GM SpiderBeard's Tyrant's Grasp

Game Master Barvo Delancy

Book One: The Dead Roads

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Alara's parents turn to her and pause briefly with blank expressions as it becomes clear they can see her through the ruins of the house. Kasumi moves with the same unnatural grace Alara has always see in her mother as she makes her way through what was once her house, never stepping over the walls but instead going through what were once doorways.

"あなたはどこにいるダーリン - oh I do apologise, you have brought a guest! A handsome human too, very exciting. Please be welcome to our home, I am Kasumi, Alara's mother."

Kasumi stares off at the gigantic, terrifying moon hanging over the boneyard but then shakes her head as if to clear it. "My the weather is strange, come in come in. I'm afraid the house is ..." She trails off as she stares at the complete destruction of her home. "Messy." She wanders back into the house as if having forgotten she was in conversation.


Ki Points: 2/4|Female Elf Ninja 2|HP: 14/16|AC: 17/14/13|Saves: +1 Fort, +5 Ref, -1 Will (+2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. mind-affecting)|Init: +4|Perc: +6

"Yes. Yes." Alara tentatively nods, her heart pounding and her insides twisting up. "Don't worry about the mess, Mom."

"...so, how's your day been? Did you enjoy the Festival?" She follows the apparition of her mother to where the dinner table used to be.


M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1

"A pleasure to meet you, I can see where Alara get's her grace from." Ridill pleasantly says with a bow. Taking off his hat he follows the ninjas into the dining room.


Male Halfling Bard 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:15 (T:12,FF:14) | CMB:+1, CMD:12 | F:+1, R:+4, W:+3 (+6 vs Fear)) | Init:+1 | Perc:+7 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 6/9 used | Spells Used: L1 1/3 | Active conditions: 1 CHA damage
GM SpiderBeard wrote:

The wolves are sniffing around and seem to be unable to make of what they're smelling.

"Well sir we've been up doing our training and some big skeleton with a scythe came in, start trying to tell us we was dead! Took that as a threat and went for a charge but it ran off."

There's a strange flicker as he mentions the word dead, his voice distorts and you see, just for a moment, his face distorted and silently screaming before it snaps back.

Malvo finds his own wolf, and has a moment of grief for the poor animal before turning to the solders. He looks for the guards who would have held night watch after the festival. "Night watch, report. Anything unusual after everyone went to bed?"


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==========
Alara and Ridill
==========

"Oh my day has been fine," she says absently as she returns to the home. "The Festival as very nice, yes. We did..." she stares off into space for a moment. "I don't quite recall. But it was very nice."

You make your way into the blasted out home. You see familiar artwork from your parents' homeland shattered and destroyed among the rubble, as well as your own keepsakes and possessions.

Variel looks up distractedly. His hands are splayed as if he's holding open a book but he is unable to read anything and seems to have difficulty figuring out what he's looking at. "Alara! You've brought a friend. A pleasure to meet you, I am Variel. Please excuse me, I'm studying..."

He looks at his empty hands and trails off.

============
Malvo
=============

Your wolfriders stand at attention but seem unable to focus. "Yes sir. I went to bed and... well I'm here now. Nothing unusual to report then."

"I feel a might bit odd sir, hard to remember what happened at the Festival or.. at all really. My mind feels fuzzy."

The wolfriders all mutter in agreement. One of the wolves, despite being highly trained, starts to just wander off with its ride on its back.


Ki Points: 2/4|Female Elf Ninja 2|HP: 14/16|AC: 17/14/13|Saves: +1 Fort, +5 Ref, -1 Will (+2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. mind-affecting)|Init: +4|Perc: +6

Alara's stomach keeps twisting itself into knots, and tears start to form behind her eyes. "You loved studying languages, Dad. You were working on Celestial."

She shakes her head and continues. "...Mom, Dad, do you remember why we moved here?"


Male Halfling Bard 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:15 (T:12,FF:14) | CMB:+1, CMD:12 | F:+1, R:+4, W:+3 (+6 vs Fear)) | Init:+1 | Perc:+7 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 6/9 used | Spells Used: L1 1/3 | Active conditions: 1 CHA damage

So there wasn't an attack or anything ... they all *just died*? How is that even possible?

Deeply saddened but beginning to resign himself, he tells them, "Prepare for inspection and new orders. I'll be bringing a civilian official shortly that I need you to accompany."

He salutes the troops, and goes back to the square to seek out Umble and Thoot.


Male Human (Taldan/Varisian) Pact Wizard (Mercy Patron) 2 | HP: 14/14 | AC: 10 (T: 10, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 11 | F: +1, R: +0, W: +5 | Init: +0 | Perc: +2 | Speed 30ft | The Artisan ability: 0/1 | Hand of the Apprentice: 0/7 | Active conditions: None
GM SpiderBeard wrote:

The Lucky Cup is indeed there - or at least what looks to be the blasted out ruins of what was once an inn. However, it is full of the usuals, sitting at the bar or at tables with the staff working diligently. There is no food and drink being passed around, but instead a sort of mime. People raise a glass that isn't their to their lips, look briefly confused, and carry on talking.

