Hanako returns, and reverts to human form (or one that appears human). She doesn’t tell what she saw, but instead she snaps her fingers (to reshape her clothing) and sings,
Yellow wisps dance around the room
The one downstairs that stinks like a tomb
The yellows lack the will to go
What happened up here, it seems they don’t know
There’s no reason to sleep my dear
Risking that someone might creep up here
In case of fighting, I’ll make you tough
She heals Piotr mid-verse.
CMW: 2d8 + 4 ⇒ (4, 4) + 4 = 12
But we can get by with a little bluff
She snaps her fingers again to summon a violin. “Seems I have a bit of song in me. So? Let us take care of your wounds now, then bring Ulver to Winter.
"The fact that you don't know how much magic you got on you is... Oh... Is... is that how it feels?"
Kilarra nonchalantly drops Piotr now that he's conscious and looks at her hands. "I feel power, magic."
Tears flow from her shocked and scarred gaze, then she cracks her head towards the ceiling. The smallest smile forms upon her dry, cracked lips. "I'm blessed."
"Ugh... did we win? why am I staring at your..." the heavy fighter starts confused and then
Piotr hits the ground hard and with much clamor. "Hells, Kilarra..." he shakes his head rattling something as he pulls himself up "... did you have to dump me on the floor like that?"
Then Ann is back, "I HATE THAT!" the small dark woman smacks her brother on the back of his head "STOP almost dying on me!"
"sorry sis" then he finishes getting up and asks "What do you mean, blessed?" he asks the tiefling.
Kilarra grins with sharp teeth. "I can cast spells now. Ragathiel has deemed me worthy."
"Spells, huh. Good, Ragathiel is a good one, isn't he?" Piotr isn't very religious.
"Speaking of magic and such..." Piotr's voice takes on a weird tone as his brow furrows. "That mace you got there... it's humming and glowing and I think its..."
spellcraft: 1d20 + 10 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 10 + 6 = 28
"God of war, holy vengeance, rage. He leads the armies of Heaven, and get this: he's a Tiefling, like me." Kilarra says with a glint in her eye
"Ah!" Piotr grins "So yes he is one of the good ones, a real good one."
Garrosh smiles in admiration as Kilarra seems to have found the beginnign of her path in life - "Well done" - he nods solemnly as she rejoices.
"Ah!" Piotr grins "So yes he is one of the good ones, a real good one."
"The General of Vengeance is unique my good friend" - Garrosh approaches Piotr, and claps him on the shoulder - "It is good to see you back on your feet"
"I'm feeling better. We should take a look at all this magic stuff, and then charge downstairs."
red vial Piotr: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
brown vial Piotr: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
blue vial Piotr: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
razor Piotr: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
ring Piotr: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
red vial Garrosh: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
brown vial Garrosh: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
blue vial Garrosh: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
razor Garrosh: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
ring Garrosh: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Piotr identifies the blue vial as a potion of invisibility and the red vial as a potion of cure moderate wounds and Garrosh identifies the brown vial as a potion of bears endurance and the war razor as a +1 war razor.
Next time please roll identify yourself since that's a lot of rolls I had to roll on phone. Even the ring with aid another would fail taking the highest roll so I'm not going to bother rolling aid another.
"Agreed" - Garrosh nods, his lips then going through the pronunciations of a simple prayer, as if he had know them all ago - just like that his wounds show a reddish golden aura to them, and begin to mend.
CLW: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
"I am ready" - he smiles.
"Hmmm... smaller, but it glows so that is good right?" he looks at the light mace with curiosity.
Piotr is lacking a magic or even masterwork weapon. Anyone mind if he takes the mace? Also happy to do all that next time Mort. Sorry about thumb cramps. :)
Feel free to grab it Piotr ;)
"It'll be good against ghosts." Kilarra replies
"We're heading down now, right?"
Anne's eye narrow in a What Are You Implying kind of way at the tiefling. But she says nothing.
