Vretiel giggles, visibly pleased with Iskra's flattering words: "Oh, you almost leave me without words. My couture pales in comparison with your loveliness, my dear. Your plan sounds marvellous: the most precious little dove showing her teeth. But I would be worried about you entering alone there, in plain sight…what if we all entered together and I provided some subterfuge? Before we enter I prepare a little cantrip for communication, we enter together, I spin some mist and you fly away. A whisper from you and we will be gallantly by your side! After that, the pesky thing will hopefully be begging for water and we can extract more information from it. What do you think?".
Translation: message cantrip (duration of 30 minutes, range of 130ft) before we enter, enter, obscuring mists (concealment, 3 minutes, AoE 20ft). Iskra goes out and does her thing, but can also whisper anything and we will hear it clearly (help, come, etc) or retreat into the mists. Once we roughly know where the zebub is, I can cast glitterdust which will remove its invisibility for 3 rounds.
He smiles at Calli: "But of course, dear. It was requested of me, and thus I must comply. And you two", he says pointing at Kale and Calli, "have made me very curious about this wizard mysteriously dying due to kobolds"
Iskra smiles at Calli as well; while not as effusive as Vretiel, perhaps, hers is just as a sincere expression of warmth.
"Yes, of course. A zebub at large in Belhaim is an unconscionable danger. I'll do everything in my power to help you eradicate it - and think we should still equip ourselves with firebombs and silver, just as yo planned."
That said, she arches a brow as Vretiel compliments her shamelessly. "You, good sir, are trouble. I think we're going to get along quite famously." Her eyes twinkle for a moment, and then her expression sobers. "And I like your plan, insofar as we can hope to control the location of a confrontation with an invisible, teleporting enemy. Still. What do the rest of you think?"
"To be fair Hunclay was studying all types of outsiders. He just seemed to have a... Zebub you said? In the circle at the time. I kept his book on outsiders but it seemed that he didn't get to question the demon he summoned." She told the two with a shrug. "And I would so like to point out, a tower fell upon him... because of the kobolds."
"Now, we need to get silver weapons and those fire bomb things. Would you all be ready to go once we gather these things or do we need to wait for a day?" Kale asked their new found mages respectfully.
Alex was impressed by the rapid response and planning of the two mages before him. Since his holy magic could only get them so far alone, he was most pleased by their timing, and especially by their willingness to help. Though there was a level of subconscious friction about being around Vretiel, something about him that Alex could not put his finger on, such concerns could be easily pushed aside for the sake of working together and defeating the troubles that awaited them in Hunclay's manor. "Now are all mages this quick on their feet, or is it just you two?" he said with a smirk just after Iskra asked about the plan, but he didn't pause long as he continued, dropping the smirk to match the more serious focus. "these two are going to make this venture interesting to say the least." "The plan does sound most effective under the assumption that the zebub would be engaged rather quickly; but with the zebub either hiding or gone, assuming its expecting our return, the hunt for him first will be tedious at best."
Alex then turned his attention to Kale as she mentioned weaponry in preparation for the venture. Her words brought to mind that he should check to see if any silver arrows could be found since making his bow good aligned could only last for so long. "Hopefully we can find enough for the group, but with this, the sooner the better."
"Fightin' up close an' personal is more my thang but mebbe Ah could get some silver bolts fer mah crossbow," Calli adds when the talk once more turns to silver and silvered weapons. "An' yeah, some of them kobolds dropped a tower on poor ol' Hunclay," she sighs. "Not all of 'em were in on it though; we went in there and managed to straighten 'em out a bit...put a new leader in charge of the ones left, in exchange for her helpin' us out while we were in their maze a' tunnels."
"Do you have Hunclay's book on hand? I wouldn't mind perusing his records so as to get a sense of what exactly he was up to. Vretiel? I'm sure you'd also like to take a look?"
As everybody begins to speak of moving out, Iskra rises lithely to her feet. "I haven't even unpacked, so in a manner of speaking I'm prepared to go at once. Still, a little preparation would be of benefit. Silver, flame bombs, as it were."
Alex makes his observation, and Iskra nods her head, "Exactly. You have the right of it. We're going to have to go in hoping for ideal circumstances, but alas, I fear we're more likely to be ambushed by the zebub while engaged with another threat. It will most likely observe us from the safety of its invisibility until it thinks the situation most advantageous to itself."