Although Artyom can't recall much in detail on planar knowledge, both he and Ricky know their Pharasman lore fairly well. Upon death, the dead usually arrive in a replica of their resting place within the boneyard - there, they are collected by the psychopomps to join the River of Souls. Those who refuse to go are collected by force, destroyed, or worse yet, return to the Material Plane as angry spirits - ghosts, wraiths, spectres, or worse.

Whomever you want to be here is here.

Artyom frowns at the sight of the Lucky Cup. He wanders in, looking around. He makes note of how the patrons and staff are acting. He freezes when he sees Vibia helping out behind the bar. After a few seconds of debating, he musters his courage and walks over. He sits at the bar in front of her, Ricky. "...Hello, Vibia..." the wizard says in a quiet tone.


M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1

Ridill happily waves at Variel but doesn't otherwise comment at the moment, might not be the best time for pleasantries he thinks.

Sorry for the delay, picked up a second shift at a different club.


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=============
Alara & Ridill
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Variel looks up, a little startled as Alara speaks. "Right! Celestial.. of course. How could I forget that? There was something about the pidgin used by different orders of psychopomp which I..." He trails off and for a moment seems to realize the enormous moon looking over the couple but he quickly shakes his head. "No.. that can't be it."

Kasumi cuts in, moving in, breathless although Alara cannot feel her mother's breath. "Dearest something is wrong, I feel it... I don't understand. We were studying the Whispering Way - beware the Way. Bew--AAHHHH!!!!" Her face suddenly changes into a rictus of anguish, her scream unbearably loud and filling the house before she snaps back to her former self, blankly smiling.


.

=========
Malvo
=========

Leaving your wolfriders behind you head to the edge of the town, where Thoot hides behind a large rock that Umble is perched upon. "Any luck? The townsfolk are quite besides themselves with the shock of the change and feed from each other. When so many die at once it can be a great hardshipness to convince them of their post-mortal state! I fear if they remain too long without joining the River they will be doomed souls - an entire town of angry ghosts, a great affrontishness to Pharasma."

============
Artyom
============

Vibia's red hair is hard to miss, she is currently tending what remains of the bar while engaging with a couple of people standing on the other side of the ruined tavern. She looks sad and lost, but that quickly vanishes behind her enormous smile as you are spotted.

"Arty! Come for some hair of the dog? Quite the Festival last night!" She looks past you to the blackened ruins of the town. "I think? Kind of hard to remember, must have had a few myself."


Ki Points: 2/4|Female Elf Ninja 2|HP: 14/16|AC: 17/14/13|Saves: +1 Fort, +5 Ref, -1 Will (+2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. mind-affecting)|Init: +4|Perc: +6

Beware the Way? So--

Alara recoils in terror and a sob escapes her lips when her mother screams in agony. She has to take a few moments to get her bearings before she realizes Kasumi seems like herself again.

"...yes. The Whispering Way. While you were asleep one night, I took a look at your notes." She swallows. "I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't have peeked--but I... I was curious."

"That's why we moved here. You thought Roslar's Coffer would be where they'd strike next." She sniffs, tears starting to roll down her cheeks.

"I think you were right."

Diplomacy?: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25


Male Human (Taldan/Varisian) Pact Wizard (Mercy Patron) 2 | HP: 14/14 | AC: 10 (T: 10, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 11 | F: +1, R: +0, W: +5 | Init: +0 | Perc: +2 | Speed 30ft | The Artisan ability: 0/1 | Hand of the Apprentice: 0/7 | Active conditions: None
GM SpiderBeard wrote:

Vibia's red hair is hard to miss, she is currently tending what remains of the bar while engaging with a couple of people standing on the other side of the ruined tavern. She looks sad and lost, but that quickly vanishes behind her enormous smile as you are spotted.

"Arty! Come for some hair of the dog? Quite the Festival last night!" She looks past you to the blackened ruins of the town. "I think? Kind of hard to remember, must have had a few myself."

Artyom gives Vibia a small smile. "No, no. I'm here to see you... I've realized that I've been so busy that I really haven't taken time to spend with you." Artyom's smile fades as tears begin to well in his eyes. "Vibia... how much of last night do you remember, exactly?"

What does 'hair of the dog' mean? I'm sorry that it's going over my head.


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Male Middle-aged Human Cleric (Sarenrae) 1 | HP: 15/15 | AC:16 (T:10, FF:15) | CMB: +2, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +0, W: +7 | Init: +4 | Perc: +9 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 0:4 1:2+1 | Active conditions: N/A
Artyom Julum wrote:
What does 'hair of the dog' mean? I'm sorry that it's going over my head.

"Hair of the dog" means having some alcohol the morning after heavy drinking. The idea is getting drunk during a hangover is a way to get rid of the hangover, or at least blot it out with more beer.

