GM SpiderBeard's Tyrant's Grasp

Game Master Barvo Delancy

Book One: The Dead Roads

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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

”Well, the First World overlaps with the Material and people on both sides fall through all the time, makes sense the same thing would happen with the land of the dead.” Ridill nonchalantly decides.


.

So did I, lol.

Try as you might, you do not remember anything beyond the festivities of the last day. The last thing any of you remember is going to sleep.


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

[quoteblock]"Your service to the Lady of Graves is noted."[/quoteblock]
"Sounds good to me. Even as a servant of Sarenrae, good to keep in the Gray Lady's good books. Always a good... idea... to..."

Tornell talks mostly to himself as he walks outside the tomb, stuttering into silence as he surveys the surrounding landscape.

"By the Dawnflower..."

Like most everyone else, he is shocked into silence.

"What the HELL was in that beer I drank at the festival!?"

At least, for a little while.

Ridill wrote:
”How? We ain’t dead.”

"You are right, big guy. I'm certain we're not dead. But just to be sure... Artyom, may I use your assistance in a quick experiment?"


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
Ridill wrote:
”Well, the First World overlaps with the Material and people on both sides fall through all the time, makes sense the same thing would happen with the land of the dead.” Ridill nonchalantly decides.

”I don’t think that’s how the Boneyard works. If it was, then we’d be hearing more stories like ours.”

Brother Tornell Alderwyn wrote:
"You are right, big guy. I'm certain we're not dead. But just to be sure... Artyom, may I use your assistance in a quick experiment?"

Artyom turns to Tornell. ”Of course. How may I help?”


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
Artyom Julum wrote:
Ridill wrote:
”Well, the First World overlaps with the Material and people on both sides fall through all the time, makes sense the same thing would happen with the land of the dead.” Ridill nonchalantly decides.
”I don’t think that’s how the Boneyard works. If it was, then we’d be hearing more stories like ours.”

"The key difference between the two, is that the land of the dead probably doesn't like people leaving," Ridill grimly responds.


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 stares, slack-jawed, at the... decidedly creepy landscape before them.

"...no no no no... this is all wrong!"


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

"That it be!" Ridill brightly states. "Which is why we need to find someone who can fix it."


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
Ridill wrote:
"That it be!" Ridill brightly states. "Which is why we need to find someone who can fix it."

"So ... you're suggesting we go seek out Pharasma?"


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
Malvo wrote:
Ridill wrote:
"That it be!" Ridill brightly states. "Which is why we need to find someone who can fix it."
"So ... you're suggesting we go seek out Pharasma?"

"Yep, tell her her or one of her workers done f~+~ed up." he continues.


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:
Artyom turns to Tornell. ”Of course. How may I help?”

"Attention, Everyone. To reassure everyone in these troubled times, I would like to disprove a worrying thought I'm sure all of you have. First, I shall prove we are not dead."

At which point, Tornell smacks Artyom on the back of the head. Not hard, but the sort of light smack you'd give a friend who said something dumb.

"As you can see by the fact you probably heard that, and Artyom undoubtedly felt that, we are most definitely not dead, as the souls of the departed do not usually feel smacks upside the head."

"Of course, why we're here, I have no idea. Or, for that matter, why Roslar's tomb is here with bugs and fey creatures in it. And why we were in coffins in the bottom level. Ridill has sort of the right idea, though. Sitting around praying isn't going to accomplish jack, and that's coming from a servant of Sarenrae. I say we take a break, rest up, and then we head out to find... Well, something other than this place."


.

As you look out into the boneyard and reel at the implications of where you actually are, you see two figures approaching up a path towards you.

The first is a looming skeletal humanoid with large wings and a metallic jackal mask for a head. On its shoulder rides a black raven in a porcelain mask. As they approach, the raven speaks up in an excitable, feminine voice.

"Oh, isn’t this a meeting of obvious fortuitousness! Here you are, and here we are. My name is Umble, and my silent companion here is named Thoot. We mean you no harm, despite the strange harmaments you seem to have already suffered. Yes, yes, this is the land of the dead, and no, you aren’t dead yourselves. You seem to be something of a special case—you seem a touch too vitalitinous for this place. May we granted accession to your countenance? A closer inspection is required, yes it is!"