Finally, when Calli clarifies Kale's comment on Hunclay's demise, both of Iskra's eyebrows rise in surprise. "A tower fell on the man? Well, that explains that then. I'm glad to hear you've already set the kobold situation to rights." She looks over to Bassy with a wry smile. "Belhaim has apparently become much more exciting since I left."
"Uh...did we bring th' book out with us? Ah can't really remember," Call asks sheepishly, looking to Kale, Haruf, and Alex for answers. "We might not have; since we're s'posed ta' be cleanin' the place out for Hunclay's kin we ain't s'posed ta' take anythin' that ain't ours," she explains. "But iffin' we didn't it'll be in the manor where we found it."
"I am as ready as a butterfly out of its cocoon. Though I suppose I could get a bit of silver myself." He continues, in reply to Alex: "To stay alive in the court one does need to think fast and gossip even faster, dearest new friend."
"About the book, it's a shame you don't have it with you right now, but once we're done with the little pest Iskra and I can enjoy some light reading, perhaps with some rich tea biscuits." The elf puts down his empty tea cup and motions to Bassy: "Darling, I believe we shall have to move on soon. My heart is aflutter with the thought of seeing you again very soon. Thank you so much for this little reception, it warms this elf's heart."
He gets up, petting Anastasia whist waiting for the others to finish the farewells.
"I like the sound of meeting tomorrow morning at the inn," says Iskra. "It would be wise to do a final review of our approach over breakfast before heading into the manor. And why not do it over freshly baked rolls and coffee?"
That said, she looks to Bassy. "And that gives us the rest of the day for me to tell you of my adventures at the Academy. And for you to do a little baking." She smiles in a teasing manner, but there is clearly warmth in her eyes as she considers her old mentor. "I truly am glad to be home."
"Most welcome. Most welcome indeed. And for you, dear. I will need some assistance. My eyes and knees aren't what they were."
1d100 ⇒ 17
After breakfast, the party pays Tymek's a visit. He only has a bundle of silver arrows (50) in stock and a couple of masterwork silver daggers. He still has those mithral daggers the party brought in a few weeks ago too for sale.
Upon entering Xemne's Tonics, the party is bathed in psychedelic lighting originating from slowly turning stained glass sunroof. Inbetween puffs of his enlongated pipe, the patchworked clothed Xemne has more than enough alchemist fires for the party's needs. He doesn't carry any weaponry, but has been working on some weapon blanches that may suit their needs. He's been making some more of the silver ones with the talk of werewolves in the area.
Iskra peruses the goods for anything of interest, and ends up dropping 40 gold - leaving her pouch almost empty - on two Alchemist Fire's. That done, she thanks the others and retires to Bassy's house where she spends a couple of hours preparing a Scroll of Burning Hands, which she ties off with a crimson ribbon and places amongst her other belongings.
Vretiel tags along, with a glint in his eyes, full of expectations of what exquisite objects he may find. The glint quickly fades aways when realises that, since his patron withdrew monetary support money has been somewhat of a nuisance. "Oh, such nicely crafted daggers…but I'm afraid I already have one just like it back in Oppara"
At the alchemist's he follows Iskra's lead and gets a couple of alchemical fire containers. "Burning things can always be useful, that's what my parents used to say. Before they died in a fire, anyhow" he says, giggling at his own dark joke.
He tags along with the rest of the group and stays at the inn, either pretending to be unaware of being a nuisance or really simply not caring about such a minor detail.
I'll probably won't be attacking things directly anyhow and instead plan to just hex the hell out of everything that moves, if you're alright with that.
After the time spent providing the proper blessings and processes to erastil, Alex joined the group and found luck on his side as the silver arrows were a perfect addition for not only the rumors of werewolves, but also to deal with the demons. all that was missing was to find an efficient quiver with either 20 cold iron or adamantine arrows to complete the set. though he doubted he would be that lucky, or rich enough for one just yet. afterwards, he made sure to use the rest of the time before the journey begane to ready his aim and his mind for the skirmish ahead
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Hearing everyone plan for battling the devil, Haruf tries to think of a good idea, but his line of thought is always interrupted. Instead, he just keeps quiet to himself eyeing the mages carefully being ready for any sudden movement. As they don't move suddenly, he relaxes.
On the talk of them getting into the manor to look at Hunclay's stuff, he's clearly uncomfortable. He whispers to Kale They'll see Hunclay's stuff, meaning the mention to the Dark Tapestry.