Tornell is very interested in the talk of the 'skeleton monster' though further inquiries prove frustrating with the confusion. And what information he does get reveals that it was likely Thoot they are referring to. Frustration then mixes with a dawning sense of dread and sorrow.

So... This isn't some mistake. Everybody died. All in one night. So quickly they aren't even aware they died. And nobody saw anything happen. Everyone is dead, and they need to accept it so they can move on... Sarenrae help me, I was trained on how to help the living cope with the deceased, not help the deceased cope with themselves! And why was I spared? And why in a tomb? This still makes no sense!

Tornell gulps down his fear and sorrow, and looks for a lost soul somewhat more isolated than the others. Giving a rough polish of his holy symbol, he tries to recall a sermon he heard once about acceptance of mortality.

"Greetings, friend!" He greets a soul warmly. "I apologize, but do you have time to listen to the holy words of Sarenrae? I, uh... Need to practice my sermon."

Tornell will attempt to get one soul to accept his death in a roundabout way, practicing a 'sermon' on accepting death, slowly shifting the topic from the recently deceased to the person he's talking to.


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Male Halfling Bard 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:15 (T:12,FF:14) | CMB:+1, CMD:12 | F:+1, R:+4, W:+3 (+6 vs Fear)) | Init:+1 | Perc:+7 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 6/9 used | Spells Used: L1 1/3 | Active conditions: 1 CHA damage
GM SpiderBeard wrote:
Leaving your wolfriders behind you head to the edge of the town, where Thoot hides behind a large rock that Umble is perched upon. "Any luck? The townsfolk are quite besides themselves with the shock of the change and feed from each other. When so many die at once it can be a great hardshipness to convince them of their post-mortal state! I fear if they remain too long without joining the River they will be doomed souls - an entire town of angry ghosts, a great affrontishness to Pharasma."

Malvo's voice catches as he says, "I ... <ahem> I spoke to them, and they realize there is something strange going on. They were surprised by Thoot's appearance. If we can convince the rest of the town to follow you, I intend to order them to accompany you and protect the townsfolk as they approach their final destination."

He looks at Umble earnestly. "I have to know ... the wolves. Does Pharasma take them in as well? Will they have a ... happy afterlife?"


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M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1
Brother Tornell Alderwyn wrote:
Artyom Julum wrote:
What does 'hair of the dog' mean? I'm sorry that it's going over my head.
"Hair of the dog" means having some alcohol the morning after heavy drinking. The idea is getting drunk during a hangover is a way to get rid of the hangover, or at least blot it out with more beer.

The full saying is "hair of the dog that bit ya" if it helps :3


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=======
Alara
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Variel is the one who speaks up as Alara's mother still seems stunned from whatever just happened. "What do you mean you think they were right? I... feel strange but I'm not sure anything has happened. I was just studying..."

=======
Artyom
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"Hm? Oh well I..." Vibia stares at the ruins of the bar. "There was much merrymaking, I sold a lot of ale and I went to bed I think. Everyone was very drunk. Slept hard and then I was here. I don't remember what I had for breakfast. What time of day is it?"

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Malvo
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Umble nods earnestly. ”Wonderful! I hope this goes with utmost superbifluidity! I must say this is quite the case for Thoot and I. We’re used to just… well, one at a time. This is a great help. As for the wolves… happy is such a word you know? Mortals are judged by the Lady of Graves to go to the deity that best suits how their lives was lived. For many it’s simple, for others she must arbitrate. We cannot predict her judgements, but Lastwall types usually go to Iomedae as petitioners. Iomedae then decides if they have lived the right sort of life. If they have, the rider and wolf will ascend to Heaven which I understand is very nice. If they haven’t, the other options uh… vary and may involve the rider and wolf seeing separate fates. It gets complicated.”

As Umble prattles on, Thoot looms over you and taps your shoulder before silently pointing to the centre of town. There, you see that Tornell is trying to engage with the various petitioners in town, but one of them seems to have come to him. You recognize the town’s mayor, and she seems to have her wits about her.

========
Tornell
========

You launch into a typical sermon and shift the emphasis onto understanding of death, acceptance of death, and the journey of the soul. A few people wander over to start listening to you.

The reaction is odd - as you start to try to lead them to the conclusion they're dead the reactions are... powerful.

"Stop that! You're scaring the children!"

"What? No! Please leave me alone."

One person again shows the terrifying reaction of their face twisting in pain and rage before they wander off cluelessly. Either way, the closer you get to people, the angrier and most intense the reactions are.

As you try in vain to convince people, one woman notices you and rushes over.

"Father, I apologize for interrupting you. I am the Mayor, Mulanna Grive. I think I'm dead and I see that you came here with some others. We should talk."


Ki Points: 2/4|Female Elf Ninja 2|HP: 14/16|AC: 17/14/13|Saves: +1 Fort, +5 Ref, -1 Will (+2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. mind-affecting)|Init: +4|Perc: +6

"I..."