The skeletal humanoid called Thoot stares at you weirdly while the Raven, apparently Umble, flaps over towards you to land on the ground in front of you.


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

What I hear.

Ridill gives a polite bow and a smile, doffing his hat for the excitable bird. "That would be a pleasure, fair Umble. As long as this inspection clears up the error we find ourselves and quickens us back to the land of the quick."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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

What, he doesn't even say "I am Thoot!" ? ;-)

Malvo shakes his head and mutters, 'More talking birds ... "

"I don't suppose you have any idea how we could have gotten here, do you? We woke up in coffins in this crypt with no memory of what happened."


.

The bird peers closely, cocking her head to one side. "A most serendipitous inquiry but ahh, see there? There is a wonderment! Your hearts have something lodged inside them. Something that’s brought you here, but kept you from doing so in the orthodoxiumous fashion. I cannot help but ruminate: what has caused your strange condition?"

She flaps up to Ridill's shoulder and leans over, tapping at his armored coat over his heart. "Your hearts have something lodged inside them. Something that's brought you here, but kept you from doing so in the orthodoxiumous fashion. I cannot help but ruminate: what has caused your strange condition?"

Thoot just keeps on staring.


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

Was the repetition of his words intentional, or was that an editing mistake?

"We were hoping you might have some clues ... let's start with what you mean by 'something lodged in our hearts'. Do you mean literally, like we've got an object inside us, or more metaphorically, like some strange emotional or magical thing?"


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 down at his chest Ridill absentmindly pets the back of Umble's head with his finger.


.

Editing mistake. Whoops!

Umble pecks at Ridill's chest again. "Well, it’s right there for the seeing, if you can see into your own hearts. A longitudinousness of your makeup. It’s ah... a bit of a tweak, you see."

She cocks her head to the side. "Why you are in Pharasma's Boneyard, the very Graveyard of Souls is another inquiry. That is as much a mysteriosity to us as it is to you, I assure you. The customary route is one of considerably more post-mortality than you seem to have. We psychopomps, whose functionation is to guide the dead to their final rewards are at a loss as to what our particular role is in these circumstances. Perhaps we are best to share our inquisitiveness with -you-."

She hops off of Ridill and back to Thoot to regard you all. "I must speak in utmost plainness - who are you, and where are you from? What do you last remember?"


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

"...my name is Alara Shinrin." Alara answers, visibly grateful to hear a question she can answer.

"I am from the nation of Lastwall, and my family resides in the town of Roslar's Coffer. I remember that there was a big festival. We had some nice food and fun, and then I went to bed..."

"...and woke up in a sarcophagus."


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

"Master Sergeant Malvo of the Lastwall Crusaders, Wolfrider Division. Commander of the Roslar's Coffer detachment. I was at the same festival. I finished my shift on patrol, spent some time enjoying the evening, and retired to the barracks. The next thing I remember is waking up in that coffin."


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

"Name's Ridill, knight errant of Ragadahn, currently from the Wavelace Achipelago... I also got snookered by the festival at the Coffer... booze was good." Ridill adds.


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
Brother Tornell Alderwyn wrote:

"Attention, Everyone. To reassure everyone in these troubled times, I would like to disprove a worrying thought I'm sure all of you have. First, I shall prove we are not dead."

At which point, Tornell smacks Artyom on the back of the head. Not hard, but the sort of light smack you'd give a friend who said something dumb.

"As you can see by the fact you probably heard that, and Artyom undoubtedly felt that, we are most definitely not dead, as the souls of the departed do not usually feel smacks upside the head."

"Of course, why we're here, I have no idea. Or, for that matter, why Roslar's tomb is here with bugs and fey creatures in it. And why we were in coffins in the bottom level. Ridill has sort of the right idea, though. Sitting around praying isn't going to accomplish jack, and that's coming from a servant of Sarenrae. I say we take a break, rest up, and then we head out to find... Well, something other than this place."