On shopping, he buys the couple Mithral Daggers, hoping they'll work as well as silver on the devil, also liking the fact that they're pretty.
"They already know he was summoning outsiders." The fighter whispered back to her love.
"Did we really get that much for them?" Kale muttered to herself as she heard the price. "I do have some coin love, about 850 gold. But that's about it." She explained.
... Iulia had all of our gold and equipment stuff...
If there is anything else people want to buy, let meknow. I wanted to be sure Haruf was aware how much the daggers were and I believe he's short on cash. :)
I'm going to repeat descriptions of areas for our new folk ;)
1d6 ⇒ 5
The party returns to the entrance of Hunclay's Manor. The resent rains have washed away the charred remains at the front door step. The front door into the Grand Hall remains unlocked and easily opened.
The floor of this well-appointed entry hall is adorned with two expensive Qadiran rugs and decorated with several overstuffed leather sofas. Two dozen paintings with gilded frames hang on the walls, portraits, and landscapes, all of exquisite artistry. To the north sits a large, empty bird cage. Wooden doors open in the east and west walls, and an elaborate spiral staircase of iron both ascends and descends in the southeast corner.
Where would the party like to go? Destinations of note: barred door in the kitchen, summoning room, or continue down the hall past the summoning room.
until you mentioned the bird cage, I had completely forgotten about the bird that is following alex around. any idea if something changed about that bird?
as the group entered the mansion once again, alex readied his bow for any signs of the zebub. "while we did not see what was behind the barred door in the kitchen, the zebub was last sighted down below." he made note of as he gestured towards the path to the summoning room.
When he enters the manor, Vretiel cannot contain his joy: "My, such good taste! Look at these paintings, Anastasia! And these rugs!" he turns to the group his voice suddenly fraught with emotion: "I. Have. Been. Looking. Every. Where. For these! Authentic Ja'hal Al Qadiri tapestries! I do hope they have an auction once we are done with cleaning up this place."
He moves to the empty cage: "Not too sure about this. It clashes with the tapestry. What did your friend keep here? Did it escape? Or perhaps got eaten by the zebub?" Whilst saying that he gestures and says a few arcane words, trying to detect any traces of magic around the entry hall.
Once he's done, he searches his belt pouch for a few components and, with a few more flamboyant gestures, makes them evaporate from his hand. Immediately after he is covered in a sparkly film.
casting detect magic around the room, then mage armour.
The next morning Iskra is dressed in a plain, black woolen robe that's slit down the side for ease of mobility. A white belt cinches it tight over her hips, and a small pack of essentials is slung over one shoulder. Her ebon hair, so dark it's almost bruised to blue, is braided and pinned to the crown of her head, while black calfskin gloves protect her hairs.
She gives everyone a nervous smile, and when the front door is pushed open, follows along, eyes darting from side to side as she takes in their immediate environs.
The intensity of the moment was growing almost overwhelming until Vretiel steps forward, and his words draw a delighted laugh from Iskra that she quickly cuts off with her fingers over her mouth. Still, she continues her search, and perhaps more surreptitiously casts a spell of her own, a variant of Vretiel's that appears to laminate her robes so that they taken on a glassine hue.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Also casting mage armor and detect magic.
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Haruf accepts Kale's offer of money, remembering his buddies and the companionship he used to have. He promises to give it back.
Back in the manor, he keeps a close eye on the newcomers and make sure they don't take what they're not supposed to.
Daggers bought with borrowed money. If noone wants the bird, I want it. I'll keep it fed
well, I had originally thought alex was going to take care of it, I, not alex, just lost track of it in the fighting and the blasted demon. besides, it still had that charm on its leg as a key for arcane locks.
when Vretiel made mention of the now empty cage, it took a small bit of time for things to register with Alex. once it did, however, his face took a pose of surprise and frustration. While he knew one of the birds was back in the town, minus the charm that was originally on its leg, removed and kept with the group just in case there was still a need for it, he wished he would have remembered to remove the other four birds. "There used to be five exotic birds in that cage. one is back in town, but I would assume the worst about the other four with the zebub roaming about."
Iskra glances at her companions. "Shall we proceed directly to the summoning room? It might be best to attack the zebub while we're at our full strength."
