Legacies: Return of the Runelords

Game Master Cosmic Dream Lord

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Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

Kallie casts detect magic and checks the area for magical auras while wishing she'd brought Leptonia along.


Besides the everburning torches, Kallie does not detect many magical auras in the room.

Aurealia:
You do not hear anything at all on the other side of the door. However, you do notice a number of smells, some of them familiar to you. Of note, you smell undeath, Erigantus, Woaerym, and... someone who vaguely smells like Galatea?


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

"Smells like undead. I pick up Erigantus and Woaeryn as well."

Aurealia looks to the side, glancing at Gataltea. "And perhaps a Kailani? Smells a lot like you, luv, whoever they are..."


HP: 89/89 (129/129) | AC 20 (19), t 12 (11), ff 19 (18) | F +11 (+14), Ref +5, Will +7 (+12); +1 to save when adjacent to sis | Per +15, Init +6

Croq raises a crocodillian eye "brow" at Aurealia's last comment.

Then she says, "All right then, why don't yall back up a bit with me and I'll serenade us with a rocking Song of Good Hope before we go in."

Propose we back out of earshot, and I cast Good Hope on the group, using my Rod of Extend, for an 18 minute duration.


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

Kallie uses a bit of her stored magical energy to create force armor around her, then ventures forward. "No magic but the lights," she reports.

Might as well. We're going to have to go forward eventually


Admixture 10/10 Image Reference Outfit References Mostly Human Emberkin Blood Arcanist 10 | HP 52/52 | AC 14(22), T 12 (20), FF 13(21) CMD 16 | Fort +8 Ref +8, Will +11 | Init +4 | Perc +10 | SM +10 | Spells Remaining: level 1 7/10, level 2 5/6, level 3 4/6, Level 4 4/4 | Arcane Reservoir 4/12 | Empower Rod 3/3 |

Jaya withdraws with the others, shrouding herself in force before the possible battle. Mage Armor, Shield


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

When everyone is ready, Aurealia cracks open the iron door as slowly and quietly as she can.


After simply nodding at Aurealia's remark, Galatea vanishes from sight. Aurealia then leads the way into the next room without any trouble. The chamber is once again lit up by multiple everburning torches, so you are able to immediately get a good view of the place.

You find yourselves in what appears to be a temple dedicated to Erastil, one that seems quite... abandoned. Its vaulted ceiling go up about thirty feet. The walls to the north depict lush fields of crops and produce. Meanwhile, their counterparts to the south are adored with images of various wild animals and beasts. In the center of the room, you see an altar made of stone and a bronze offering cup resting on top of it. Finally, there is an archway to another room on the eastern wall.

Despite the area's general state of disuse, you get a hunch that the place has recently been ransacked. Specifically, the doors to the north, south, northwest, and northeast have been torn off their hinges. The double doors to the north and south were apparently just false ones, since you only see the stone walls beyond them. The one to the northwest leads to an empty waiting room. The northeast chamber is similarly empty.

Most concerningly is perhaps the destroyed golem on the ground right before the archway. It appears to have been made of clay. The damage looks... recent. Very recent...


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

"I hate golems. It's just as well this one's destroyed, but this doesn't bode well," Kallie observes.

Perception: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31
She looks around for whatever destroyed the golem.


Whatever destroyed the golem does not seem to be in the central chamber or any of the surrounding rooms. However, Kallie does discover something interesting about the chamber beyond the eastern archway. Namely, there's a small gap between the walls and the floors.

This easternmost room is shaped like a triangle. The westernmost wall (the one with the entrance) is curved like a semicircle, and the other two are straight, merging at a column that goes directly from the ceiling and the floor. On each of these walls, you see a depiction of a weeping angel.

Having paid attention during Archmage Eugeni's engineering courses, Jaya and Kallie conclude that the walls with the weeping angels could be pushed. However, it would take an incredible amount of brawn for this to be accomplished. For example, something like a golem!


Female Half-Elf Reclusive Lunar Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 10 | HP: 76/76| AC: 24, Touch: 15, FF: 19 | CMD 16 | Fort: +7, Reflex: +10, Will: +8 (+2 vs. enchantment; +6 vs. charm/compulsion) | Init: +9 | Perception: +5 | Buffs:

Galatea lets out a sigh of annoyance at this revelation.

"Great! Just great! Where are we going to find someone or something with the strength to push these walls?" Gali grumbles.

Meanwhile, behind her, a bored Cheshire has decided to entertain herself by casually swatting around the chunks of broken golem like they were made of straw.


