels. whatever they owned is gone now, either being used byt he bandits or taken to sell somewhere. the fight that killed them does not appear to have happened here.
in the search, Samuel does find a good amount of supplies:
three scrolls of lesser animate dead (2 HD)
2 doses of greenblood oil
3 oils of magic weapon
10 flasks of alchemist’s fire
25 pp, 150 gp, 180
sp, and a blue quartz “ice diamond” from Irrisen worth 100 gp
Are there any other preparations people want to make before sleeping for the night? assume at this point that there is plenty of time to get everything done, and then everyone rests for the night. describe in your next posts what you do in the morning, and once people head out of the lodge heading either towards Heldren or towards the portal I will update again
Callix suggests, "We'd best set a watch, in case there are any stragglers who return... and figuring out a way to get the Atomie to tell us what it knows."
There were also scrolls in Rohkar's room and one that was on him. Are those the three scrolls of animate dead or are those others we found elsewhere in the lodge?
Letitia sighs. "The fae won't talk; not to any of you. It's bound by Winter Law, and therefore will die before it willingly shares its information." Then she grows a devious smile. "Yet, it's already let slip a few details that we didn't know before. He claims to be part of an advance force ahead of the armies; that means that the armies are not here yet. He told me Nazhena rules the Pale Tower. He also said he was not aware of any advance spies that she sent."
I'll be memorizing read magic in the morning. So I'll identify them all once I have the spell ready.
Letitia tucks the three scrolls of animate dead into her cloak. She supposed the others would be squeamish about animating the bandits' corpses into mindless minions despite the practicality of having such fodder.
For the rest of the day, Samuel works in repairing his battered musket back into a masterwork "These freezing climate has totally spoiled my musket. I wonder if I can gather enough materials to fix it"
The Sentinel will ask for the first watch, and block all the lodge entrances but the main one. The Taldan remains most of the time in the top floor, surveying from there safety of the house, but he moves around regularly.
For the next day, when asked, he will answer "We should move to Heldren as I stated before"
While Samuel is tinkering on his weapon, Letitia pulls her small cauldron from her pack and begins going through the process of brewing potions.
"I suppose no one would approve of using these scrolls to our benefit? The spells on these pieces of parchment can make these dead bandits serve Taldor and repay their debt. We've already killed them; it's not like they're going to feel any more pain if we put them between us and danger."
GM, since these three scrolls are worth 150 gp apiece, and no one except for me is likely to be okay with using them for their stated purpose or even really selling them for someone else to use, would you be okay with me using them as a component in making potions?
In the morning
Letitia still looks deeply upset that everyone is going back to Heldren. "Yes, you've made your wishes abundantly clear. The additional fire weapons that we located have not changed your mind, I take it?"
Callix shrugs, "I suspect it's easier to declare that one is willing to die for its ideals than actually follow through with it. Plus, really, I can't justify leaving it behind to starve to death. But if it's as bound to law as you say, maybe we can make it a deal for its freedom... or maybe we keep talking to it until it lets something else slip..."
She takes a deep breath, then admits, "I just don't understand why they'd come here -- there's a dozen lands between Taldor and Irrisen -- and that worries me..." ...as does the one reason I can think of for them being here....
She catches herself in thought and offers, " I heard the names 'Teb Krothen' and 'Izoze' while I was supposed to be unconscious, but didn't get enough context to know anything other than they sounded important... and might be the start of answers... "
"Can you control them? I...I don't know much about such things. I won't let them hurt innocents, but I won't shed a tear if they help us stop the fey. I'm not sure having them around the necromancer is a good idea, and it'll probably cause problems at Heldren, but I can see their value. I don't see them as any more dangerous or evil than animals." Alec shrugged.
He looked to Samuel. "Wake me for the second watch."
Alec was mostly quiet as he helped Baradim tend to Greadra. He wasn't accustomed to whatever rights or beliefs the two shared, so he simply observed. As he helped, he did take stock of her gear. She had no need of it now, and if she carried something that they could use, it was best put to use.
"I don't like it. But if they will be of use, just do it after we come back from Heldren, I don't think it is a good idea to wander around at town with the undead" Samuel expresses his concern.