...I think the Whispering Way killed you.

The words catch in Alara's throat, and another tear goes down her cheek.

"...Dad, you always trusted Mom when she said something was wrong. What do you remember of last night?"

Am I making any progress?


Male Halfling Bard 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:15 (T:12,FF:14) | CMB:+1, CMD:12 | F:+1, R:+4, W:+3 (+6 vs Fear)) | Init:+1 | Perc:+7 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 6/9 used | Spells Used: L1 1/3 | Active conditions: 1 CHA damage

"Thank you, Thoot."

Malvo nods and hurries over to join Tornell with the mayor. He nods respectfully to her, and says, "Master Sergeant Malvo of the crusaders, ma'am. I seem to be the only member of the guard not ... affected. "

Seeing the effect Tornell's speech is having on the others, he places a hand on the priest's arm. "Perhaps we should leave them for a bit and see what the mayor has to say."


Male Middle-aged Human Cleric (Sarenrae) 1 | HP: 15/15 | AC:16 (T:10, FF:15) | CMB: +2, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +0, W: +7 | Init: +4 | Perc: +9 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 0:4 1:2+1 | Active conditions: N/A

"Ah, good, Malvo! Was just about to look for you. Mayor, you probably have a lot of information, but if you can keep it together for a bit, let us gather our companions. I think we all need to hear this."

"Yeah, the sermon isn't working. Was about to stop anyways."

As noted, Tornell will look to gather the others, though he isn't so devoid of class that he'll interrupt heartfelt moments to do so.


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@Alara - progress? Not really. They're unable to process that htey are not where they think they should be. You could attempt to just bluntly point out that they're dead or if you want you could fast-forward the conversation to see how a long period of subtly nudging them towards the truth goes.


Male Human (Taldan/Varisian) Pact Wizard (Mercy Patron) 2 | HP: 14/14 | AC: 10 (T: 10, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 11 | F: +1, R: +0, W: +5 | Init: +0 | Perc: +2 | Speed 30ft | The Artisan ability: 0/1 | Hand of the Apprentice: 0/7 | Active conditions: None
GM SpiderBeard wrote:
"Hm? Oh well I..." Vibia stares at the ruins of the bar. "There was much merrymaking, I sold a lot of ale and I went to bed I think. Everyone was very drunk. Slept hard and then I was here. I don't remember what I had for breakfast. What time of day is it?"

Artyom blinks away some tears before looking at the giant skull moon through a hole in the roof. "I'm not sure. It's too hard for me to tell right now." He looks at Vibia. "Vibia... would you say that I'm... a bad brother? I mean... I do focus on my work often... But... am I a good brother to you and the rest of our siblings? Am I a good son and nephew to our parents and Uncle Dolin?"


.

===========
Tornell and Malvo
===========

Artyom is not too far from here, the bombed-out tavern run by his sister, speaking with her. A little ways off up a hill you can spot Alara speaking tearfully with people who look like her parents while Ridill stands by awkwardly.

=========
Artyom
=========

Vibia's face changes as she stares at Artyom. "But... what? Are you alright Arty? Of course you're a good son and nephew and the best brother. Did you get another mean letter from..."

She blinks in confusion and stares at Ricky for a moment. "... from. I can't remember. It feels like he's in a different world from us. What happened to the roof? I feel so cold. That's a nice bird..."

After a moment she seems refocus. "Our parents are so proud of you - they don't have to understand magic to know that their son is destined for greatness. And Dolin always liked you better than me silly."


Male Halfling Bard 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:15 (T:12,FF:14) | CMB:+1, CMD:12 | F:+1, R:+4, W:+3 (+6 vs Fear)) | Init:+1 | Perc:+7 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 6/9 used | Spells Used: L1 1/3 | Active conditions: 1 CHA damage

Malvo find a good spot to speak to the mayor and asks her to wait a moment while the others are gathered. He then suggests Tornell go check on Artyon while he heads over to Ridill and Alara.

He whispers to Ridill, "This can't be easy ... it was difficult enough for me with my troops and my wolf. I don't actually have any family involved."

He waits for a reasonable break in Alara's conversation, then tries to get her attention to come over, not wanting to interrupt.


M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1

Ridill nods to the Halfing, unsure what he could do in the situation.


Male Human (Taldan/Varisian) Pact Wizard (Mercy Patron) 2 | HP: 14/14 | AC: 10 (T: 10, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 11 | F: +1, R: +0, W: +5 | Init: +0 | Perc: +2 | Speed 30ft | The Artisan ability: 0/1 | Hand of the Apprentice: 0/7 | Active conditions: None
GM SpiderBeard wrote:

Vibia's face changes as she stares at Artyom. "But... what? Are you alright Arty? Of course you're a good son and nephew and the best brother. Did you get another mean letter from..."

She blinks in confusion and stares at Ricky for a moment. "... from. I can't remember. It feels like he's in a different world from us. What happened to the roof? I feel so cold. That's a nice bird..."

