The matron shakes her head. "I'm sorry, I don't know anything about any sort of 'undead' at the gates," she says. "And I don't know where the Count's advisor lives, either. I would assume that he lives in the Count's manor, since he isn't staying at the Day's End, and he isn't staying here."
"Well," begins the madam, carefully, "He said he needed pure young people. Boys and girls. Most of Dalaston is humans so it just turned out that way."
"They go into the temple. They came out again, though... a bit creepy, but the count said that they had been empowered to protect us."
Uliaza nods and gets up, moving to offer a hand to the madam, before thinking better and bringing it back. Grabbing her cloak, she throws it on and flips the hood up. She gives Lady Black one last appreciative look. "I do appreciate you speaking to me. Your information will help greatly in dealing with the situation."
Adol nods to Calxakti. "Thank you for the assist, my friend. I didn't expect I would strike so poorly. I still need to get used to this speed."
He looks down as the remains of the undead, and offers a quick gesture of prayer. "I am deeply sorry, young lady. Your light was removed from us too soon. I wish I could have offered you more than a quick final death."
Then, turns to the guards. "Now, maybe we can talk, fellow warriors. Please calm yourselves; we are here to help. Is there anything about these undead or this count that you can tell us, which would aid us in removing them from your village? For instance, are there more of these creatures, and where are they? Would they somehow know one of them is now missing?" At this last bit, he also looks to his fellow adventurers for advice.
Diplomacy, calming the guards down and convincing them to talk through their fear: 1d20 + 32 ⇒ (11) + 32 = 43
I didn't expect you to know; honestly... Rirsa shrugs But thank you for telling me where an inn is. If the Count would like assistance with this matter; you'll know where to find my compatriots and I. with that said; Rirsa turns and heads Southward toward the Inn.
She'll exit the building and head into an alley, allowing herself to slip out of sight. Finding a nice place to watch the Blind Eye's entrance, she'll observe it for five minute. If anyone who looks like a member of the staff exits, she'll tail them.
If none of the staff leaves the building within those five minutes, she'll make her way towards the temple. She's officially entered 'Super Sneaky Mode', and is keeping herself from being seen or noticed.
Super Sneaky Mode: 1d20 + 41 - 10 ⇒ (16) + 41 - 10 = 47
The walls of the temple of Abadar are covered in gilded images of judges, doctors, and sentinels, now stained gray by ash and dirt. Windows of gold-hued glass line the walls, too narrow for even a halfling to squeeze through. The doors are emblazoned with the sacred key of Abadar; a sheet of parchment is posted on the door.
The sheet of parchment reads, 'By the decree of Count Saleno, the Bank of Abadar has been sealed until such time as it has been cleansed of its evil. No admittance.'
There is only one large double door, and it is locked.
Frowning, Uliaza looks around for a few moments to check that no one is watching... before casting Fly. Keeping herself hidden, she'll start examining the entirety of it for a way in. If none can be found, she'll teleport herself downwards through the roof with Dimension Door.
|Alithea, the Unraveling Eye|
"Well, that's it then, isn't it? Nothing else to follow up on it seems." Alithea sighs. She studies the undead girl to see if she can at least learn what she could about they type of undead created.
Knowledge Religion: 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (7) + 26 = 33
We best make our way back to the rendezvous point. Perhaps the others learned something. As Alithea trodded back with the rest, she flies up to see if she can spot any of the other adventurers, perhaps she could assist them.
Uliaza flies around the outside of the temple for a few minutes, finding no easy way in. When she casts her next spell, she blinks from the light of day into a pitch-black temple - though her drow eyes allow her to see in black and white.
She appears in the temple's grand hall. The grand hall of the temple was built to serve as a courtroom and place of worship. Today it is a slaughterhouse. Fresh blood covers the floor around the altar, and the stench of blood is heavy in the air. A dwarf lies atop the altar, and a pale man stands over him, a long knife in one hand. This stranger is wreathed in shadowy shapes, and these shadows writhe around him and moan as he raises the knife. He is not alone — six guards stand around the room, more of the creepy undead young people. A few living people sit in the pews, although they seem to be in some sort of daze.