Artyom frowns at the smack to the head. He says in a sarcastic tone, "Wonderful experiment. I'm so glad I could help with that. But, you do have have a point. I felt that so we are still alive. As for resting..."

This will occur before Umble and Thoot come into the picture.

Ricky begins flutter and cawing. "Artyom! Artyom! Look! The book!" Artyom glances down at his spellbook, in which one of the pages is glowing. He hurriedly takes it out and flips to the glowing page. "Now this is interesting! Could it be...?" Ricky points at some other portions of the book. "Hey! Those spells we've been working on! I understand them now!" Artyom smiles. "As do I! We finally seem to be making progress." His attention goes back to the book's glowing page. The glow turns into flowing, glowing text that appears on the page as if something's writing it down. Ricky caws in joy. "And look at that! We can really help people with that!" Artyom nods. "Agreed." He turns to the others. "I'm going to memorize some spells that can help us. Give me 15 minutes." He then sits down and pours over his spellbook, Ricky on his head and looking at the book as well. After 15 minutes, they stop and Artyom stands up, closing the book, with the page still faintly glowing. "Very well. Thank you for your patience."

GM SpiderBeard wrote:

As you look out into the boneyard and reel at the implications of where you actually are, you see two figures approaching up a path towards you.

The first is a looming skeletal humanoid with large wings and a metallic jackal mask for a head. On its shoulder rides a black raven in a porcelain mask. As they approach, the raven speaks up in an excitable, feminine voice.

"Oh, isn’t this a meeting of obvious fortuitousness! Here you are, and here we are. My name is Umble, and my silent companion here is named Thoot. We mean you no harm, despite the strange harmaments you seem to have already suffered. Yes, yes, this is the land of the dead, and no, you aren’t dead yourselves. You seem to be something of a special case—you seem a touch too vitalitinous for this place. May we granted accession to your countenance? A closer inspection is required, yes it is!"

The skeletal humanoid called Thoot stares at you weirdly while the Raven, apparently Umble, flaps over towards you to land on the ground in front of you.

Artyom looks over the two beings, curious as to what they are.

Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
Knowledge (dungeoneering): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
Knowledge (planes): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18

When Umble is pecking at Ridill's chest, Ricky flies over and inspects the same spot, giving it a few pecks. Artyom scratches his chin. "So something within our hearts is keeping us alive within the Boneyard. How interesting..." When the others make their introductions, Ricky flutters back to the wizard's shoulder. "I'm Ricky! And this is my friend, Artyom Julum!" Artyom straightens out his clothes. "I am honored to meet two psychopomps. I am a wizard and an architect from the city of Vigil, currently visiting family in Roslar's Coffer and attending business there as well. I don't remember much on how I got here as well. And if you need more information..." He adjusts his quarterstaff so it rests in the crook of his arm and pulls out his journal. "Perhaps this can help out. I still have a few things to update this on."

Note: He's also holding his spell book with the still slightly glowing page. Figured that it might be interesting for RP purposes. Completely optional.


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

”... it’s not gonna blow up is it?” Ridill asks the Wizard with two books. Specifically the glowing one.


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 looks at Ridill with a deadpan expression. "No. My spellbook is not going to blow up. It's just the book's way of adding more... unique spells. You should be thankful. I now know how to cast cure light wounds."

Bluff: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6

Sense Motive DC 6 Lol:
You get the feeling that the wizard is hiding something.


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

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3

”It’s the book’s way... of adding spells. Okay, sure.”


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

Sense Motive?: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24

Alara blinks. "Wait. What do you mean, the book's way of adding spells? I thought wizards were supposed to do that themselves."


.

Ah hah someone took knowledge planes.

Now that Artyom realizes he's in one of the outer planes, his education starts to snap back into mind. Frame of reference is important after all.

Psychopomps:

Upon death, the souls of the departed must be brought to Pharasma for judgement. However, the actual task of getting them there is no simple feat. The River of Souls must be tended as there are innumerable strange exceptions and interfering forces.