"Oh, that is a shame!", Vretiel says with a long face. "Anyhow, I agree with our little dove: better to take care of it sooner rather than later. I assume we're going with the same plan? Enter, spin some fog, Iskra flies away and burns some of those pesky little buggers, and we move in shortly after or when calls for us? I can also try and detect magic…it takes some time, but if the zebub remains hidden it might be an idea."
The elf takes a bit of wire from his pouch, intones a few musical words and then points to each one of his companions, saying their names with a big grin: "Calli, Iskra, Haruf, Kale, Alex." The wire disappears in a puff of smoke that Vretiel blows towards the closest person, which turns out to be Alex.
Just let me know if somebody has the bird, the charm or both. That way you can utilize its magical properties
and I have the opportunity to fry the sucker with a fireball.
The party makes its way down the spiral staircase into the storage cellar. These three interconnected rooms are cluttered with dozens of stacked crates and chests containing only mundane household supplies-nothing of particular value is kept here.
Leaving the storage cellar the party has the option to traveling north or south. They journey north and travel for about 60' then turn west. They travel another 60' and are greeted by an open door. The door leads into the Clockwork Lab. Six stone slabs sit on the floor of this chamber. Heaped upon each are metal tools, gears, springs and other parts for construction of mechanical creations.
While there are no obvious exits, Haruf leads the party through a secret door along the eastern wall. The narrow tunnel circumvents the Lab before continuing to the west. The party turns south after 60'. There is a passage that travels east to a closed door where the summoning room lies behind or may continue on to the south.
the charm is on alex. the bird is back home. owner can be determined later if thats still in debate.
as the group neared the entrance to the summoning room, alex paused a bit as he watched vretiel work his magic, but then added a touch of his own, setting up just in case the fight happened here. "Oh Erastil, protect my friend kale as she fights in front against those who thrive on ."
as he finished his last, a subtle glow of gold wrapped itself around kale, before dissipating, the gold only reappearing if affected by the zebub or his demon minions that he may summon.
Iskra has managed to maintain a stoic expression while exploring the depths of the manor, but it's clear the dark tunnels and imminent confrontation with a demon has her on edge; when they finally reach the door to the summoning room, she takes a deep breath and flashes a smile at the others.
"Well. Here we are. Best of luck, everyone. And - well. I suppose I'll go first?"
That said, she moves to the door, the words for her spells on her lips, and pulls it open so as to go inside.
The door opens to the smell of smoke with a touch of rot.
The room is completely bare except for the conjuration circle of silvery metal inlaid in the stone floor. There is a small pyre made up of burnt table pieces. Nearby is a thin journal with pages torn out in haste.
Littering a corner are the small bodies of four birds. Each one is without a head. On the opposing wall is some kind of uncomprehensible script, the symbols written in blood and anger. There is nothing else in the room.
Kale stepped into the room, a look of anger on her face. "Oh you've got to be kidding me..." She muttered, anger coloring her voice. She slowly moved around the room keeping her eyes and ear open.
"That little bastard ripped everything apart... even the journal..." She sighed as she picked up what was left. "I wonder if it is still around.... or if it met something else in the manor that might have killed it." Kale spoke aloud as she moved through the room.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
"Can either of you find the little thing?" Kale asked as she looked back to Iskra and Vretiel. "Because there is no way we can let that thing out of this manor."
Vretiel turns his head away in disgust, his hand pinching his nose closed: "To think only a short time ago one was dressed in unguents sweeter than a god's intimate parts…"
He first tries his hand at translating the script, but without much hope. Is it any of Celestial, Common, Draconic, Elven, Orc or Sylvan?
A bit reluctant, the elf then removes his hand from his nose and starts making a few signs in front of himself, touching nearby objects and following them with "hmmm" and "mhmm".
Casting detect magic, taking three rounds to determine precise location and etc. If he detects anything on the first round, he'll let the party know immediately.
Iskra enters after the others, and looks around the room with distaste. "Whomever this Hunclay was, I'm rapidly forming a negative impression of him."
She follows Vretiel's example, but discovers just as little. She then turns to Kale. "It's as I feared. The zebub has used its teleportation abilities to its advantage. The odds of our discovering it within the house, much less preventing it from leaving, are very slender. The best we can do is search the house and hope it's remained close by."
She then examines the torn book for something useful, but doesn't hold out much hope for much.
"Shall we proceed to the next rooms?" If the others are in agreement, she'll lead the group back out the hallways toward the first area the group hadn't explore before.