The man at the altar - a handsome but pale-skinned man wearing out-of-style noble finery - looks up and pauses mid-slice on the dwarf he is working at. "Who are you?" he asks. "You must leave now. Leave me to my work, and avoid your doom."
You can look at the statblock and metagame freely with your good Knowledge check.
Maika, Rirsa, Carrie,
The three leave the castle behind and walk to the southern end of town to secure rooms for the night. The Day's End inn is one of the largest buildings in town, and the sound of music emanates from its walls when the heroes get closer.
Beneath the omnipresent ash, the walls of the inn are painted red and gold. The trade sign bears the image of a sun setting between two mountains, and the words “Day’s End—Inn and Public House.”
Adol shakes his head as the guards run. "Those poor guardsmen, they are truly terrified. Damned is the one terrorizing these innocent civilians. When I get my sword to whoever is behind this..." he mutters darkly, then sighs. "Well, at the very least this exit is now open. If the villagers want to leave, they can, until a possible replacement guard show up..."
"Hm, there are no direct leads here no," he says to Alithea, "but what about her scythe, or anything else the undead might have left behind?" he mentions to the disintegrated puddle of undead remnants. "Maybe that can tell us something about who made...'this'. Is the scythe magical? Cursed? If not, then I propose we we head to the temples now."
He keeps the grip on his sword firm. "I suppose we are also about to find out if these undead know of eachother's status. We should be vigilant. I will scout from the air and inform you if I see anything."
He then tries to cast a spell, and flies up afterwards.
arcane spell failure for hightened awareness: 1d100 ⇒ 64
Adol uses oath of vengeance to exhange 2 uses of LoH for one smite evil. He then flies straight up about... 50 feet, to scout out the area for threats. Adol's fly/acrobatics for hover is an automatic 15+, so he cannot fail hover checks.
perception, base + hightened awareness: 1d20 + 17 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 17 + 2 = 38
Uliaza stares in horror, before looking over at the man. She nods and throws him a thumbs up, not trusting herself to speak. She Dimension Doors back up through the ceiling and looks around, blitzing towards Adol in the distance. "Hey Pally-Boy! We got a bit of a situation at the Temple to Abadar!"
Adol waits for Ulliaza to approach, ever watching the area for incoming threats. Though he is obviously somewhat surprised to see her there, he waits for her to finish first. "A situation at the temple? But weren't you going to- Ah, I see. So the brothel is inside the temple?" He nods sagely. "...That explains so much. Actually, do I even want to know the specifics of this, my lady?"
Hmm... At least the decor matches. Rirsa opens the door and slips through; looking around for some one who looks like they handle check-in. Upon finding someone she approaches them; Hello; I'd like to inquire about room availability for seven total.
I hope no one minds my asking of this... They shouldn't; because they won't have to take it. Rirsa hears the argument start in her mind.
"...NO YOU IDIOT, THE BROTHEL IS NOT INSIDE THE TEMPLE! I got everything I could at the Blind Eye, but Lady Black mentioned something interesting about the Temple of Abadar, so I went to check it out. I'm not going to explain this more than once, so go grab your group while I get Maika and Rirsa. Tell them to meet me outside the Temple of Abadar. Quickly now!" She turns and starts to zoom off to try and find Rirsa and Maika, cursing under her breath in Undercommon the entire way.
|Alithea, the Unraveling Eye|
Alithea who was keeping a lookout would certainly notice Ulliaza zooming towards the now airborne Adol. Approaching the pair, she asks Ulliaza, "Can you tell me what's happening? The more you tell me, the better I can prepare for what is to come."
"I see whatever this is has greatly upset you; it must be bad indee- W-wait, I can help you find them!"
He closes his eyes for a moment.