The psychopomps are the ones who tend the River of Souls. They are the bureaucrats of the afterlife, addressing and resolving the complications of death to ensure the process works as intended. There are multiple different forms of psychopomp who all perform different services. They are dispassionate towards the pleas of the dead; salvation and damnation is the same fate to a psychopomp. They're just here to do their jobs. All psychopomps wear ornate masks for reasons that are only speculated upon.

You identify Umble and Thoot as nosoi and vanth psychopomps respectively. Nosoi are the least of the psychopomps and are noted for being charismatic messengers and clerks who specialize in counseling and reassuring the newly dead.

Vanth are a more terrifying form, and are the guardians of the dead who protect souls from predators, and hunt down souls who would flee their fate.

---
As you explain when you come form, Thoot responds. The tall creature with the wings and jackal-skull head softly raps Umble’s head, then points to the entrance to a nearby valley. "Ah, Thoot, now that is a brilliant idea!" exclaims the gregarious bird. "You are from Roslar’s Coffer, and they are from Roslar’s Coffer. Perhaps you can help us? If so, we can provide you with some very helpful information about wending you in a homewardly direction.

"Some awful tragedy befell this Roslar’s Coffer. Everyone there died quite suddenly overnight. Well, everyone but you, apparently, but in any case, the sum of the populatory has deposited here, dead or otherwise. Their souls are milling about in that valley over there. As happens on such calamitous occasions, the inhabitants aren’t quite ready to admit that they’ve died. Despite their obvious amortality.

"Now, Thoot and I, we are not psychopomps in the greatest esteem. One might say we’re on our last chances around here. But because these souls have arrived in our territory, it’s our duty to make them accept their mortality and move them along in a soulwardly way. But they took one look at us, called us ‘monsters,’ and accosted us with homicidal intent. They wouldn’t allow any discussionment. Now, eventually, more powerful psychopomps will be along to settle this all out, but Thoot and I will be in a terrible amount of trouble in light of this failing. Here is our propositionality: if you convince these souls they’ve expired—as, until the recent event of their passing that you somehow avoided, you were among their kind—we can tell you about the Dead Roads: the roads from the Boneyard to mortal worlds, that is. Have we a deal?"

Umble cocks her head to the side and opens her beak. Despite being a weird death-bird in a spooky mask, she looks like she's trying to offer an encouraging smile.


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

”... WHAT?” Ridill lets outs when Umble says everyone in Roslar’s Coffer is dead.


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
Umble wrote:
"Some awful tragedy befell this Roslar’s Coffer. Everyone there died quite suddenly overnight."

The raven-psychopomp's words hit the young elf like a catapult stone.

"...Mom? Dad?" She whispers, her eyes widening in shock.

She doesn't really listen to the rest of Umble's rambling proposal.

No. No. This can't be. They're not dead. We're not dead, and they're not dead. They can't be--Mom's the strongest person and Dad's the smartest person I've ever met. They wouldn't have died like that! They wouldn't have!


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

”Is Pharasma gonna fix this? Everyone dying overnight... something’s not right.” Ridill promptly states as he tries to keep his thoughts together.


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 is as stunned as everyone, but his military training kicks in. He takes a deep breath and looks at the raven. "Ridill is correct, this isn't right. An entire town doesn't just die overnight. I have no intention of convincing my friends and companions that they are dead when I don't believe it myself. Take us to someone who can tell us what happened so we can fix this."


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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
Alara Shinrin wrote:
Alara blinks. "Wait. What do you mean, the book's way of adding spells? I thought wizards were supposed to do that themselves."

Artyom blinks and scratches his chin. "Hmmm.... That is right." He turns to Ricky. "Should we tell them?" Ricky tilts his head. "I don't know. Should we?" Artyom frowns. "I think we have no choice." He turns to the others. "You're right, Alara. I do write in my spells to my book. However, this book is not an ordinary spellbook. It represents a pact that I have forged. For all my life, I wanted to be a crusader knight. To defend Lastwall from all evil and to further Society. However, I was never gifted enough physically. Then I came across this spellbook in my sister's bookstore. When I picked it up, I felt... something. A connection to some... Patron. A Patron of Mercy. It offered me the power to protect everyone. It could help teach me magic. However, it would come at some form of price. After weighing my options, I agreed. I don't know who or what my Patron is. But I consider it a worthy sacrifice. So, every once in a while, my Patron will add a spell to my book from its sphere of influence."

