Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 9
Iskra was about to enter the room after Haruf, but backs away quickly, dancing aside really as he exits rapidly.
"What is it?" Her voice is nearly breathless with alarm. "A trap? An enemy?"
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
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I think there's a demon under the bed, he whispers terrified before realizing he sounds like a child afraid to sleep in a dark room. His attempt to recompose himself is pathetically comic, trying to look serious and frightening at the same time as trying to hide his face. He proceeds to face the kitchen mumbling something about careful and not wanting to be surprised from behind.
Vretiel rains compliments on Haruf's initiative "Oh, that is such a creative solution to our problem! Very good job, dear."
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Upon entering, the room, he immediately sees the covers moving and takes a step back, outside the room. He yells: "We see you hiding! Get out of the bed and tell us, friend or foe? Follow my order and think very well about your reply, else there are five fearless adventurers and myself here!"
Intimidate: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
"... and myself" =v)
With empty hands first sticking out from under the bed, followed by a ragged looking man crawling from his hiding space.
The man has bright green eyes, tussled brown hair with a matching full face beard. He is visible shakened by the the group's entrance and demands.
"My-my-my name is Mathezic. Ta-ta-take what you want, I wo-wo-won't stop you. But my-my-my master is a great and powerful wiz-wizard. It would be dangerous to cross he-he-him."
Mathezic keeps his eyes to the ground as he stays kneeling with hands up in a defensive manner.
"So you're the one who worked for Hunclay. We're not here to steal anything. Most of us here are or where, friends of Hunclay. He's passed... We came to log everything and ensure the manor was clear of danger so that his next of kin could sell everything off." Kale explained as she moved foreword. "We're not going to hurt you. We can get you out of here safely even."
"Well, one of them. The other two, Linus and Saba, I think are gone. They banged on the door after the Witch Tower fell but I haven't heard from them since.
"So Master Hunclay is dead? I knew working with those kobolds would lead to no good."
Mathezic head hangs even lower upon hearing of Hunclay's passing. He lowers his arms and begins to cry.
"Master Hunclay hasn't been right for the last few month, maybe a year. He has been dealing with many unsavory parties for his research. He kept going on about something with the stars and how the Witch Tower must fall."
Mathezic raises his head to dry his tears. After a few sniffles, he cocks his head.
"You. You are the ones in the painting in Master's office. I wasn't allowed in there much, but I think that painting put his mind at ease no matter what was happening.
"He told me one time, should you all arrive but he cannot be found, 'there is a secret page for the mage by my bed.'"
Mathezic stands up and starts pull out articles of clothing from the busted armoire.
Sense motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Vretiel tilts his head and clasps his hands together, firmly touching Mathezic's shoulder in attempt of calming the servant: "There, there, darling, take it all out…we have all the time in the world…you are safe now." After giving the man a moment to compose himself, the elf continues, now walking around the tiny room, always lovingly staring at Mathezic's eyes: "But are you sure you have told us everything? I'm sure you would never keep information from us, but perhaps there's something you forgot, that slipped your mind? As poor, poor Hunclay's example shows us, hidden knowledge can be such a dangerous thing."
using charm hex (will save, DC 15)
It's a lot to absorb. A lot is revealed in very short order, and Iskra fights to keep her features schooled, to not widen her eyes or otherwise alarm Mathezic.
When he reveals the cave's location to the north, however, she can't quite hold herself back.
"Looting? That's awful. Are they - well - skilled at that kind of activity? Or are they regular folk who are unwittingly risking their lives?"
That said, she takes a step closer. "And, ah - working with the kobolds? Do you know to what end? And why the Witch Tower had to fall? What was Hunclay driving at, Mathezic? Do you know?"
Does north coincide with the direction of the caves Iskra mentioned earlier?
"I think they may have nipped some brandy every once in awhile.
"As for the kobolds, I believe he hired them to undermine the foundations of the Witch Tower after being unable to remove it by legal means. Master Hunclay always found the Tower in his way during his nightly observations into the stars."