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HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

"Hmm."

"I think it's time you guys met Aurealian."

Aurealia closes her eyes, chanting a spell under her breath. In the dim light of the abandoned temple, the air around Aurealia begins to shimmer with a spectral energy. Her form blurs, contorting and reshaping as if being sculpted by unseen forces. The transformation is a dance of magic and flesh, guided by the spell she just unleashed.

First, her skin darkens to a deep, stony grey, mimicking the ancient gargoyles that guard forgotten tombs. Veins of a darker hue, like cracks in weathered stone, web across her transforming body. Her eyes, once a vibrant hue, begin to glow with a fierce, amber intensity, piercing through the gloom like lanterns in the night.

Her frame expands to a towering height, muscles bulging and bones stretching and popping. With a sound like grinding stone, an extra set of powerful arms emerges from her shoulders. Each of her four arms is perfectly formed, rippling with newfound strength, ending in talon-like fingers that could easily rend steel.

Wings unfurl from her back, vast and leathery, stretching out to cast eerie shadows on the walls. The wings beat once, twice, sending gusts of dust swirling through the air. Her face elongates, forming a grotesque yet majestic visage, with sharp, angular features and a jutting jaw lined with razor-sharp teeth. Ram-like horns top her forehead.

As the transformation completes, Aurealia stands as a towering male gargoyle, a fearsome fusion of arcane power and monstrous form.

He flexes his four arms and beats his wings, feeling the raw power coursing through his stony veins. With a guttural growl that echoes through the ruins, he crouches, ready to lunge into the wall.

"Hehehehe. How do I look?" he asks, flexing various muscle groups individually like a competition body builder.


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

Kallie blinks in astonishment at 'Lia's transformation. "You look... wow, um, you look great!" Her cheeks flush and she has to concentrate to keep her tail from lifting.


Female Half-Elf Reclusive Lunar Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 10 | HP: 76/76| AC: 24, Touch: 15, FF: 19 | CMD 16 | Fort: +7, Reflex: +10, Will: +8 (+2 vs. enchantment; +6 vs. charm/compulsion) | Init: +9 | Perception: +5 | Buffs:

"...Impressive. Very impressive," Galatea remarks, her face flushing as well. "Well, I think that we have enough muscle now! Alright, looks like the walls can be pushed northeast or southwest. Which direction should be go?"


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

Edited: Minor retcon, as per discord, Aurealia would have scented before she cast her spell.

Aurealian goes toward whichever way smelled most promising, moving on his first two arms like a gorilla. He leans into the wall and grunts as he shoves hard.

Will push whichever way smelled best.


Aurealian Perception: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (15) + 17 = 32
Croq Perception: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (12) + 15 = 27
Kallie Perception: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (10) + 16 = 26

With some assistance from Croq, Aurealian slowly pushes the wall to the southwest. It isn't easy; they only manage to push the wall about five feet every six seconds. In the middle of this process, Aurealian notices a well-hidden pit trap on the floor of the next room, which he promptly brings to everyone's attention. It doesn't open immediately, which lets you prepare for when it does. The trap is finally triggered once you hear a telltale click and the wall suddenly refuses to budge any further.

After being told about the pit trap, Galatea will cast Air Walk on Cheshire and then climb onto the tiger's back, while letting Jaya use her broom to save a spell slot. Aurealian has wings, while Croq and Kallie have their flying carpets. As such, everyone can avoid falling into the pit.

Ever the curious crocodile, Croq flies down into the pit on her carpet and discovers a new floor to explore. After venturing down there, you discover another large chamber illuminated by everburning torches. The ceiling of the room is about twenty feet high, and the "entrance" from the floor above is in the southern part of the room.

The entire area has been ransacked and vandalized. The walls of the room were once covered in images of blindfolded women and men meditating in different poses. The faces of many have been obliterated, reduced to ruble. Others are marred with old blood stains or other telltale signs of violence. Once again, the double doors to the west and east have been torn clean off the hinges.

You also discover a pair of destroyed, twisted corpses that have been hurled against the wall with enough force to shatter them. Unlike the blood on the walls, their destruction appears to have happened much more recently. Kallie confirms that their composite longbows are magical, and Gali promptly collects them, citing that you will need every last gold piece you can get going forward.

The passageway to the west has collapsed, leaving only a flight of stairs to the east that spiral downward...


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

Kallie uses her carpet to descend deeper into the complex so she doesn't risk falling. "More destruction. Well, I guess we continue," she says, gliding on the carpet so her hooves won't trigger any unseen traps. "You're doing very well, 'Lia. Or, should I call you Lian when you're like this?" She tries to keep herself from biting her nails in a seductive manner.