Hanako says, “Before we go anywhere, what’s the plan for Ulver? Do we carry him, or do I sing my healing song to wake him?”
I have 2 Lv.2s per day, and my Lv.1s increased by 1/day.
I’d like to use a CMW on one of you, and CLW either to Ulver—or one of you, if we carry him.
Do we behead the abomination, just to be sure?
"You say he is a good man, so let's wake him. Must obvious way of us not having to fight those below is with him awake and talking."
Hanako replies, “Maybe. He says that the yellow-robed cultists were controlling him to release…” She points to the dead razor guy. “…him.”
She turns to Zandalus, lute in hand, and performs:
You say that waking up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it’s tr—
Hanako stops her song before her magic can do anything.
“Hey. Wait a minute. Is my healing spell even going to wake him. It is not as if he was wounded, and he has been asleep for many weeks for all I know.
“How does he eat and pee?”
"I have no idea" - Garrosh grunts, the broadsword coming down hard to chop off the head of their abomination adversary - "We can give it a try, and if it does not work we can carry him out" - he finishes without skipping a beat.
Hanako nods and sings to Ulver,
It’s time to get up and eat
The first step’s stepping outta here
Can you get up on your feet?
I prefer to call you Ulver
I prefer you wake, but if you don’t,
You’ll be carried on a shoulder
CLW: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Hanako strums her lute, and as she does so, the stenches and stains of blood and battle are washed away. (Repeated castings of Prestidigitation.)
She says of Ulver, “His breathing sounds better. Perhaps my magic helped him in some way, but he still needs to be carried. I am not a healer, so there is nothing I can do beyond my song.” (That is to say, anyone likely has a better healing check than unskilled/wis10 Hanako.)
She looks at the head. “Shall we bring that? If the cultists do not wish us to walk away, perhaps Aggra’s head and that of the abomination will send a clear message. The bodies on the wall imply they are controlled by fear.
“I do not believe in using intimidation tactics—mostly because I am not a scary person—but also because I am as much an animal as I am a person, and in the animal world, the fight-or-flight mindset becomes fight-or-die when running away is pointless.” She says especially to Piotr, “I do appreciate you telling me to run, by the way. I suppose the animal in me saw no point.
“Maybe the yellow-robes need not fear us either. With their leader and the abomination both dead, they might see no point in stopping us from walking away.”
Piotr gives a grin and shurg "I thought we were all dead there for a minute, so better one of us live than all of us die." He'll heft the unconscious one gently over his shoulder.
"Sounds like a plan. We take the head of that thing as well. Try and talk, or bark loud enough that they take the hint, and hopefully get back to the camp."
“Garrosh said we act as one. Fleeing while you all die is hardly that.
“Besides, I thought if the enemy believed I was a threat, he would swing at me leaving you both standing to take him down before he could finish me off. Obviously, my bluff was so convincing he dared not strike me.”
What’s really obvious, from her tone, is that Hanako is kidding about the reason the abomination ignored her.
(Ready to move toward camp.)
Piotr gives a smile and a chuckle "Well, good job then. And I am glad you showed up to help us when you did. I doubt we would have come out of this in half the pieces we have without you." then starts to head off "This guy isn't getting any lighter, so can we?"
"I... don't know a damn thing about foxes." Kilarra says. With a bit of an awkward silence, she decides to heft her greatsword and follow after Piotr.
This gigantic space might have once been a cafeteria or assembly hall. Now, it’s the village of a savage tribe. Wildly burning braziers stand amid yellow tents and scrap structures. Portions of the western and northern walls have collapsed, but ramshackle barricades have risen to surround them. To the east, two sets of wide stairs climb to the floor above. Around the stairs nearly a dozen bodies hang crucified upon the walls, dried crimson streaks below them, sacks cinched around their heads. Tendrils of yellow mist creep throughout the entire space, wisps endlessly lapping and fondling the bizarre encampment.