Adol uses SLA from divine source rank 4: Locate creature: Rirsa Loldan.
"I know where they are! Or Rirsa, at least. And since lady Alithea is already flying, I suppose I can simply carry sir Calxacti over there. Let's go!"
Unless Calxakti objects to being carried, Adol leads the group to Rirza's location through the air, flying on his directional senses from Locate creature.
|Maika, Seller of Miracles|
Maika, Rirsa, Carrie
Maika had gone along obediently, and seemed rather relaxed despite being turned away from the count's residence. "I can stand guard if you'd like. Comes with the contract." she called inside as Rirsa began arranging for rooms. She didn't miss much, and perhaps more to the point, she didn't need to sleep unless she wanted to - besides, quiet time during the night gave her time to craft and perform other tasks. Speaking of, she was noticing some unusual sounds... was someone approaching?
Memories of Cleric of Greed come flooding back to Rirsa Contract? She breathes I've never agreed to a contract between you and I.
She considers a moment... I'm sorry; the last person that offered a contract when they worked with me demanded an equal share and attempted to charge us for every spell he cast 'that benefited the group or its goals'. So suffice it to say I'm a little more cautious with that sort of thing than I was back then. But I am willing to hear it.
|Maika, Seller of Miracles|
Maika, Rirsa, Carrie
"The contract has already been made and payment agreed upon. You are a beneficiary, but not expected to pay yourself, regardless of the outcome." Maika explained. "As it stands, I believe in fair pay for services rendered - but not in abusive pricing structures or benefiting oneself at the expense of the market. Trust is very important, and when dealing with luxury services like magic, people must be confident in their purchase."
Assuming no one stops the flying group on the way to the tavern.
Adol suddenly bursts through the door. "Lady Rirsa, Maika, and Carrie, we have trouble. Lady Ulliaza found something important. Please step outside with me for the details. This isn't meant to be overheard."
Adol blinks and looks down, surprised to find he'd still been carrying Calxakti bridal-style. "A-ah, oops! Um, apologies, my friend," he says, immediately putting him on the ground. "You weigh as little as... as..." he pauses, seaching for words. "The lost feathers of Antioch! When reduced... in space!"
Operating under the same assumption as Adol.
Rirsa nods in response and silently walks outside. Once outside she turns to face him.
In the future; it would cause less of a stir to simply ask me outside first... She begins; hands on her hips. But go on; what is it? She inquires.
Glancing around to make sure everyone is there, she waves a hand for them to follow and starts walking towards the temple. "The undead are being created in the Temple of Abadar. The entire place has been turned into a slaughterhouse. There's a necromancer, around six undead, and what some future sacrifices. I'll explain everything I've learned after we save those people."
Whom is Abadar? Rirsa faces Ulliazza with a quizzical look in her eyes Shall I assume he is no friend to the undead? her hand brushes her Estoc; it's leather wrapped hilt both a comfort and a reminder. You can tell me on the way; by all means Lady Ulliazza- please show me the way.
"But I did ask you outside first?" Adol asks Rirsa, confused. "Regardless, there are more important matters now."
As Ulliaza speaks, he gradually increases his pace. "Damn it, we need to hurry! We should probably cast our protective magics now and teleport inside as soon as possible. These people's lives are on the line; we need to hit hard and hit fast, and save and questions for later... assuming any of you want to question him enough to try and keep him alive. Personally, I have bad experiences with his type and wouldn't mourn his passing. I just hope it's not Bairan gone off the right path..."
Rounding a corner, he refocusses and starts casting a spell. When the effects wash over you, you feel emboldened, as if there is a sense of hope, that you might still be in time to save these people.
Assuming everyone is running and the time to get to the bank is less than a couple of minutes from our position, Adol casts good hope on everyone. > gain a +2 morale bonus on saving throws, attack rolls, ability checks (including initiative), skill checks, and weapon damage rolls for 12 minutes.