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

"'Lian will work, thanks."

"Clearly we're late to this party." Aurealian examines the corpses, seeing if there's anything else to learn here.

Corpses of..? Humans, children, gnomes, dogs? They look like they died from being thrown, or were they killed then thrown?


HP: 89/89 (129/129) | AC 20 (19), t 12 (11), ff 19 (18) | F +11 (+14), Ref +5, Will +7 (+12); +1 to save when adjacent to sis | Per +15, Init +6

When her sibling transforms, Croq gives an approving whistle. "Sweeeeeet, bro!"

CDL, should I assume I spent some Raging Song rounds to help us push it open? If so, how many?

When she sees the recently dead bodies, Croq shakes her head in disgust. "What the f&^k is going on here? Did Erigantus desecrate this place? Or is this someone else ransacking his hideout? And if that's true, does that mean we're in a race to get the book?"

She frowns at the thought. "I could cast a spell to help us know what happened here, but later. It would take at least a minute, and I want to see if we can catch up with whoever's doing this. Also...are we totally sure this is Erigantus' hideout? It's weird that we don't see signs of undead yet."

While Aurealian checks out the corpses for clues, Croquelle sings two more quick spellsongs.

Cast:
- Anticipate Peril on Self: +5 initiative for 10 minutes
- Acute Senses on Aurealia: +20 enhancement to Perception for 10 minutes.
.
Could cast Blood Biography if don't find the culprits first, but don't want to take a minute on it right now.
.
Unless Lian's investigation uncovers something worth exploring or discussing, Croq is happy to surf on down the stairs on her carpet, and see if we can catch up to whoever is ahead of us.


Croquelle Andosana wrote:
CDL, should I assume I spent some Raging Song rounds to help us push it open? If so, how many?

You and Aurealian would have been collectively strong enough to push the wall without using Raging Song.

Galatea Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

"Actually, Croq, those two archers were undead," Gali says in a quiet voice.

Aurealian determines that Galatea is likely correct; the broken corpses simply too twisted and decayed to have been recently living people who were just killed. They were most likely adult human men before being reanimated. As for how they died a second time, they were apparently killed first with some kind of bladed weapon and then thrown against the wall just to be sure.


HP: 89/89 (129/129) | AC 20 (19), t 12 (11), ff 19 (18) | F +11 (+14), Ref +5, Will +7 (+12); +1 to save when adjacent to sis | Per +15, Init +6

Croq nods. "OK. Dunno if them being undead makes me feel better or worse, but at least it suggests we're probably in the right place. Let's hurry!"

Unless anyone objects, she hustles down the stairs on her carpet, staying close to Lian.


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

Aurealian uses his new super-senses to lead the way farther along the trail of destruction.

Have +36 (38 in the "night") on perception right now. Can I see microscopically yet?


Before you head down the stairs, Galatea does a quick head count. For a second, she appears to be under the impression that someone is missing. However, she then giggles and playfully facepalms.

"Right. Viralane decided to stay back at the inn," Galatea recalls. Before going after you, she places a magical ward on Cheshire and then renews her invisibility.

Shield.

With stealth not being a priority, you all venture down the stairs like you own the place. Aurealian does pause once, apparently noticing some recent damage to a certain section of the descent. Putting your heads together, you conclude that there was likely a magical trap here, one that someone else already set off. Otherwise, there's nothing stopping you from reaching the final floor.

Aurelian:
You hear the following conversation before you reach the final floor.

"Mom, is leveling this place really necessary?" a familiar, soft-spoken voice asks.

"Yes. That ghoul hid that blasted... Quiet, dear. I hear something... hefty coming down the stairs," an older woman's voice, one both familiar and unfamiliar to you, replies.

"Eep!" the soft-spoken individual says, suddenly quite nervous. "Is it that golem? I thought you destroyed it!"

"As did I," her mother murmurs. "Take cover, dear. Your brother and I will deal with this. Just like we have everything else in this godsforsaken tomb."


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

Aurealian's stony eyebrows raise as his ears quirk back and forth for a moment.

He holds up a hand to pause the group's advance. "Stand down, Marjorie. It's us, the Black Arrows from Roderick's Cove," he calls down the stairs.


"The Black Arrows from Roderic's Cove?" a familiar, soft-spoken voice calls back. There's a long pause. "Huh. Small world. Uh... Long time to no see? What brings you to a place like this?"