Iskra, yes it does.
finding himself slower at questioning than the others, he watched the event with a little bit more interest; especially after the aid known as Mathezic gave indication that Hunclay wanted the witch tower leveled. it caused a slight pause in a sense. The understanding of hunclay before meeting Mathezic was that he wanted to know more about the dark tapestry and that the same being that the kobolds worshiped also might have had a hand or two in working with Hunclay, which left Alex to wonder if, just like Iskra asked aloud, there was more to that tower than anyone gave it credit for. at least there was the possibility that whatever was important about the tower would also be tied to Aeteperax. "Did Hunclay ever mention anything about Aeteperax?" hoping to find out more than what was provided in the past
Vretiel giggles "Oh, I love that! So luxurious: 'I dislike this tower. Remove it from my sight immediately!'" The elf stops moving around the room and says "But Calistria bless your heart, Mathezic. You are absolutely right, these caves must be simply crawling with all manner of outsiders and arcane whatnots! We will visit them soon and keep an eye open for the other servants!"
He turns to the group "So, any other questions? Should we go to Hunclay's living quarters? Mathezic, dear, any information regarding whatever is upstairs? Besides screaming locks, I mean?"
Iskra moves back into the kitchen, tapping her lips as she goes, then turns and rests one hip against the edge of the counter as she regards the others.
"Hunclay was clearly fascinated with the Dark Tapestry, to the extent that he hired kobolds to help demolish the Witch Tower so as to open up a section of the sky for him to study at night. Yet... he met his death beneath the tower, correct? At the hands of the kobolds themselves? This doesn't make sense."
She gazes at the older party members. "And why employ kobolds to demolish the tower in the first place? Why not simply raze it himself? It was his tower. Who would gainsay him if he hired locals to knock it down? Why the need for secrecy?"
"Mebbe he was plannin' fer somethin' later an' didn't want no one ta know he was involved with it," Calli finally speaks up, looking rather unhappy at the prospect. "Easier ta claim that iffin' the tower just happened to fall in on itself due ta th' passin' of time an' not because it was knocked down."
"I'm sure most of the doors upstairs are locked. Master Hunclay would have a charm around one of the legs of the birds in the Grand Hall. But when I went to go fed them, they have gone missing..."
Mathezic folds up his bundles and slings it over his shoulder. He joins Iskra in the kitchen.
"The tower wasn't his to raze. I think it's the Baroness's. But she would never let it go, even when Master offered to buy it from her.
"Good luck with your ventures. I'm heading back to Faldamont."
With a nod and a green eye-wink, Mathezic departs.
Congratulations, you have confirmed the location of Hunclay's secret cave. Each PC earns 333 XP.
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
After much hesitation, Haruf finally voices his idea from hearing all this chatter. He waits for the mage's servant to run off then suggests.
Hey, if good wizard Hunclay was really meaning to down that tower, how about we take a look at what he wanted to look at? I mean, there's a big seeing machine in the attic, isn't it? Might as well point it to where the tower was standing and where he wanted to see. Right?, he says somewhat hoping that someone else would volunteer to look into the telescope in the observatory above. Maybe one of you mages that would know what he was looking for?, he suggests thinking himself clever to have someone else venture onto the previously trapped chair.
"That's a good idea, Haruf." Iskra bites her lower lip, but then gives a decisive nod. "I would be most curious as to what he was trying to see. Though... it's entirely possible we may not understand the import of the constellations he was studying."
She takes a deep breath and smooths down her clothing. "Shall we continue? I'd rather check all the locked doors before we settle down to studying. For all we know, the zebub may still be about."
I suggest we move to the next closest locked door?
Vretiel looks at his gloved hand. "Well, if you have explored everything here, it might be good to do one last swipe to search for the devil, look at this seeing machine and then we can try go to the cave? Oh, Anastasia, I have a feeling we are not going to like there…thanks to Calistria there is no dwarven blood on either of us!" he says, the snake suddenly writhing beneath his clothes and putting its head out.