After a moment she seems refocus. "Our parents are so proud of you - they don't have to understand magic to know that their son is destined for greatness. And Dolin always liked you better than me silly."

Artyom's face falters as Vibia is in her confused state. When she finishes, Artyom chuckles. "No. No. I didn't get any mean letters from Samuel. Haven't heard anything from him in a while." He then says, "And don't worry. Uncle Dolin loves you as much as me." He remains quiet, debating on whether to tell Vibia of her fate. Instead, he says, "So, I don't think I've ever asked you. How did you get this place when you moved here?"


Ki Points: 2/4|Female Elf Ninja 2|HP: 14/16|AC: 17/14/13|Saves: +1 Fort, +5 Ref, -1 Will (+2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. mind-affecting)|Init: +4|Perc: +6

Alara pauses and looks over her shoulder, her cheeks stained with tears. "Um... Mom, Dad, would you please excuse me for a moment?"

She approaches Malvo on unsteady legs. "What are you doing here?"

After this, I think I'll try the 'gradually talk them around' approach.


.

==========
Artyom
==========

Vibia blinks as she tries to recall. "Why can't I remember... I feel like something is wrong but I can't place it. I got the inn and bought it, something about an old man? Arty what's going on? I feel like I'm in a cloud. Everything is so hazy."

===========
Alara
===========

Your parents both nod and seem to faze out of the conversation, returning to their confused mid-state as they try to go through the routine of their lives in the shattered home.

Going to push forward a little bit - family rp can continue as much as you wish as a side-thing.

-----------

You meet with the Mayor who starts speaking. "Perhaps I had a somewhat fatalistic view of things, but I know of the Boneyard, and I see that moon. However, I can't convince the people here to understand what has happened to them. I think enough time and patience will work, but there are hundreds of us. There are two groups I think we can speak with and maybe sort this through. I've been looking for the legitimate authorities to help us but all we met was some weird skeleton with a scythe!"

She points to the edge of the town. "The town council is there with Arbella Tharmethion, she's the most popular of us but someone I don't recognize has been arguing with her and I can't get a word in!"

She then points over to a massive, dead oak. "Then... the children. They're all playing. I'm no good with children, I can't imagine bringing this news to them or the damage I could do. Can you speak with Arbella and the children? Please?"


M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1

Mayor

"The weird skeleton and bird are the legitimate authorities.... barring a future conversation with their boss." Ridill comments after listening to the lucid spirit.

"Arbelle and the new person we can deal with. But the... the kids are-" his words slowly grind out in a warbled sound before scratching the side of his head and taking a deep breath.


Male Halfling Bard 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:15 (T:12,FF:14) | CMB:+1, CMD:12 | F:+1, R:+4, W:+3 (+6 vs Fear)) | Init:+1 | Perc:+7 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 6/9 used | Spells Used: L1 1/3 | Active conditions: 1 CHA damage

Malvo thinks for a moment, then says, "I have an idea, just a moment."

He goes over to Umble and asks, "Do the spirits have to truly recognize that they are dead, or is it sufficient to convince them to follow you? Especially with the children, that might be easier than actually getting the concept through to them."


.

Umble cocks his head curiously. "Hrm... we've never tried it that way, but if they follow, they follow. A feat of prestidigitation to be sure, but perhaps one that could work."


Male Halfling Bard 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:15 (T:12,FF:14) | CMB:+1, CMD:12 | F:+1, R:+4, W:+3 (+6 vs Fear)) | Init:+1 | Perc:+7 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 6/9 used | Spells Used: L1 1/3 | Active conditions: 1 CHA damage

Malvo comes back to the group. "If we can convince the adults, let's see if we can get the kids to play Follow-the-Leader with us. It will be less traumatic than trying to tell them they're dead. In fact, it may work to just tell the adults that Umble and Thoot are taking us to a safer place. "


Male Middle-aged Human Cleric (Sarenrae) 1 | HP: 15/15 | AC:16 (T:10, FF:15) | CMB: +2, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +0, W: +7 | Init: +4 | Perc: +9 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 0:4 1:2+1 | Active conditions: N/A

"I, uh... I'm good with that plan. I don't know how to tell adults they're dead. Never mind children. But let's see who'se being argumentive, first."


M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1

"Sounds like a plan," Ridill agrees before marching over to the where the Mayor had pointed out the troublemaker.


Male Human (Taldan/Varisian) Pact Wizard (Mercy Patron) 2 | HP: 14/14 | AC: 10 (T: 10, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 11 | F: +1, R: +0, W: +5 | Init: +0 | Perc: +2 | Speed 30ft | The Artisan ability: 0/1 | Hand of the Apprentice: 0/7 | Active conditions: None

Vibia:
GM SpiderBeard wrote:
Vibia blinks as she tries to recall. "Why can't I remember... I feel like something is wrong but I can't place it. I got the inn and bought it, something about an old man? Arty what's going on? I feel like I'm in a cloud. Everything is so hazy."