Aurealian:
You hear Marjorie's mother sigh.

"They're the people who rescued your sister," she says, presumably to Marjorie's brother. You haven't heard him speak yet. As for Marjorie's mother, her voice suddenly sounds... different, now totally unfamiliar to you.


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

Aurealian looks to the others, uncertain how to respond.


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

"We were going to clear it out! We have it on really good information that there was a necromancer who set up shop in these chambers. Sounds like you found that out the hard way. What're you doing here?" Kallie calls back in not as booming of a voice.


"Oh, hello Kallie! Wow. Small world. That's why we're here!" Marjorie replies, lowering her voice to the same level of volume Kallie used. "Evidently, a sect of the Whispering Way was operating here. We've neutralized several minions, but we haven't found the necromancer yet."

Another pause.

"Could we continue this conversation face-to-face please? All this shouting is starting to hurt my throat," Marjorie adds.


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

"Sure!" Kallie moves into the next chamber and urges the rest of her party to come along.

"Who's all with you? Have we all met?"


Stepping into the next floor, you discover that it's actually more of an arena. The space attached to the stairs is a balcony that encircles a wide pit. This balcony is about ten feet wide on average, and an ornamental wooden railing that has clearly seen better days separates the edge from the open chamber. There are several rooms to the north and south. Like the ones on the previous floors, their doors have been torn off the hinges. You can also see the entrances to other rooms in the east.

You see a lot of blood. Some areas of the floor are coated in it. Much of it is old. However, some of the blood is clearly new. You spot multiple corpses that were likely undead monstrosities created by Erigantus. In the center of the chamber below, you also notice a pile of bloody rubble atop a dias.

Besides her raven black hair being slightly shorter and much more kempt, Marjorie hasn't changed much since you last saw her. Well, her clothes and gear are certainly of a higher caliber now. The Cheshire-sized wolf she's perched atop is also new.

Leaning on a nearby wall is another dhampir; like Marjorie and Erigantus, he looks too... lively to be a vampire. You can see a familial resemblance between him and Marjorie, though he's taller and much more muscular. Resting on the ground next to him is an earthbreaker larger than Cheshire's head.

There's one other individual in the chamber. Like Marjorie, this woman is quite tall... and that's all you can really tell about her appearance. Why? She's covered from head to toe in Desnan blues. Even her cloak does an unusually good job of shadowing her face; you can only see everything from her lips downward.

"You've met my mother, Kallie, but I don't believe the others have besides Galatea," Marjorie says, answering Kallie's question. "I don't think any of you have met my twin brother Bruno. As for this lovely lady, her name is Luna."

Marjorie's mother gives you all a polite nod. Bruno offers a small wave before crossing his muscular arms again. For her part, Luna the wolf lets out a happy yip of acknowledgement.

"A pleasure to meet you all," Marjorie's mother says. She looks briefly at Bruno before looking back at you. "For your awareness, my son cannot speak."

The otherwise handsome dhampir raises his head and points to a wicked scar on his neck and throat.


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

He returns the polite nod, also nodding to Bruno. "Hello, I'm Aurealian. Usually, I'm in a different version of me, where I go by Aurealia." Aurealian winks at Marjorie.

Aurealian looks around. "Messy!" he says, sounding impressed.


Marjorie blushes a little after Aurealian winks at her.

"Not all of this is from our battles against the undead," Marjorie remarks. "I believe the Whispering Way murdered the original residents of this place. We still haven't figured out why, though."


HP: 89/89 (129/129) | AC 20 (19), t 12 (11), ff 19 (18) | F +11 (+14), Ref +5, Will +7 (+12); +1 to save when adjacent to sis | Per +15, Init +6

Croquelle scratches her scaly chin, marveling at the coincidence of meeting these three here.

"Good to see you again, Marjorie! We have a way of running into each other in odd places, eh?"

Turning to face Marjorie's mother, Croq continues, "I'm Croquelle Andosana, by the way. I don't think I've caught your name yet. And if you would, tell us what we missed. What exactly are you looking for down here? And it seems you've had some epic battles getting here; who or what have you had to fight so far?"

While she doesn't want to jump to conclusions, Croq finds herself wondering if there's more going on than what they're saying.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (14) + 20 = 34


"Croquelle Andosana, huh? Are you related to Shalelu Andosana by any chance? Regardless, you can call me Tunessa," Marjorie's mother muses with a small grin. She looks over at her daughter. "Marjorie dear, your memory has always been better than mine. Please correct me if I miss something."