He then pulls out a couple of rings from his pocket. "I can also shield others from harm, directing some of their wounds to myself. I can only do this three times this day, and it lasts about half the day, so we should pick this carefully when and where to apply it. In the past, I usually did this on fellow melee combatants and those unable to heal themselves. It... does require both myself and my ally to wear these rings, I have to say."
As he says it, his gaze roams over the group. "I'm open to advice on whom to use them on; whoever feels they either need protection the most or take the most hits in a fight is probably the right target. I'm afraid I am too unfamiliar with your fighting styles to make this call myself at this point in time."
Ever running forward, he then adds. "And speaking of protection, Lady Mirka, Sir Calxakti, lady Alithea, are any of you capable of casting defensive magics against evil and life draining effects? If this is a necromancer as Lasy Ulliaza claims, those would be especially helpful."
Rirsa studies Adol's casting Spellcraft: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (13) + 18 = 31 whispers a few Arcane words; and she and her compatriots feel a source of untapped potential; practically begging to be spent. Spell Cast: Moment of Greatness; once during spells duration (10 minutes) you may double the value of a morale bonus on one roll you make.
She intones a few more spells and begins to hum a soft tune to herself; barely audible to others.
Spells cast: Shield; Angelic Aspect; See Invisibility. Enters into a Battle Mantra Stance; net result; +4 Shield bonus to AC; +4 Insight bonus to either AC or Attacks; or a +5 bonus on CMB/CMD (I am currently applying it to AC; free action at the start of my turn to switch between these three boni); DR 5/ Evil; Low-Light Vision and Darkvision 60 feet; Resist 10 Cold and Acid; Fly 30 feet (Average); and all my attacks are considered good Aligned for the purpose of overcoming Damage Reduction. Can see Invisibility. All of these spells have a duration of Ten minutes; she will wait until she is four minutes away to cast these spells.
You only have to run for a couple of minutes to arrive at the temple, so good hope works fine.
By this time, the streets of Dalaston are totally empty. Everyone seems to be hiding away in their own houses, and the group can see curious or afraid eyes poking out from behind curtains in certain house windows as they run past.
After gathering everyone and running to the Temple, the pair arrives on its outskirts to find that several more bloodless undead have arrived on the outside. Four of the eerie youngsters now patrols around the Bank of Abadar, in addition to any others that may be inside.
Carrie follows along, asking Rirsa what's going on, since she can't understand Taldane. She senses the stress of the situation off of the others and draws her blade, a shiny curved affair well-suited to her great strength.
You are now about one street corner away from the Bank. What would you like to do now?
Book keeping: Adol casts good hope. Rirsa casts see invisibility, angelic aspect, shield, and moment of greatness. Rirsa is in Battle Mantra Stance.
|Maika, Seller of Miracles|
"I can channel energy to disrupt groups of undead." Maika noted along the way. "I imagine that will be enough to seriously hinder all but the nastiest groups of undead. For full access to my defensive or curative spells, I'm afraid you'll need to open an account or ask me to craft them ahead of time - there are rules that limit what I can provide normally." She could always cast from her personal account, but that took a long time to fill and she was reluctant to do so outside of emergencies. It wasn't by choice that she needed funds to cast any restoratives on-demand - that was just how the system operated.
A moment later... "Abadar is the god of cities, law, merchants, and wealth. I often work with him." A bold claim, but also a true one - the lord of trade was a natural partner for her own mercantile efforts.
Rirsa informs Carrie of the situation in Chevaineyan; ni traktas Nigromanton kaj lian mortintojn
"I think what we need specifically is either communal protection from evil or magic circle against evil, and possibly deaths wards," Adol muses. "If no one is able to cast those, I guess we're forced to buy Maika's services through an account."
He flies through the air and glances over a roof's edge, watching the undead patrols. " Regarding those guards, we can either follow my suggestion of teleporting in to strike at the source of this immediately, or fight them outside first. I imagine if we don't, they will rush to defend their master. But if we do, we give this vile sorceror a greater chance to escape, or perhaps kill the civilians held captive there out of spite. Thus, I would recommand striking at the source and dealing with the additional undead as the fight progresses."