Artyom's tears begin to flow as Vibia asks about what was going on. He says, "I don't know how to say this. So, I'll just be honest with you... Vibia, something happened last night. You... all of Roslar's Coffer... are dead. Your spirits are in the Boneyard. I'm still alive with four other people. I don't know why or how. I'm alive in the Boneyard and you are..." He takes a breath before pulling out his journal and opening to the second page. "I've been making notes. I don't know what happened, how it happened, or why. But... you're gone. And I couldn't protect you. I'm so sorry..." He wipes his tears while Ricky nuzzles against his hand. "But, I can help you here. I can make sure you pass peacefully. And know this... I will avenge you. And, if I can, I'll bring you back to life."

I think I'll play it safe and Take 10 on my Diplomacy check for 11.

The Mayor

As Artyom listens to the conversation, he and Ricky think about information regarding the people involved: the Mayor, Arbelle, this "new person", and the Town Council. They also keep an eye out for danger, think about the architecture of the Council Chamber building, and gauge on the intentions of Mulanna.

Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Perception (Alertness): 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 2 + 1 = 21
Profession (architect): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Sense Motive (Alertness): 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 2 + 1 = 10

Knowledge (history): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (16) - 1 = 15
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
Profession (architect): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10

Artyom sees Ridill leaving and decides to follow him. "Let's be off. The sooner we can do this, the sooner we can find out what's going on here."


Male Middle-aged Human Cleric (Sarenrae) 1 | HP: 15/15 | AC:16 (T:10, FF:15) | CMB: +2, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +0, W: +7 | Init: +4 | Perc: +9 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 0:4 1:2+1 | Active conditions: N/A

"Actually, Mayor, quick question: I don't suppose you have any idea what happened in town? Last any of us remember, we were in town for the festival, enjoying the food and beer. We woke up in... Long story. Do you recall anything happening in town before all this? Or did you all just wake up dead?"


.

GM Rolls:

10d6 ⇒ (3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 4, 5, 2, 6) = 29

Artyom:

Vibia looks confused as you lay out what has happened clearly to her. "What? But... no! That doesn't make sense! I don't... what? But you're right here. We're all here. It's just a little confusing is all."

You start talking with her more and more, trying to gently bring her around to understanding her fate. She slowly starts to grasp it, but you get the impression it may take a little while for her to completely understand it as her emotional response is strong when you push too hard. However, you slowly bring her around and after around a half an hour of conversation, she is openly weeping.

"Oh gods... oh gods I see it. I see the moon... oh Arty what happened. Please. Please take care of the family, everyone who is left. I don't know what's waiting for me here now, but I feel the call. Please find out what happened and stop them." She throws her arms around you, a creature of pure quintessence that carries the soul of your sister. There's a strange tingle but she is very much solid and real. "I love you. I know you have to help with your friends."

Alara:

You continue to push at your parents while Ridill is briefly pulled back to speak with Malvo and Tornell. You realize you're starting to make progress. The fact there's no roof, the moon before them, the ashes that were once books - it slowly, slowly starts to penetrate. It appears to upset your mother the most as the horrific reaction appears a little more until it feels like something has 'clicked'.

Variel and Kasumi both stand, staring around at the burned out house and the boneyards that stretch out infinitely in all directions. "This... this is it. Variel you know this is what happens to us - happens to everyone"

Your father steps over to you and holds your head against his chest for a moment. His body is glowing, and slightly translucent but still solid. However, this is no pulse, no breath. "I think you're right. Lastwall... a town destroyed. We are destroyed. This wasn't orcs. Only the Way did this."

Your mother wraps her arms over your shoulders as the souls of both your parents embrace you. "Everything you learned, everything you were taught. Our ways. Use them... our notes are probably destroyed, but you can help stop this from happening to others. We lived long and well and we are so proud. Fight. We will always be with you. If you are alive and in the Boneyard, you must find a way back. You aren't meant to be here."

The mayor sighs miserably. "I wish I knew, Brother. We woke up dead. Something destroyed the town... look at it. I can see the damage. I think it destroyed it quickly, nobody ... nobody suffered. We'd probably remember that."

Gathering up the group you head over to see if you can convince Arbella Tharmethion of her recently deceased status. You find her lingering in a hedge thicket with several other members of council.

A ghostly man who bears a strong resemblance to her is ranting wildly. He has a short beard and a broken nose.

"This nerfarious trickery must come to an end! It is obvious you are not dead! Do you touch with your hands? Do you see things before you? You must see through this trickery - far greater heroics await you! And forget about what they said about Roslar - the man died a hero!"

Arbella stares at him. "What? Nobody even mentioned Roslar??"


M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1

On the way

"They come around?" Ridill quietly asks Alara as they walk.

There

"Oi! Snubnose, got a minute for some talky-talk?" he calls out to the man.