"Of course, Mom," Marjorie chirps.

"The front door was locked, but that wasn't an issue for us. After getting captured by Mozamer, my dear Marjorie has spent much of her waking hours learning how to pick locks," Tunessa begins. "Bruno just wanted to break down the front door, but Marjorie wanted to test her new skills."

"I should have deferred to Bruno's idea. That thing was so difficult to crack!" Marjorie says with a tired sigh.

"We only encountered the clay golem on the first floor, which was odd because we heard someone living usually guarded the front door. Regardless, it wasn't a match for Bruno's earthbreaker," Tunessa continues. "We only encountered a pair of undead archers on the second floor. I dealt with them personally. As for the third floor, we fought an army of ghouls and a couple of rather odd, moldy green undead."

"I think they're called Totenmaskes?" Marjorie recalls.

"Finally, some strange fiend attacked Bruno when he found the library. My poor son just opened the door, and that thing immediately grabbed its kukri and tried to murder him," Tunessa says.

Bruno points to a large blood stain on his earthbreaker. Obviously, he walked away from that skirmish in much better shape than the fiend did. In general, unless his name was mentioned, Bruno hasn't been paying much mind to the conversation at all.

Tunessa Bluff: 1d20 + 33 ⇒ (18) + 33 = 51

"As Marjorie said earlier, we're just here to clear out the Whispering Way and figure out why they're here," Tunessa concludes. "That's all."

Croq:
Tunessa is perhaps the most honest and trustworthy individual you've ever met!

Marjorie is happy to see you and the others, especially Kallie. So much so that she seems to be struggling not to blurt something out...

Bruno is as cool as a cucumber and thus rather difficult to read. As far as you can tell, he's just waiting for this conversation to end. He has no personal investment in it at all.

Aurealian or Perception - DC 25:
Right after Tunessa mentions her name, you hear Galatea's breathing become frantic, borderline hyperventilating. She’s actively trying to muffle her breathing, though. Going by her footsteps, Gali is slowly walking back up the stairs.


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

"Tunessa...?" Aurealian asks, soliciting a surname. "How do you know Shalelu?"


Marjorie opens her mouth to answer the implied question, which actually draws Bruno's interest. He quickly taps his earthbreaker on the ground, which captures his twin's attention. Bruno then shakes his head in disapproval before putting a single index finger to his lips.

"Right. Sorry," Marjorie says with a pout, suddenly a little forlorn.

Tunessa watches the exchange before turning back to Aurealian.

"I'd rather not disclose our surname. It might put our lives in jeopardy," Tunessa says softly, seemingly struggling not to frown at her daughter's slip. "As for Shalelu, these days, I know her mostly through her reputation. Being the leader of the Black Arrows and all, your commander is famous throughout Varisia, no?"


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

"Aye, just thought you might know her personally somehow." Aurealian replies. Jeopardy, huh? Wonder if she means from us. Not suss at all.


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

Perception: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (10) + 16 = 26

Kallie rolls her eyes and tries not to look at the stairs.


"Well, it has been... interesting speaking with you all. Oh, and thank you again for rescuing my dear Marjorie," Tunessa remarks, concluding that you aren't hostile. The mysterious woman begins walking back towards the eastern rooms and gestures for her children to follow. "Marjorie, Bruno, let's search that library. Perhaps the answers we seek are in there."

Aurealian:
Please roll a Perception check. You're the only one who can make the DC.

Like clockwork, Bruno grabs his earthbreaker and begins following Tunessa. You note that he walks with a bit of a swagger. Marjorie lingers for a bit, though. For a moment, she seems like she has something to say, but she apparently thinks better of it and directs Luna to follow her family. She does wave goodbye, however.

Once Luna is out of sight, Cheshire's trance is finally broken; the wolf and the tigress had spent the whole conversation staring intensely at each other. Without Luna present to distract her, Cheshire begins sniffing the air and then heading up the stairs. About a third of the way up the lowest flight, she pauses and then begins lightly pawing the air in one spot.

A second later, Galatea becomes visible. She is sitting on a stair, her back pressed against the wall. Almost immediately, she begins hugging Cheshire's big head as if her life depends on it. Cheshire lets out a concerned grunt and then lays down, trying her best to comfort Gali.

Alas, Cheshire's efforts are fruitless. Put simply, Galatea appears to be in a state of extreme malaise. She's trembling and breathing heavily, and her eyes are full of tears.