The Revelation...

Artyom is in shock at the revelation that everyone in Roslar's Coffer is dead. His books fall from his hands, the spellbook pulling the lariat it's attached to. His quarterstaff clatters on the ground. "No... No... Vibia..." He falls to the ground on his knees. His thoughts are reeling, the fact that the town's gone while he was watching over it. Tears begin falling down his face. "This can't be! How can this happen?! I should've have done more! Send out my report sooner! Try to bolster the defenses before the Festival! Something! I can't have failed! Vibia's dead and it's all my fault!" Ricky flutters into the crook of his neck and nuzzles his cheek in an attempt to comfort him, tears falling down his own eyes.


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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:

Artyom wrote:
"You're right, Alara. I do write in my spells to my book. However, this book is not an ordinary spellbook. It represents a pact that I have forged. For all my life, I wanted to be a crusader knight. To defend Lastwall from all evil and to further Society. However, I was never gifted enough physically. Then I came across this spellbook in my sister's bookstore. When I picked it up, I felt... something. A connection to some... Patron. A Patron of Mercy. It offered me the power to protect everyone. It could help teach me magic. However, it would come at some form of price. After weighing my options, I agreed. I don't know who or what my Patron is. But I consider it a worthy sacrifice. So, every once in a while, my Patron will add a spell to my book from its sphere of influence."

"Right. I got, like, three-quarters of that. You got suckered into thinking only big burly guys in heavy armour are the only people capable of being protectors, and would do anything to be among them. Then you made a deal with a book or something. I don't know. Whatever. As long as your patron doesn't tell you to steal stuff or murder people, I'm not too concerned. Got more pressing business right now."

Quote:
"I must speak in utmost plainness - who are you, and where are you from? What do you last remember?"

"Brother Tornell Alderwyn. Servant of Sarenrae. Born in Roslar's Coffer, living in Lastwall. Was enjoying food and drink at a festival."

Quote:
"Your hearts have something lodged inside them. Something that’s brought you here, but kept you from doing so in the orthodoxiumous fashion."

Curiously, Tornell pulls the collar of his robe and scale mail out to look down for any obvious wound over his heart.

Quote:
Summary: Everybody's dead, Dave.

This does not strike Tornell particularly harshly. Partially due to having been gone from town for over a decade, and thus having little to tie him there. But also for experiencing, to him, much the same thing already when he first fled the town after the orcs razed it. In a way, he's a bit numb to the pain.

He opens his mouth to say something, but seeing several of his party members clearly not taking the news well, he wisely decides to shut his mouth. Now is not the time for pithy comments.

He, however, does look over to Artyom collapsing to his knees. Despite his general annoyance at the overly prepared and stuffy mage, he feels the need to provide comfort. He walks over, putting a hand on the shoulder without ricky.

"This is something clearly bigger than all of us. Something I doubt any of us could have stopped. Mourn, but don't blame yourself. We still have no idea what went on, so I doubt reading another book would have stopped it."

"And that being said, I agree with Malvo. I don't feel like trying to convince people they're dead without first learning how this happened. A whole town died in a night, and a whole tomb complex ends up teleporting to the Boneyard, with us still alive in coffins."

"I, uh... Let's take some time to mourn. Clearly this news has hit us hard. But perhaps in town, we can learn what went on. Either figure out if there has been a mistake, or learn who did this so we can make it better somehow."


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Love the patron flavour.

Umble cocks her head to the side as you reel with horror at the news. "Ah... yes. Well, let's see. I'm trained to console the newly dead about their status, but consolationizing the living over the fact their friends and family - oh dear. Do we have something in the manual for that, Thoot?"