Iskra nods to Vretiel, and leads the group toward the observatory, intent on seeing what the fall of the tower may have revealed.
The party makes its way up the grand staircase to the second floor where the library resides.
This lushly furnished library features three tall bookcases running north to south down the center of the chamber and another bookcase of iron in the northeast corner. A stuffed grizzly bear towers in the northwest corner, its claws and fangs bared aggressively. The east wall features sixteen paintings of various planets in gift frames. A ladder in the west side of the ceiling leads up to the trap door. There are doors to the east and west.
The trap door opens up to the observatory. Within this glass-domed chamber is an enormous telescope that sits upon a platform over a veritable sea of metal gears. An angled metal chair sits below the device, within reach of a cluster of pedals and levers that enable its occupant to perform adjustments to the telescope's orientation. Tables covered in books and charts occupy the southeast corner. The view of the surrounding daylight skies afforded by the glass dome is breathtaking in its expanse. There is a pile of purple dried goo in the middle of the room.
Iskra gazes in wonder about the observatory, and drifts forward as if in a dream, brushing an astrolabe here with the tips of her fingers, pausing to gaze deep into the gears over there. She finally lifts her gaze to the telescope itself, and murmurs to no-one in particular, "Marvelous."
Then, as if awakening from her dream, she begins trying to determine how best to swivel the telescope so that it points in the direction once blocked by the Witch Tower.
Not sure how to do this mechanically?
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Haruf blushes at Kale's compliment.
In the observatory, he looks for a hidden spot so he can attack any creatures that might surprise the group like in the last time they tried sitting on the telescope chair.
Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Alex's memory jumps back to the fight with the baby-looking demon up in the observatory as Kale spoke about the conflict and wondered if the electric seating was only a one time deal or if it was a resetting trap. "Before you sit down, lets make sure that shocking experience was only a one-time deal." he called out to Iskra and tried to make sure that the seat wouldn't electrocute its occupant before moving away for Iskra to gaze at the stars. "I still wonder just what made your friend turn towards such oddities in your absense," He said turning his attention now to kale, [/b]"The descriptions you three had made of him would make this version sound like a good old fashioned master chymist.
not really sure how else to make a dr jekyll and mr hyde here
"Ah dunno," Calli sighs. "Sounds like somethin' changed though...just not sure iffin' what changed was in his own head or mebbe if there really was somethin' else goin' on around here that got his dander up. Mebbe peepin' through this telescope will give us an idea...or checkin' out those secret caves."
The ingenious pedals and levers integrated into the construction of the operator's chair enable the occupant to spin the telescope and chair platform a full 360 degrees to view any part of the sky, to manipulate the telescope's angle and focus, and to adjust the seat's height and angle.
With Alex & Iskra not noticing anything out of the ordinary, Iskra hops into the brass and wooden seat to manipulate the controls. A surge of electricity crackles through the chair, giving a surprising shock to Iskra seated within the main current.
Iskra takes 3d6 ⇒ (3, 4, 3) = 10 eletrical damage. Reflex DC 20 for half
Iskra takes the jolt but continues with her plan to see what Hunclay was trying to observe during the day. She tries to maneuver the pedals and switches to the best of her abilities. As she is able to make a little bit of headway, another surge of electricity flows through the chair nearly killing Iskra.
Iskra takes 3d6 ⇒ (2, 3, 4) = 9 points of electrical damage. Reflex DC 20 for half.
"Oh! Oh! My precious dove! Are you alright?", yells Vretiel. "Get out of this chair right now! Come, help me," the elf gestures at whoever is closest. With a flick of his wand, he touches Iskra, generating a couple of glittering puffs of smoke.