On seeing the party, carrying both Zandalus and the beheaded abomination, some yellow robes gather. Various cries fill the air.
"What have you done to our leader?!"
"Kill them all! Rescue Zandalus!"
"What the hell is that thing?"
"Are they here to kill us too?"
"Get Aggra! She's supposed to be protecting our leader!"
Most of the other yellow robes huddle away from the party in their bloodstained armor, clearly frightened by the turn of events.
Hanako addresses the group, gracefully swaying her hips and gesturing with her hands as she speaks.
“Ulver Zandalus has spoken to us. He put us to a test, creating an abomination with his mind. We defeated it, unlike Aggra, who is dead…” She lets that word hang, then continues, “…like all the others who failed.
“You will stay here. Ulver will speak to you after his awakening, if you are deemed worthy. For now, your orders are to put Aggra and the other failures up on that wall.” She points to where the crucified bodies are. “Eat Aggra or the other freshly-dead if you get hungry, but kill no one.
“Oh. And should Ulver Zandalus choose to speak to you, you will address him as Zandalus. Only we who passed his test are on a first name basis.”
She tells quite the fish story, though between the half-truths and the way she says it, Hanako is almost convinced by her own lie.
But are they?
Bluff, BS, Pageant of the Peacock: 1d20 + 12 + 1 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 12 + 1 + 4 = 30
Piotr's eyes go wide at the order to eat the dead, but he stifles his thoughts and just tries to look menacing. Ann had popped back in his head before going down to not 'frighten' them.
"Eat Aggra? What the hell do you mean?!" - Garrosh blurts out before he even manages to register where they are - "Are you mad? We cannot allow cannibalism here"
Come now Hanako... Why would you say something like that? :/
For the shock value—and judging by the decor, cannibalism itself would not shock these people. But to say Aggra is the one you eat says “she is a nothing.” Hanako is not actually “for” cannibalism so much as she is against the yellows killing each other for food. She believes they are capable of that, and not morally opposed to cannibalism, torture, or any other evils that are arguably worse than murder.
Hanako will explain her bluff later. For now, she replies,
“Why would anyone be mad? This is a joyous occasion! I simply mean, even if they run out of food, there is to be no killing, per Ulver’s order.”
Pass Secret Message to Garrosh (DC20): 1d20 + 12 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 12 + 4 = 33
Feeling the contradiction has undone her bluff before the yellows could even respond, Hanako addresses them again—artfully lying without backpedaling.
Gesturing toward the one who voiced his fear the party would kill the yellows, she starts,
“The no-killing order applies to all. We are not here to harm any of you, nor will we harm those who have not donned the yellow. We intend to wake Ulver before food supplies run out.
“We will leave now so we can follow our orders. I trust none will not obstruct us from awakening our leader.”
Bluff, Lie, Peacock: 1d20 + 12 + 1 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 12 + 1 + 4 = 35
Yeah, but this is an institution for the mentally ill. Your goals seem obviously fine, but perhaps not hinting of cannibalism to this large group of mentally unstable, and probably hungry people? :P
Garrosh stares hard at Hanako, even after the surreptitious conveyed message - "And no corpse eating!!" - he roars at those around them - "AT ALL!!"
Almost certain that an obvious open argument will undo her effort, Hanako risks transforming Garrosh’s words to in fact be words of unity:
Bluff, Lie, Peacock: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (18) + 17 = 35
Gesturing to Garrosh, she says with a smile, “The one who proved strongest in the test is an exemplar. Observe his unwavering faith! Listen to him, and fear not. Ulver Zandalus will awaken and lead us to prosperity.”
"If that is Zandalus's will we shall obey," One of the yellow robes in the group confronting the party answers Hanako."Len, Carl, bring the bodies down."
"Eat..Aggra?" A voice comes from the majority of the huddled yellow robes, clearly repulsed. A different voice goes, "Urghhh..."