Thoot stares at Umble, who just keeps babbling. "No of course not. But as for convincing people they are dead, well the issue is that a perversion of sorts takes place for souls who remain in the Boneyard too long. In the Boneyard, there is no care given to why someone absquatlated from their mortality - what matters is they are dead, and a soul which will not accept its fate is harmful to the system. Insistence on returning to the material plane will certainly result in horrific undeath! Also Thoot and I would certainly get the chop..."

As Umble starts to fail to console you, the raspy voice of the celedons breaks in. The three of them emerge, dragging several bodies of the mites, the insects, and one nasty-looking rock caterpillar.

"Vanth Thoot, we come here in the name of Pharasma, the Lady of Graves, she who tends the River of Souls. We are here to report an intrusion into the Tomb of Roslar, and an error. Three sets of intruders entered the tomb. A series of ostovites tunneled into the lowest level, desecrating several skeletons. More recently, a group of mites tunneled into the second level."

Number Three points at all of you. "The arrival of these ones is not understood in the name of Pharasma the Mother of Souls. However, they have assisted us with the removal of the intruders, and identified that the hero Roslar is not interred here. This must be reported to Mictena."

Umble nudges Thoot who stomps forwards. "What?! Oh dearie dearie me. We will have to report that after ah, of course these wonderful people help us with their town. Perhaps they can be convinced? Are there any valuables in there? No hero, no grave robbing, right? Go bring them whatever valuables are left. No sense in honouring a hero in abstention. That will help us convince them."

The celedons leave, and as you process the information, they return bearing some treasure which they provide.

"There, serendipity at its finest! Now, I bet the best way to come to terms with the deaths will be to meet your loved ones. Let's go there, you can talk to them, and you'll see what we mean. Thank you celedons, that will be all."

The loot contains the following:

- two divine clerical scrolls
- a silver masterwork longsword
- 107 gp in various coins


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
GM SpiderBeard wrote:
Umble cocks her head to the side as you reel with horror at the news. "Ah... yes. Well, let's see. I'm trained to console the newly dead about their status, but consolationizing the living over the fact their friends and family - oh dear. Do we have something in the manual for that, Thoot?"

I'm beginning to see why you're close to getting fired.

As the bird continues on Ridill slowly puts his face into his palm. "If you would stop treating the wholesale slaughter of these two's loved ones as a clerical error, that would be appreciated."

When the Celadons emerge he sighs and waves at them in greeting. "So there WAS a catterpillar in there... where'd you find it?'

GM SpiderBeard wrote:
Umble nudges Thoot who stomps forwards. "What?! Oh dearie dearie me. We will have to report that after ah, of course these wonderful people help us with their town. Perhaps they can be convinced? Are there any valuables in there? No hero, no grave robbing, right? Go bring them whatever valuables are left. No sense in honouring a hero in abstention. That will help us convince them."

Aaaaaaand now she's bribing us.

Taking a deep breath, and then slowly letting it out he finally just asks "Who's Mictena?"


.

Gonna move along, just didn't want to attach an entirely new scene to a long post.

"She is ah, in vulgar terms, our superior. This corner of the Boneyard is within her jurisdiction," says Umble. With you eager to see whatever state your loved ones may be in, you follow Thoot down the path into a valley.

A small valley stretches out beyond the rocky pass. Winding stands of gray trees and tumbledown walls mirror the layout of Roslar’s Coffer, with simple trails in place of roads. Softly glowing figures—some of them with familiar faces—wander about, apparently practicing their daily routines.

Thoot stays back with Umble. "They ah, reacted badly to us. Perhaps you should go on ahead."

You can spot the entirety of the town milling about in this area. Any loved ones or associates who would have been in Roslar's Coffer on your last night there.


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

Thank you, Spiderbeard. I tried to give it some form of flavor. I mostly came up with it as I was typing. Though, it seems more like a Warlock Patron from D&D 5e. But, eh, it's my character and I decide the flavor. Although, the identity of the Patron ultimately belongs to you, GM. Another thing to bring up is that I'm thinking about going pure wizard. Thanks to Chronicles of Legends, there are new level 20 capstones for wizards. If the game takes us to level 20, I'm thinking about taking the capstone that lets me add 100 levels worth of spells. That's insane.