Assuming his watch goes well, the man wakes up Alec when the moon reaches its zenith "It's your turn bro. Do you trust in the witch? I have suspicion on what is she trying to do with that undead army of hers. I hope it does not turn against us. Still she seems to know more than us about this Irrisen and what the fey is doing, we have to follow her if we want to save Taldor. But I will not head into the woods without making sure Heldren knows about what has happened and the Lady is safe"
After breakfast, Samuel gathers all the items useful for the trip. The Sentinel renders a silent homage at Geadra's improvised tomb before the group moves on.
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Letitia shakes her head when Callix attributes mortal concerns to the winter fey. "No, you don't understand. They are bound by Winter Law. They can no more break their oaths than you or I could... well, swap heads. So, no. It's not a matter of torture or bargaining. Trickery, well, that's something else.
When the Ulfen wonders aloud why this place was chosen, Letitia looks extremely troubled. [b]"I do not know either. Something about that town seems to draw those touched by Winter. How else can you explain why there so many visitors and residents who have ties to Irrisen?"
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Honestly surprised the hunter was actually entertaining the idea of her creating a few zombies to use as fodder for upcoming battles, she smiles at Alec's question. "Indeed! That's part of the spell. It wouldn't make much sense to create a zombie that is wild and uncontrolled. I can order them to perform menial tasks and fight for us."
Callix frowns, "I'm not an expert on fey, I'd always thought they were flighty and inconsistent... which could explain why someone would use that kind of magic to bind it. So it's like some sort of geas, then?" She shakes her head as she considers that, then shrugs, "I would guess we could try to figure out the limits of that, then, and work on the edges... but, to be honest, I'm thinking trickery and making him slip up and give us information is probably easier and less frustrating." Wow, for the first time in a while, I wish Nolus was here. He was cruel, selfish and horrible, but he could talk circles around almost anyone."
She shakes her head at that thought, Of course, I'd probably have to beat him again, and while that might be a little satisfying, I don't think it would help with the Atomie... or with moving on. Instead, she turns to the second problem, thinking on the witches' words, before asking simply, "Are there more than the two of us? I mean, if it's just we two, it doesn't quite strain the limits of coincidence, especially since I was born in Taldor and have never set foot in or seen Irrisen." She quickly holds up a hand to forestall comments, "I'm not saying you're wrong -- given how small a town Heldren is, I agree it wouldn't take much to suggest something else is at work here....." She pauses for a moment, unsure if she should say more, then closes her eyes, takes a breath and blurts, "To be honest, my first thought was that the curse my mother fled had found her, " she stops then, the expression on her face clearly showing her conflict, then adds, "it would almost be a relief to learn it was something about the town... except that something that can call evil across hundreds of miles is what we followers of the Drunken Hero call 'bad'."
She then adds almost apologetically, "Again, not an expert on magic, but I do know something about undead -- and they are worse than animals. Yes, they can be controlled, but the stuff that animates them is negative energy -- the very stuff of unlife. The act of making them and channeling that energy leaves a stain on a person's soul. So, that's another thing the Drunken God and his followers lump into the 'bad' category. Don't get me wrong, I'm no paladin to say never do anything bad or Abadar or Torag won't love you anymore, especially when the situation is dire... but I'm not a fan of this idea, especially in these circumstances."
"Something like that," Letitia responds when Callix asks if Winter Law is like a geas. "Great-grandmother created the Law when she founded Irrisen and gave over a portion if the lands to the fey that fought in her armies. It's how the Jadwiga deal with them. The fey cannot break the Law. The Jadwiga can choose to, but we never do, lest the Riders come and demand an accounting." She shudders at the thought.
Callix's question about there being more than two touched by Winter in the town receives a quiet nod. She actively avoids looking in Samuel's direction. "When even a simple farmer knows about the White Witches, there is something about this town. My own flight from my homeland took me over seas and hundreds of miles of roads, but it stalled here. I ran out of money here. There was a job I could do, and even when I was ready to keep moving, I found myself delayed." She shrugs her shoulders. "Since I can't talk you lot into pushing against the gate now, I think I'll study the statue of the Lady in the town square. It occurs to me I've never really got a good look at it."
The conversation about undead seems to unnerve Samuel, but he just keeps moving through the snow, trying to find the way back for the group, without intervening in the conversation of both women.
Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
In one hand, he holds the jail of the atomie, in the other, he keeps ready his musket. Every now and then, he pushes Rohkar whom he tied arms with rope "No tricks! Keep moving"
The Sentinel keeps an eye at Baradim who was freezing "Are you feeling better today Baradim?" the half-orc had gone quite since Greadra's death.
|GM My Red Sun|
1d100 ⇒ 32
The party makes their way back towards the village, tired and bloodied, but still moving forward. Lady Argantea has not yet seen the full extent of the storm coming over the region and remarks many times on the sheer amount of snow, likely more than she has ever seen in her lifetime.
No new threats come at the party during the trek back to town, though you do spot some tracks unlike anything you've seen before. they look almost humanoid, but large and with claws on the ends.
The tracks belong to a Yeti
Arriving in town, you see that not much has changed int he couple of days you have been gone. the town is chilly, but not overrun with snow, and people are going about their normal business. if you hadn't just been in multiple fights for your life, you wouldn't realize the danger the town is in with monsters on the doorstep.
What do you do now?
|GM My Red Sun|
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Sorry guys, I just realized that when i listed stuff on Rohkar's person I forgot to mention he also was wearing a magical cloak. I deleted the name of the item, and then forgot to write back in "magical cloak". I'm sure you would have taken it from him at some point
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Letitia casts detect magic and tries to identify the powers of the enchanted cloak.
Also, I think there were some scrolls still to be identified?
Before everyone reaches the village, Letitia removes her ice-blue cloak and stuffs it back into her bag. Her demeanor also shifts, her shoulders hunch and she withdraws into herself. She listens intently but surreptitiously to everyone's conversations, and is ready to flee in a moment's notice. It's evident that now that they're all in the relative safety of Heldren, she fears the group will change their minds about her value.
One scroll and two oils Letitia (see the loot sheet). You can try again every new day.
Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Samuel discovers the tracks but he does not have the time to properly analyze what it might be, focused on the expedition to reach Heldren in the middle of the snow.
Once back, the Taldan does not allow himself to relax and enjoy the false safety of the town. Samuel quickly moves to Ionnia Teppen’s House and requests an urgent audience, dismissing with a stern look at all the curious and superstitious folks that sure crowd around the tired and ragged expedition.
Once Ionnia appears the Taldan delivers the group's report, looking at others to reinforce and complete his information "We found and saved Lady Argentea. She is still upset for her kidnapping but she will otherwise recover. Only one member of her group survived the bandits attacks, her name is Callix" he turns to the Ulfen woman and points her to Ionnia "We confirmed the bandits were associated with a necromancer, who resulted to be their leader. He and his men killed or dispersed all the High Sentinels. We defeated his men and captured him, Rohkar" the Sentinel pushes the bound man trying to make him fall knelt in front of the woman "There is though more to this story that we initially thought. The woods are taken by all sorts of winter fey and beasts who seem to be the source of this abnormal Summer Snow. Rohkar is just a piece on this puzzle, a minion of the fey. We took him for a proper trial, because he accepted to give us all the information he has, and he has to answer to many crimes in front of justice. According to what we know it might be Irrisen itself is attempting to conquer Taldor and these fey are just the scouts."
"Despite the woods are more dangerous than ever, specially now we do not have the High Sentinels, it seems the only way to discover more and possibly save the region is to find the headquarters of the fey well into the heart of the Woods" Samuel delivers the Atomie, placing its jail over the table "I can only speak for me, but I know others will follow in the same direction. I am to travel into the heart of the Woods and dig into the real cause of all this problem. We just came back to Heldren to warn you. Taldor needs to prepare to fight if we fail in our dire mission" Samuel looks then at Letitia, he has a stern look, but he says nothing about the witch's nature, or the doubts that had been cast around her during the trip instead he pads her shoulder "We all need some respite and resupply, but we will depart back into the Woods as soon as possible"
|GM My Red Sun|
The cloak is called the Cloak of The Yeti
This heavy cloak is crafted from shaggy white yeti fur. When the cloak’s hood is pulled up over the wearer’s head, it takes on a semblance of its arctic namesake’s fearsome visage. Northern warriors value its ability to ward against the chill of winter, as well as the protection it provides in combat.
The cloak of the yeti provides a constant endure elements effect in cold weather (it has no effect in hot weather). In battle, the cloak wraps around the wearer, granting a +1 natural armor bonus. In addition, with the hood drawn over the wearer’s head, the cloak grants a +2 competence bonus on Intimidate skill checks.