Male Middle-aged Human Cleric (Sarenrae) 1 | HP: 15/15 | AC:16 (T:10, FF:15) | CMB: +2, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +0, W: +7 | Init: +4 | Perc: +9 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 0:4 1:2+1 | Active conditions: N/A

Tornell pulls out his 'kindly priest' voice, admittedly a bit rusty from lack of use.

"Peace, children, peace! Sarenrae watches over us all! Now, then, what troubles you?"


Male Human (Taldan/Varisian) Pact Wizard (Mercy Patron) 2 | HP: 14/14 | AC: 10 (T: 10, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 11 | F: +1, R: +0, W: +5 | Init: +0 | Perc: +2 | Speed 30ft | The Artisan ability: 0/1 | Hand of the Apprentice: 0/7 | Active conditions: None

Vibia:
GM Spiderbeard wrote:

Vibia looks confused as you lay out what has happened clearly to her. "What? But... no! That doesn't make sense! I don't... what? But you're right here. We're all here. It's just a little confusing is all."

You start talking with her more and more, trying to gently bring her around to understanding her fate. She slowly starts to grasp it, but you get the impression it may take a little while for her to completely understand it as her emotional response is strong when you push too hard. However, you slowly bring her around and after around a half an hour of conversation, she is openly weeping.

"Oh gods... oh gods I see it. I see the moon... oh Arty what happened. Please. Please take care of the family, everyone who is left. I don't know what's waiting for me here now, but I feel the call. Please find out what happened and stop them." She throws her arms around you, a creature of pure quintessence that carries the soul of your sister. There's a strange tingle but she is very much solid and real. "I love you. I know you have to help with your friends."

As Artyom sits on the stool, Vibia hugs him over the ruined counter. He eagerly returns it, tears falling from his eyes. "I love you too, Vibia. I will watch over the family. I will not fail you."

So, do I need to bring her to Umble and Thoot? Or does she go to them on her own?

Artyom and Ricky look over this man with judging eyes, trying to figure him out and who he is.

Artyom's Rolls

Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Knowledge (local) (untrained): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Perception (Alertness): 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 2 + 1 = 14
Sense Motive (Alertness): 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 2 + 1 = 12
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12

Ricky's Rolls

Knowledge (history): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
Knowledge (local) (untrained): 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (16) - 2 = 14
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3


.

@Artyom they figure it out.

As Ridill and Tornell arrest the man's attention, Artyom studies him carefully. The man's face looks familiar - and then it hits him. His face was featured in the defaced mural in Roslar's Tomb - from the room with the grid puzzle. One of the soldiers.

The man spins to stare at you. His form is strange and ghostly and his face contorted with emotion - he is clearly not a petitioner like the other dead but instead something entirely different.

"Snubnose?! Who are you?" He looks you over with a stunned expression. He seems to exude bitterness as you look upon him. "No matter. A cruel lie has been spread that these dear folk are dead, spread by this woman!" He points a finger at the mayor. "Great heroics await my descendant, Arbella should this nefarious trickery be exposed and laid to rest. I have come from beyond the grave to warn them."

Arbella blinks with the confusion you've seen from the other petitioners. "He... he says he's my ancestor Garrid. I heard tell that he fought alongside Roslar..."


Male Human (Taldan/Varisian) Pact Wizard (Mercy Patron) 2 | HP: 14/14 | AC: 10 (T: 10, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 11 | F: +1, R: +0, W: +5 | Init: +0 | Perc: +2 | Speed 30ft | The Artisan ability: 0/1 | Hand of the Apprentice: 0/7 | Active conditions: None

Artyom steps forward. "I recognize you. You're one of the soldiers on that defaced mural in Roslar's tomb. For all we know, you may be her ancestor, Garrid. However, that doesn't change things. The Mayor is telling the truth. Your descendant and everyone in town is dead! We are in the Boneyard! Look at the moon! It has a skull on it! And we know you're dead because the five of us are the only living people here!"

[ooc]Take 10 on Diplomacy for 11.[


Male Middle-aged Human Cleric (Sarenrae) 1 | HP: 15/15 | AC:16 (T:10, FF:15) | CMB: +2, CMD: 12 | F: +4, R: +0, W: +7 | Init: +4 | Perc: +9 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 0:4 1:2+1 | Active conditions: N/A

"Good sir," Tornell continues to speak as a kindly priest, walking towards the spirit that identifies as Garrid, "There is no need for conflict. Sarenrae preaches forgiveness instead of hostility. Discourse instead of discord. Let us find common ground and hear the other side. For you can open your ears without having to open your mind. You claim she speaks falsehoods, yet you assault her with words instead of engaging in meaningful debate...