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

Perception: 1d20 + 36 ⇒ (20) + 36 = 56 (+2 if this is night)


Aurealian:
All the signs of life you saw from Tunessa strike you as... false. It's difficult to really articulate why or how; without Croq's perception enhancement spell, you never would have noticed this in the first place. However, comparing her mannerisms to Marjorie and Bruno, every sign of life Tunessa displayed seemed... simulated.

In short, you finding yourself doubting that Tunessa is truly alive.


HP: 89/89 (129/129) | AC 20 (19), t 12 (11), ff 19 (18) | F +11 (+14), Ref +5, Will +7 (+12); +1 to save when adjacent to sis | Per +15, Init +6

Croq nods along happily as Tunessa explains what they're doing. "Well, that's good of you to deal with all those undead. I'm sorry we didn't get here early enough to help out, though you're clearly doing well enough on your own.

"Still, no reason not to help each other clear out the rest, right?"

When they start to walk to the library, Croq heads along with them, but the sight of Galatea stops her.

She walks to her companion instead and says, "Gali, you OK? Are you bugged out by the sight of all this blood?"


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

Aurealian hangs back as well. He whispers to the others. "That lady ain't alive. I don't know how she's faking it. I barely caught it. But... yeah. She dead."


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

Kallie harrumphs at 'Lian's news. "Figures." She trots over to Gali. "We need to know what you know. Whatever it is, we'll cry later. Okay?"


HP: 89/89 (129/129) | AC 20 (19), t 12 (11), ff 19 (18) | F +11 (+14), Ref +5, Will +7 (+12); +1 to save when adjacent to sis | Per +15, Init +6

Croq arches a scaly eye "brow" at Aurealian. "You're sure? You know I'm pretty sick at telling when someone's fibbing–their rhythm's always subtly off–but she seems straight up. No lies detected!

"Maybe she's a dhampir, but like that Morythine who fought with the Rangers for a while, and then Rilee turned him into an eagle so that he could experience full life?"


Admixture 10/10 Image Reference Outfit References Mostly Human Emberkin Blood Arcanist 10 | HP 52/52 | AC 14(22), T 12 (20), FF 13(21) CMD 16 | Fort +8 Ref +8, Will +11 | Init +4 | Perc +10 | SM +10 | Spells Remaining: level 1 7/10, level 2 5/6, level 3 4/6, Level 4 4/4 | Arcane Reservoir 4/12 | Empower Rod 3/3 |

"She could be a particularly sophisticated construct, though in my experience that's less likely. Particularly since subtle magic is the most likely way to avoid senses less keen than Aurelian's, and that's not frequently found amongst the constructed." She shrugs diffidently. "A mystery that would be more... mysterious, or at least out of place were we not beneath Kaer Maga. Unless Galatea informs us otherwise, I see no particular reason to assume that her secrets are a threat to us."


HP: 82/82 (112/112) // Arcane points (10/11), Rage (6/6) // Shield: AC 27 (26), t 16 (15), ff 23 (22) Norm: AC 23 (22), t 15 (14), ff 19 (18) // Fort +13 (+16), Ref +11, Will +10 (+15) Current spells: ext. bull's, Perception +17 (+19 at night) Perception check to hear a creature can’t see exceeds DC by 10 can pinpoint

Aurealian nods, "I'm sure. I can almost hear the rocks breathing right now. There's an earthworm beneath your foot and a mite on your eyebrow."

The gargoyle's pupils contract and dialate as he focuses in on different things. "This spell is crazy!"


Understanding that they're trying to help her friend, Cheshire gets out of the way as Kallie and Croq approach Galatea. Interestingly, despite her large size, the tigress easily slips right past them on the way down the stairs. Cheshire ultimately takes a post at the bottom of the stairs, staring intently at where Marjorie and her family went...

Cheshire's Narrow Frame feat at work.


Female Half-Elf Reclusive Lunar Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) 10 | HP: 76/76| AC: 24, Touch: 15, FF: 19 | CMD 16 | Fort: +7, Reflex: +10, Will: +8 (+2 vs. enchantment; +6 vs. charm/compulsion) | Init: +9 | Perception: +5 | Buffs:

"Her name. Tunessa," Galatea says in whisper. She struggles to find the right words before ultimately settling on, "It's an anagram."


Reference image Buffs: HP: 63/63; AC 19, t 13, ff 17; Saves: F +5, R +5(+6), W +10; CMD 18 (22 vs trip); Reservoir 7/13; Perception +16

Kallie's mind runs through the permutations and comes up with the obvious answer. "Setsuna? Why the hells is that lady calling herself that?"

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