Ionnia is overjoyed at seeing the group arrive back in town with Lady Argantea. "Thank the gods you were able to find her out in the wilds! I had very little hope that she would still be alive, but I am very happy to be proven wrong this time!
She listens to Samuel's report, and her smile fades quickly, replaced by a look of worry.
"It is much worse than we thought then. not just a cold summer, but a potential military attack from the other side of the continent! From anyone else I would be tempted to dismiss stories of a winter invasion and evil fey as products of a wild imagination, but coming from one of the High Sentinels I am inclined to believe you at your word."
She shakes her head
"We are not equipped to deal with this here. we are not on any border and do not have much of a militia. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your companions, Sentinel. In any other situation they would be the ones i would turn to now. it seems that weight must fall on your shoulders now, and perhaps will be shared by your companions.
I will send the few trained militia men with Lady Argantea back to the capitol. she can bring warning and send military help to us. but i fear they may arrive too late if a invasion is already in the works.
Please do what you can to disrupt this scouting party. perhaps you can cause them enough trouble that they will delay to prepare more, time that could allow us to receive more troops. or even better, if you can find and close off the magic that is bringing this false winter. perhaps it is tied to a magic user that can be killed, or an item that can be broken."
At some point along the journey back to Heldren, Letitia passes the magical cloak to Baradim. "The magics of this cloak will serve you well. Not only will it protect you from the cold of winter, it will also protect you in battle. It will also make you appear more fierce, should you choose."
See the spoiler tag above. It's a pretty nice item that I think needs to go to you so you're protected from the cold.
When she gets a moment at the town square, she takes a good look at the statue of the Lady, curious if it shows any link to Irrisen.
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
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As Letitia passed the cloak to Baradim, Alec looked to the lady. Knowing her tattered clothing would not protect her against the elements, he used the same trick he used on Baradim to protect her from the cold.
Survival: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
With the loss of Greadra and its effect on Baradim, Alec took point on the walk back to Heldren. It was slow going, partly because of the snow, but for Alec it was more do to the extra equipment he now carried. With everything they had found, he was loaded down like a pack mule. He didn't mind, he was used to it.
Once they arrived in town, he gathered with the others. "I know most of the vendors in town. They're used to me selling wares and supplies. Shouldn't take but a few hours, depending on how much they haggle" he said with a grin.
"Letitia, you might as well take some time to make whatever you can. I think we're going to need all the help we can get." He looked to the Lady Argentea and bowed.
As Samuel made his report to Ionnia, Alec was quiet and listened. The man certainly knew what he was doing. Alec wondered just how long he had been a soldier. It seemed to come naturally from Samuel. In the end, he placed his own hand on Samuel's shoulder. "I am with you. It would not do my father proud to abandon his home, my home, to whatever is coming."
Samuel nods to Ionnia "We will try to disrupt them as much as we can. At the least we should be able to gain some time"
The High Sentinel is comforted when he feels Alec's hand in his shoulder "Thanks Alec" his friend had always been somber after the lose of his father, but this seemed to give him at least some purpose.
"There is more though Ioanna. We lost Greadra in our sudden clash with the bandits" the Taldan gives a long pause "She fought bravely and probably saved our life on doing so... But after that, Baradim has been dull and he has already advanced he will not join us in a second expedition."
"We will need reinforcements. If you can make a call for any local or foreign adventurer that wants to join us, that might make a great difference on the success of this new and deeper expedition to the woods. We are short in muscle"
Back in town, Callix quickly heads to the Inn to check on Maral. "Now that your wagon wheel is fixed, you should get out of here. Now. I'm thinking that Lady Argantea will be heading out of the wilds, and I'd feel a lot better to know that you've hitched your wagon to that train." She looks around, then drops her voice, "There's some very dangerous things going on around here, connected to the snows... and the north."
She pauses, takes a pull from her tankard before speaking the decision aloud, almost afraid to give it voice and make it real, but puts the tankard down and says, gently, "..and I'm going to be joining with the group that's going to fight them." Which means that my Destiny has found me, and that mother was right.... The Drunken Hero's probably laughing about this... probably over a drink with Torag....
She takes another pull from the mug, shaking the thoughts away, then chuckles, "That means I can't be protecting your leathery carcass on the return trip... all the more reason for you to go with the Lady."