While Tornell is moving for a diplomatic discussion, his other goal is to just keep prattling on and on with Sarenraean platitudes, hopefully distracting Garrid. Maybe enough to lure him away. Or to piss him off enough to do something dumb.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24


Male Halfling Bard 2 | HP: 16/16 | AC:15 (T:12,FF:14) | CMB:+1, CMD:12 | F:+1, R:+4, W:+3 (+6 vs Fear)) | Init:+1 | Perc:+7 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 6/9 used | Spells Used: L1 1/3 | Active conditions: 1 CHA damage

"Garrid, why do you refuse to believe that everyone is dead? The evidence is quite clear, as Artyom has pointed out. We don't know what happened, but the fact is that the townsfolk are as deceased as you are."

He looks earnestly at the man and adds, "But I assure you, we five will do everything we can to get to the bottom of this. We will find out what happened, and we will avenge every one of our family and friends."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10 Additional +2 from my parade armor if Garrid counts as "from Lastwall"

Dammit. I thought about taking 10, but didn't think 18 would be good enough. *sigh* Maybe you can count that as a successful Aid Another? ;-)


M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1

Staring Garrid in the face Ridill promptly reaches out and puts his hand through an unsent soul. Assuming they're incorporeal.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22


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Ki Points: 2/4|Female Elf Ninja 2|HP: 14/16|AC: 17/14/13|Saves: +1 Fort, +5 Ref, -1 Will (+2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. mind-affecting)|Init: +4|Perc: +6

Family

Alara can no longer hold back the torrent of tears that had been building up behind her eyes, and she starts sobbing into her unsent father's chest.

Kasumi wrote:
"Everything you learned, everything you were taught. Our ways. Use them... our notes are probably destroyed, but you can help stop this from happening to others. We lived long and well and we are so proud. Fight. We will always be with you. If you are alive and in the Boneyard, you must find a way back. You aren't meant to be here."

Alara sniffs. "...I-I'm not ready. This isn't fair..." She starts to say before she forces herself to stop.

"...I... I will. デスナの名において、私はあなたの使命を完了すると誓います." She intones, her voice shaky but resolute.

Tien:
"In Desna's name, I swear I will complete your mission."

She looks over to where her bedroom used to be. "...there's something I need to find before I go."

Would I be allowed to take a stuffed toy from the ashes? Or was absolutely everything destroyed?
----------------
Ridill

Ridill wrote:
"They come around?"

"...yes." Alara sniffs, her eyes puffy and averted from Ridill's.

----------------
Present

Alara is quiet and unresponsive as the party questions Garrid.


Male Human (Taldan/Varisian) Pact Wizard (Mercy Patron) 2 | HP: 14/14 | AC: 10 (T: 10, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 11 | F: +1, R: +0, W: +5 | Init: +0 | Perc: +2 | Speed 30ft | The Artisan ability: 0/1 | Hand of the Apprentice: 0/7 | Active conditions: None

Oh. I didn't think about that. Sorry to copy your idea, Alara. But is there any mementos of Vibia's that I can take with me?


.

You can both take mementos. Great RP guys.

GM Rolls:

Ridill: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Tornell: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Alara: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Artyom: 1d20 ⇒ 8
Malvo: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Garrid: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

Despite the group being extremely honey-tongued and doing a very good job of convincing the councillors, Garrid has very different ideas.

"LIARS!" he screams, his ghostly face contorting. "CHARLATANS! DECEIVERS! ROSLAR WAS A HERO! We'll see who is right!" With a scream of rage, he starts to charge at you! However, being the heroes you are, you saw the fight coming and can act first.

Everyone is up! Battle map is updated. The spooks in the top left are petitioners and not hostile. Garrid is red-outlined.


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Ki Points: 2/4|Female Elf Ninja 2|HP: 14/16|AC: 17/14/13|Saves: +1 Fort, +5 Ref, -1 Will (+2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. mind-affecting)|Init: +4|Perc: +6

Family:
As Alara digs through the wreckage, sitting under the charred remains of her bed is a precious sight...

"Hogo!"

The young ninja holds up a stuffed teddy bear, its patchy fur a faded beige colour and with little black stones set for eyes. Colourful stitches, courtesy of her parents, crisscross over its arms, legs, stomach and parts of its back. This toy has obviously seen many decades of love and care.

Alara looks between her bear and her ghostly parents. Then she finally stands up and puts Hogo in her satchel. More tears are streaming from her eyes, and her throat tightens a bit further. She takes several tentative steps away from her ruined home, falling in next to Ridill.

Alara flinches when Garrid snaps, and remembering Kasumi's final instructions, decides to hang back and let the knights take point.

Holding my action for after Ridill & the heavy-hitters go.


M Human Cavalier 2 | HP: 24/24 | AC: 18 (T: 12, FF: 16) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +6, R: +3, W: +3 | Init: +2| Perc: +8 | Speed 30ft | Challenge: 1/1 | Active conditions: ACP -1

Alara

Without a word Ridill puts an arm over the ninja’s shoulder as they walk.

Garrid

Fine then, I was needin to blow off some steam,” Ridill growls before charging the raving man.

Greatsword: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 4 + 2 = 15
slashing/cold iron: 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (6, 6) + 3 = 15

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