He draws a vial from his pocket, which you recognize as a portion of enlarge person. "If someone can teleport me inside while I have this active, that would help in keeping you safe. It might also be a good idea to have a quickening like effect such haste active before we go. A surprise attack is best served with the maximum amount of force."
|Maika, Seller of Miracles|
"Ahem. You are never forced to buy." Maika said, feeling this was a very important point. "I offer a variety of services and powers for sale under various conditions - based on how I am able to provide them - in addition to what I have already been contracted to offer. It may be more dangerous without spending the money to take advantage of what I can offer, but ultimately, it is your decision whether or not to purchase what I can offer. Also, it takes a few minutes to open an account, which is why I encourage doing so before pressing situations. That said, I can teleport you inside - with an extremely high success rate - or I can give you a powerful, lasting invisibility for you to sneak inside and remain well-hidden from normal detection. Do you have a preference?"
Actually, apologies for not mentioning it before: death ward, as a minutes/level spell, has already expired. It has definitely been more than 12 minutes since you left Akiton. It has not yet been 2 hours, so freedom of movement, resist fire, and lend path are still active on Adol.
I can haste and get you inside; but I can only take you and Carie via Dimension Door... So I don't know how we are all going inside Rirsa make a point to summarize this all for Carie.
"I believe we have multiple people capable of casting such teleportation spells, Lady Rirsa. At least Lady Ulliaza can also do it. The idea would be to have multiple casters teleport in everyone nearly simultaneously, aiming at roughly the same location. I myself can also teleport for short distances each day, but that might not be enough. I also try to save that for emergency use during fights. "
"Also... if anyone is capable of doing this, I know that a spell exists that prevents someone from teleporting out. Something like... teleport anchor? If this is a powerful spellcaster and we can teleport in, then he can also teleport out just as easily."
Adol means Dimensional anchor.
Ah, thanks. I somehow keep thinking death ward is a 10 min/level spell and that an extended one would last 4 hours. I guess more than 24 minutes have also passed.
|Alithea, the Unraveling Eye|
Alithea turns to Maika, "These undead are strong and quick. Though, they don't have particularly significant defenses."
Alithea casts some spells on herself: Grand Destiny, Fox's Cunning, False Life, and Expeditious Retreat
False Life: 1d10 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Then Alithea pulls out her spellbook, muttering not so silently, "Undead are immune to too many things, what nonsense."
She expends 3 points of her Resevoir to exchange spells with Fast Study:
Waves of Exhaustion -> Spell Turning
Enervation -> Stoneskin
Overland Flight -> Gravity Sphere
With her new spells cast, Alithea casts Spell Turning (GM rolls secretly per the rules) on herself and Stoneskin on Adol and Rirsa (ignoring the Diamond Dust Requirement with Component Freedom).
"I believe I am ready now."
Arcane Reservoir: -3 -> 7/10
Spell Slots Remaining
|Maika, Seller of Miracles|
"I don't have that spell available off-hand, but I can try to hold a specific target in place to prevent them from escaping." Maika offered. "It's usually quite effective."
Adol Nods. " Okay, I will trust your expertise on this. If lady Ulliaza is also done preparing, we should move. Does everyone agree with the plan of teleporting inside and if so, who will take who in what order? If possible, I would like to go in with the first group and enlarged, though I understand that it would be harder to take me along."
|Maika, Seller of Miracles|
"I can teleport us inside." Maika offered. Dimension Door ought to suffice for this, and she certainly had that available for short hops. "If you're enlarged, that counts as two, so I can take two more people besides myself. Once we're in, do as you wish and I'll follow up with support."
I'll take the rest of us; If that's okay. Rirsa draws a long four sided Estoc; shaped reminiscent of a bird's wing.
If the others agrees; Rirsa casts Haste (10 Rounds) and follows it with a Dimension Door inside.