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Appraise: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Haruf agrees with Iskra about searching the house. He keeps a close eye for insects, still distraught with their last encounter.
You say it can teleport anywhere?, he asks wondering. Why is it still in the house? What does it want to find?, he says thinking of the sanctum by the library. If the party is ready, he will not oppose to Iskra leading them to the next unlocked door to the south.
Vretiel shakes his head, agreeing with Iskra "Yes, not much we can do besides searching the manor. But it's always possible the devil just went back to where it came from." He walks around the room, trying to spot any details that he might have missed.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Once satisfied, he grabs the journal, carelessly going through whatever shreds might still be intelligible.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
1d4 ⇒ 1
Pursuing the journal, it contains extensive notes on the appearances and behavior of the outsiders Hunclay has conjured. They run the gamut from devil to demon, azata to archon.
Returning to the intersection, the party travels south for 60' then turns to the east. Traveling east for another 60', the hall turns to the north. After 20' the hall ends at a door.
The unlocked door opens into another hall. The hall travels for 40' before opening into a room with its walls covered in arcane symbols. In the northern chamber, a wooden table sits against the eastern wall, with a few items laid atop it. There is a suit of armor that has the appearance of plate mail but folds up as if it where cloth. Atop of the armor are two blades forming a cross: one a short sword, the other a scimitar. Each blade appears to be formed from one single piece of unearthly metal with electric blue runes etched in the hilt.
A bright light shines forth from an opening in the south wall. The light appears to illuminate an eastern passage but the end is difficult to see.
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Haruf Fort Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
1d4 ⇒ 4
Haruf stares down the over-lit passage but doing so is like looking directly into the sun. The light emanates from only one wall. Haruf's vision is flooded with bright light and he is blinded for nearly half a minute. His vision returns slowly as the rogue shakes the tracers from his sight.
Vretiel agrees: "Yes, there is something rather odd about this, Haruf, I completely agree. Blue runes are so completely out of fashion, no one etches them anymore." The elf rolls his eyes "But, who knows, they might make a comeback next year? Or next century?" he giggles. "Anyhow, let me just take a look and see what type of energy we are talking about here" Vretiel says, repeating more or less the same performance as in the previous room. He dedicates special attention to the swords and suit of armour.
Knowledge(Arcana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15 short sword
Knowledge(Arcana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15 scimitar
Knowledge(Arcana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21 armour
Vretiel is able to determine that both swords are magically enchanted (+1 each). However the armor is not enchanted at all. It is just composed of thin flexible plates (akin to leather armor).
Scanning the light wall however provides a bit of surprise to Vretiel. It emanates a moderate aura from the evocation [light] school.
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
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MY EYES, Haruf screams somewhat dramatically. He, then lets Vretiel assess the room, mumbling something about magic being dangerous. He's interested in the magic weapons, wondering if they could sell it for good coin, suddenly forgetting they're not supposed to take anything from the manor. He nudges Kale hoping she'll understand his thieving intentions.
What do we do to this?, he asks about the overly dangerous magic corridor.
Iskra moves up alongside the others, finger tapping her chin, and then studies the light, being careful to avoid its direct rays after Haruf's rather startling scream.
Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Alex follows closely to the party, watching in silent digest at what the Zebub did to the birds and the summoning room in general. When the next room presented something of a more bizarre scene, Alex walk closer to the table, admiring the unearthly weapons and armor before him but still keeping his eyes around. "A torn book and a summoning room doesn't do it justice considering that before it was torn, some of those pages spoke of something about learning secrets about the dark tapestry. I couldn't make much sense of it."
Watching haruf's expressions when looking over the weapons, Alex leaned over, whispering "You know, this section wouldn't necessarily be considered part of the manor." with a playful grin as he picked up the shortsword, if nothing else than to feel the weight and better admire the color of the metal. "agreed, kale goes first." He said in a more jovial manner in hopes of lessening the tension that the Zebub could be anywhere
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Haruf snuggles Kale when she comes to help him, and then agrees with her going first. He also grins maliciously when Alex talks of the weapons, suddenly liking him a lot more.
Nonetheless, he's a little confused over the armor. Could I wear it and look as if I'm tougher?, he thinks fantasizing a glorious warrior Haruf.
Alex' talk of the Dark Tapestry leaves him worried. He's suspicious the newcomer mages would seek it for nefarious ends, yet he is very curious.
Have you ever heard of such a thing?, he asks them.
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|