"Silence, fool!" The yellow robe glares at the huddling group. "Spineless cowards and weaklings."
"Yes, go awaken our glorious leader," The group at the front genuflects to Hanako.
After Garrosh's announcement
There's an auditable sigh of relief from the huddled group, while the group confronting the party gets angrier at the loss of apparent control. "Do not let the half orc sway you from the words of our leader! The next naysayers will end up on the wall!" He points to the crucified bodies.
After Hanako round 2
"You see? The halforc is weak. We will purge those weak in the faith and only the strong shall survive."The leader of the group confronting group threatens the huddling group. "Bring the bodies - those who refuse to partake shall be slain for the sustenance of the true believers!"
Hanako sees the no-killing part kinda got ignored because of… well, who can say, really?
“Let us waste no time then.”
Hanako starts for the door, hoping the others will get out while the enemy is busy following fake orders.
Kilarra follows Hanako outside. When they're both out of earshot, she whispers harshly "What the hell was that? You better have a really good plan..."
“You mean you wanted those guys to attack us while we are weakened from a battle we barely survived?” Hanako asks. “Because my really good plan was to get us out of there without a fight.
“And it worked.”
She considers explaining in greater detail, but where would she even start? These warriors know nothing about her art. Would it be offensive to oversimplify? Confusing to skip the basics? Do they even want an explanation?
"So getting them to eat their dead was your answer? Because all the moral ones are gonna get killed, and the immoral ones are gonna get sick. Hell yeah I wanted to fight. The sooner I can slice the necks of the... you know... the people to tell the other people to eat their dead or die... yeah I want to slaughter those people."
Hanako replies, “Well, that should be easy to do, now that they are in factions. The ones who embrace cannibalism are the worst of them. Now do you get what I was doing? The bluff is quite multi-faceted, and Garrosh’s involvement made it surprisingly more effective!”
Realizing how smug she sounds, Hanako takes it down a notch and gets to the part her audience is interested in: slaughtering the baddest of the bad guys.
“Anyway, now that I know your intent, we can make a really really good plan. Let us bring Ulver to Winter, see if she and others can provide healing prayers so we are in better shape to fight, then lure the worst of them to a meeting. At the meeting, we kill them.
“You like this plan?”
Personally, I’d prefer a rest to get spells back, but if you want to drop off Ulver, get channel healing from Winter, and go right back to prevent ‘purging the weak,’ that’s understandable. Hanako doesn’t really see anyone living under crucified bodies as moral ones, so she’d unapologetically let them kill each other and pick off who (of the greater evil) is left.
"I think they were already eating people, or at least I think they were." Piotr shrugs. "I want to take out the bad people in that cult as much as the rest of you. But it's more important to protect the camp, especially the children. So let's rest and then come back."
"Protect the camp from what? We've killed everything except these monsters. We can't letem string up anyone else. We already failed the last batch. All we gotta do is kill the one who're forcing the killings, and we're done. They won't even be that strong."
A 3-foot-high barricade of broken furniture and fallen masonry fills a wide, empty doorframe, blocking off the northern portion of this broad hall. Lanterns flicker upon the walls, casting shadows upon several closed doors and beyond the ramshackle barricade. Two guards are removing the barricade as the party arrives and the party can see the rest of the survivors busy packing up. "You've done good here - the fog and the monsters are gone and Winter has ordered the evacuation of this hell hole. We'd best get to the docks where there are boats moared while we still can."
It seems clear there is to be no healing or rest until everyone is on that boat, which means it’s a choice—at least as far as Hanako can tell—to stay for the children or go back for the weaker cultists. Protect the innocent, or rescue cowards.
Hanako gestures to the man over Piotr’s shoulder and tells the guards, “This is Ulver Zandalus—a good man, I believe.”
Mort, is it ok to retcon that Garrosh would not leave the 'cultist lair'?