Before the news about Roslar's Coffer...

Brother Tornell Alderwyn wrote:
"Right. I got, like, three-quarters of that. You got suckered into thinking only big burly guys in heavy armour are the only people capable of being protectors, and would do anything to be among them. Then you made a deal with a book or something. I don't know. Whatever. As long as your patron doesn't tell you to steal stuff or murder people, I'm not too concerned. Got more pressing business right now."

Artyom frowns. "You may criticize my choice. But, I have seen that the crusaders for the front lines have a certain criteria. My older brother, Samuel, was taken in instantly. Tall, charismatic, strong. Everything I'm not. By accepting this deal, I can do more. Call me Envious. Call me Prideful. That doesn't matter. What I seek... is Perfection. I began learning to be an architect at a young age. I figured that I could use my architect skills to try and create the perfect defense. Some for of nigh invulnerable walls, shields, and things like that. Learning magic helps me further that. If I can attain Perfection within my spell casting, then I can truly create ultimate defenses. If the walls and defenses are perfect, the Society won't have to worry about enemies or monsters. The people can make a perfect Society." He takes a breath. "And my Patron is not my spellbook. It's more of an extension of the Patron. Ricky here actually represents the catalyst and symbol of the Pact."

Currently...

Brother Tornell Alderwyn wrote:

"This is something clearly bigger than all of us. Something I doubt any of us could have stopped. Mourn, but don't blame yourself. We still have no idea what went on, so I doubt reading another book would have stopped it."

"And that being said, I agree with Malvo. I don't feel like trying to convince people they're dead without first learning how this happened. A whole town died in a night, and a whole tomb complex ends up teleporting to the Boneyard, with us still alive in coffins."

"I, uh... Let's take some time to mourn. Clearly this news has hit us hard. But perhaps in town, we can learn what went on. Either figure out if there has been a mistake, or learn who did this so we can make it better somehow."

Artyom feels Tornell's odd comforting gesture. He sniffles a bit. "Vibia's some of the closest family I have. She's my twin. To be perfectly honest, part of the reason I asked to be assigned here was so I can see her and check on how she's adjusted. She had only moved to the town a year ago. How can I speak to her? How can I face my family with this?"

After the celedons leave...

Artyom seems to have calmed down enough. However, where there once was sadness, there is now determination... and anger. He stands up and straightens himself out. "Okay. I'm ready. I swear, here and now, that I will find whatever did this. And I will send them to Hell myself!"

Seeing the town, Artyom hesitates for a minute. He then steels his nerve and begins to walk towards the town, Ricky on his shoulder. He has a single location on his mind... The Lucky Cup. He and Ricky also try to identify and analyze what is going on.

Artyom's Rolls
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Knowledge (dungeoneering): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Knowledge (planes): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Perception (Alertness): 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 + 2 = 14
Profession (architect): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Sense Motive (Alertness): 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 + 2 = 16
Spellcraft (any magical explanation for this?): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27

Ricky's Rolls
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (8) - 1 = 7
Knowledge (dungeoneering): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Knowledge (history): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8
Knowledge (planes): 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (14) - 2 = 12
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (19) - 1 = 18
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Profession (architect): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Spellcraft (any magical explanation for this?): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6

You know, after I previewed my post to check the rolls, I noticed that some of these knowledge checks wouldn't apply. Oh well. I'll keep them in. I already rolled.


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

”You up for heading to your house?” Ridill calmly asks Alara as they come upon the memory of Roslar’s Coffer.


.

I'm here but I'm going to give you guys some room to breathe before moving to the next scenes (feel free to split up).


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'm going to do some investigation, myself. I feel like this might be the best opportunity to figure out what's going on, and I don't have that many ties to town anymore. Going to talk around. People like Sarenraean priests... usually... "

Tornell is going to start heading around town and randomly talking to people. While he does have some questions he's looking for answers for, he'll try to do so subtly. Despite his acerbic nature, Tornell does have a Charisma bonus of +2, a Diplomacy score of +7, and a Sense Motive of +8. If I can, I'll take 10 for a Gather Information check.