CLW: 2d8 + 2 ⇒ (1, 6) + 2 = 9 2 charges
"Now, can we make sure that the chair is not a torture implement before someone else sits on it? Haruf, dear, you seem like the most mechanically inclined of us," says the pompous courtier. "Perhaps there's a switch somewhere? Behind the chair? Oh, these pesky wizards and their little murder contraptions; I swear, it would be delightful if only it were slightly less deadly"
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Reflex Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Reflex Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Iskra lets out a yelp as she falls out of the chair, smoke rising from her hair and fingernails, but quickly relaxes as Vretiel heals her.
Rising to her feet, she looks down at her singed garments and passes her hand over them; the burns and tears immediately disappear, leaving her immaculate once more.
"I am nothing if not determined, Kale," says Iskra with a wry smile. "Perhaps too much so."
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
His attempt to check the chair first being a failure led frusttation to take charge for a moment, causing a long enough delay for vretiel to reach for healing first, but not enough to prevent him from helping as per the witch's request. "A race to healing it seems to be." Alex said more quietly to vretiel as he gave the elf a look that seemed to portray a welcome to the challenge while also still hiding something else.
Once Iskra appeared to be more or less back to normal, alex turned his attention to haruf's questioning, but not without some level of concern still in his words before his attention switched. "I'm sorry i was unable to prevent the trap. Are you alright?"
While doubtful about the trap, Alex still tested the charm near the seat to satiate haruf's question. "the charm is for arcane locks, so I doubt it would help here."
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Reflex save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Quick on his feet, Haruf manages to jump out of the chair before it could hurt him. Stubbornly, he keeps looking at it.
Disable Device: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (12) + 13 = 25
If unable to disarm the trap, he thinks it's a worthless pursuit and gives Hunclay this round.
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Vretiel helps Iskra standing up, removing the dust on her clothes with quick hand movements "Ah! If only the servant were here," he looks at Haruf, "I agree, in any case. Iskra or I getting on that chair before we deactivate that trap is completely out of question. Trust me, getting shocked is fun only for the first couple of times!"
Then, turning to Alex, he giggles. "Oooh, I suddenly get the feeling that I'm stepping on someone's toes! Don't worry, sweetie, I am sure you will get plenty of opportunities to use your talents which certainly exceed this lowly, lonely courtier's by far," he says in earnest, but also clearly enjoying the opportunity to tease the half-elf.
The party exits Hunclay's manor and travels north up Devy Road out of town. After a mile of travel the road bisects two lakes. To the west overhead, buzzards can be seen circling the sky. Iskra notes there is a cave in that direction.
As the party makes their way through the thicket of trees, they find what the buzzards have been eating. Illuminated by the setting sun, two bodies lie near the shore of a small pond that runs out of a cave at the base of a 30-foot-high cliff.
|Haruf "Eight-arms" Sefka|
Feeling a little sad to leave his friend's manor, Haruf travels close to Kale on the way to the caves.
At the sight of the two bodies, he is overwhelmed with curiosity and approaches them quietly while hiding from any surprises.
Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
Iskra pulls back into the treeline, jaw growing tight at the sight of the corpses. She immediately scans the area around them, trying to discern if any other danger lurks close by, and then peers closer at the bodies, trying to identify their race and state of decomposition.
Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 10
Whilst the others are approaching the bodies, Vretiel uses his rapier to remove some mud from his boots. "Ah, nature…ever so pleasant. Buzzards, mud, dirt, decomposing corpses…I bet we'll shortly have mosquitos drinking our blood," he says, looking around with an unambiguous expression of contempt.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
1d20 ⇒ 12
The treeline to the riverbed is approximately 30'
Haruf closes in on the corpses quietly.
Iskra detects no danger and moves in with Haruf to discern what she can about the corpses. The vultures continue to pick and pull at the fleshy bits on the bodies ignoring the two.
Must be near the bodies to examine them.
Once it appears that they're in the clear for the moment, Calli follows the others as they move closer to inspect the bodies.
Heal: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Survival: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
"Eyuck...Ah can't make heads or tails of this but mebbe Alex or one'a you mage types can," she grimaces.