At the mention of Greadra's name, Alec's head hung down. His jaw clenched and his teeth ground together. Anger welled inside him. He swallowed it down but it burned in his stomach, like bile rising up in the throat. His fists clenched shut until he could feel his arms quaking. Suddenly his hands flashed open. His eyes followed an instant later. Sweat beaded on his brow and only the occasional spoken word was caught by his ears.
"Strength? What am I, just a pretty face?" he asked as he tried to feign a half-hearted smile.
A young girl follows them for a fair amount of time, observing from a distance. her skin pale and hair white, eyes a dull cloudy violet, a scimitar at her side, she smells of blood but bares no visible injuries. She has a dark purple hood drawn over her head, appearing to be maybe around 15 or 16, she wears a mix of leathers, furs and chainmail, all in dark purples and browns.
She walks over speaking to the group with a distant tone, lacking little if any emotion at all, Yes the snow is...i know the snows well if you have need of a guide and sword arm. She is quiet for a moment, contemplating deeply, Ashling...My name. I am a Mercenary and mage to some degree. She pulls her hood down, shaking her hair out, little bits of snow fall onto the floor
Still interested in the statue in the middle of town, DM
Upon hearing that Baradim would not be going back north, Letitia withdraws the cloak brusquely. If he doesn't wish to go to the cold, then he'll not be needing this. Perhaps someone else will be in need of it.
She goes back to Madame Willowbark's shop and spends some time making potions.
|GM My Red Sun|
in the tavern:
"Very well Callix," The dwarf responded. "You have to do what you feel is right. it was a good run we had, but I've always known that a follower of the Drunken God would be moving on to the next adventure before long. Wouldn't have expected it to happen in a little backwater like this though! Ha! you take care of yourself, and be sure to save some stories for me when we cross paths again..."
To Samuel, Ionna says:
"I will put out a call, but I am afraid there isn't likely to be much of a response. As I said, we don't have many soldiers in this town, and visitors have been rare lately with the weird weather.
I am truly sorry to hear of Greadra's fate. She seemed like a good person, and I am sorry that our town's trouble shave led to death of one who stood up to help us. Her name will be remembered here"
Alec is greeted warmly by the various shopkeepers, who are all more than happy to help get him outfitted and make trades with him. they all want to hear the news, knowing that he was part of the group that ventured out into the winter pocket.
Feel free to update the loot sheet with sales of goods and any new stuff you're buying. I'm going to leave that tracking to you guys.
Letitia spends some time looking at the statue of a lady in the center of town. She knows enough of the local folklore in her short visit to know that people don't agree on who the lady was. Some say it was the founder of the village, though the name has been lost to time. Some say it is a Lady of the Fey, a patron of sorts from the Summer Court. Some say the statue was already here when the town was built around it. even without knowing who it is or when it was built, people in town show a certain reverence towards the statue, almost as if she was a goddess keeping watch over them.
Letitia is not able to identify the face, but the features of the sculpture do have the sharp, defined features of the Jadwigga. without color, it is hard to know for certain, but the family resemblance is definitely there.
Callix smiles, relief clear on her face at the dwarf's understanding tone, raising and finishing the tankard in a single pull as she stands. "I mean it, join the Lady's wagon train. From what I've seen, raiders are the least of the dangers out there." ..and I don't want to have to worry about you... or feel guilty...
She leaves the tavern, looking for her new companions, then chuckling to herself as she reaches the square, ..the witch, of course... She takes a breath, stepping forward, "So, were you right? It's that a statue of a witch? Makes me wonder if Mother picked exactly the wrong nation to flee to, or if she was guided by someone..., " her voice trails off as she refuses to give voice to the larger question about her own destiny
She shakes her head for a moment, "We shoild see if the gear you recovered from the raiders would buy us a healing wand.. can't help but think we're going to need all the help we can get it were hitting the gate."
Letitia looks over her shoulder at Callix after she came up to to her and asked about the statue. She regards the tall Ulfen before waving her hand towards the face. "It's old, has been here since perhaps the town's founding or even before, and no one knows who or what she was. There's enough of a family resemblance that she *could* be a Jadwiga, though it is only speculation."
She glances around to make sure no one else is within earshot. Lowering her voice, she says, "And if I were to speculate, I would say that there is a connection between this town and Irrisen. I don't know how, or why, but the implication is clear: This place was long ago chosen by Winter, and it is now come to claim it."