Specifically, trying to be subtle, Tornell is looking for answers to the following:
*How self-aware are the people? Are they acting normally and fully cognisant? Or somewhat confused and dream-like?
*Are the people even aware of where they are? As in, do they think it's still a sunny day in Roslar's Coffer? An oddly overcast day? Or are they wondering why there's a big ass skull-faced moon and the surroundings are entirely different?
*Of course, the big question: What happened over the last day? Tornell will ask in a joking manner, suggested he got so drunk he blacked out before noon, and is curious what happened, if anything.


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
Ridill wrote:
”You up for heading to your house?” Ridill calmly asks Alara as they come upon the memory of Roslar’s Coffer.

Alara looks like she's still in shock when the party reaches the memory of Roslar's Coffer.

"...no. But I don't think I have a choice." She whispers, her throat starting to tighten. She blinks her eyes several times and starts to stiffly walk towards her 'house', her legs feeling like they're turning to stone.

...this is a dream. It has to be. Kasumi & Variel Shinrin aren't dead. Mom and Dad aren't dead.


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

"I'm right with ya, lass." Ridill softly tells her as they walk.


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 pulls Ridill aside and says, "Look out for her. I need to see what the state of the guard is. Maybe they can tell me more about what happened."

He then heads to the barracks to see what he can find out from the state of the town's guard and defenses.

Malvo will specifically seek out members of his wolfrider detachment as well as his superior in the main Crusader guard.


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 gives a solemn nod to Malvo. ”Stay on guard, Sarge. Even if you think you see friends.”

I love the visual of a halfling pulling a kellid aside.


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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

Malvo is 2'9" with a 6'10" attitude. Comes with the rank. ;-)


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Sorry guys post tomorrow.


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

Tornell makes sure his holy symbol of Sarenrae is prominently displayed, and he starts to mingle with the townsfolk. The conversations all seem to follow similar themes.

"Praise the Healing Flame father, my we're having some peculiar weather today aren't we?"

".... yes I do feel a bit odd. Hard to say why though. That skeleton monster we saw sure was something though! Glad it ran off."

"Oh the festival was a delight, wasn't it? Back to usual business though today though."

Things however, get a little weird when Tornell presses the townsfolk for details. They lose the thread of the conversation entirely, break off in mid-sentence and wander off, or just seem to be unable to grasp details. On the weather and surroundings, they repeatedly mention it is odd but cannot comment on if it is a sunny or overcast day or any sort of day.

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

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.

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

The wolfrider detachment are found doing engaging in drills on the outskirts of town, near an area you know as well as anyone. As you walk up there is a call to you. "Sarge! Good thing you're here! Some sort of monster was menacing the town!"

You see your friends, soldiers, and colleagues - slightly transparent and faintly glowing - wheel about to engage with you. They seem distracted and confused.

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

As you move through Roslar's Coffer you begin to realize this is not some random ruin, but is indeed Roslar's Coffer. The layout of the buildings are all correct, the small details. This IS Roslar's Coffer but... destroyed. Blasted apart as if by a great fire. Alara shakily makes her way to her home, which is destroyed just like the other buildings.

Within the ruins of the building stand Kasumi and Variel Shinrin, somewhat transparent and faintly glowing. They appear to be trying to sit at the ruins of a kitchen table, but become confused and start talking a little bit before trying to sit again.


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

"Monster? What was it? What happened here?" Malvo tries to get information from the confused soldiers, and also looks to see what has happened to the wolves.


.

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.


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 puts a comforting hand on Shinra's shoulder when he spots the transparent elves.


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 makes a strangled whimper when she sees her parents--or, at least, what's left of them. Were it not for Ridill's hand on her shoulder, she would have collapsed.

As it is, she takes a couple of steps into the burnt-out ruin of her home.

"...Mom? Dad?"

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