Marny and Trin are unable to help you any more than they have but at least have given you a little more information. They do help you with the boar, with Marny suggesting you truss it up for the Feedmill to give everyone a welcome break from the turnips.
You make your way back to the Feedmill to consider your next moves and the next people to interrogate. When you return with the boar, you see Delma standing outside with a huge smile on her face. In front of her is an old man in a wooden wheelchair that looks like it was once a pushcart.
He glowers at you.
"Now father, these are the good people who are helping solve the murder. They're going to take you around the town so you can get some fresh air - and look, they've brought a boar!"
"Boar's so tough!"
Delma smiles thinly. "Bring the boar to the kitchen and we'll have it sorted for now - this is my dear father Mayor Targen Fulst. He knows more about Etran's Folly than anyone. Thank you so much for offering to take him around. Just a quick once around town, he'll tell you anything you need to know."
"How'd he be doin that?" Osveta asks Anghariel.
Carrying the boar that nearly killed her back the Barbarian's mood was remarkably improving, moreso at the thought of eating some of said boar.
Back at the feedmill silently greets the Delma and her father, waiting till she was on her way to the kitchen to show the confused frown on her face after meeting the mayor.
Milo greeted Delma's father, "I'm pleased to meet you, Mayor Fulst. Milo Townsend, at your service!" He bowed low in respect for the elderly man.
Anghariel offers an uncertain look in response to Osveta’s question. “I have no idea. Back home I, ah, I did not need to concern myself with such matters.” She shrugs. “All I’m saying is that as the identity of this alleged buyer remains such a persistent mystery, perhaps there was no such buyer.”
She gives Targen Fulst a smile and a curtsey, the effect of which is somewhat at odds with her almost shabby appearance. “Charmed to be making your acquaintance, Mayor. My name is Anghariel.”
One of you takes the back of the wheelchair. "That way!" he barks. "Outsiders have no respect for our town. Call it Plaguestone. feh."
He twists a little in his chair, pointing a shaking finger at the Feedmill. "I opened the Feedmill fifty years ago! The Goblinbood Wars took so much of my family.... but here, I'll show you the real plaguestone."
He bangs his cane a little hard against Osveta's leg, demanding he get pushed into the middle of the town. Once you arrive there he points at the strange stone.
"The plague. Our curse. Across the way there you see abandoned buildings. So many of them - that's where the afflicted lived. They would come here to the stone. Us healthy ones would leave goods at the plaguestone and they'd come and take them. Filled the hole with vinegar to clean the coins they left behind."
He breaks off into a hacking fit.
"Everyone suspected a local witch called Silwyth of starting the plague. We were fools though... she caught it and died herself. And before she died, she cursed our only priest. Father Bolgrist. He caught the plague and died soon after. She left a child... Vilree I think her name was. She stuck around a few years but probably died or ran off."
Do. Not. Murder. The. Old. Jackass.... even if it would be really easy and satisfying, Osveta thinks to herself as she puts up with shoving the mayor around.
"Soooooo all those buildings are empty and no one really checks them? And Vilree? Daughter of a Witch... what she look like? she thinks aloud.
Milo listened with interest to the old man's stories, "You must have seen a lot over the years."
He asked the mayor about the details of his account, "Where did Silwyth live? Is her house still standing? Do you know who Vilree's father was?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
"It's a shame honestly that the name brings such derision and pain, mayor Fulst. If you ask me, it is something you should be proud of." Pollo doesn't hesitate after making such a bold claim, and keeps right on rolling. "A small frontier town encounters a crippling plague that would have completely wiped out most other frontier towns, and survives. You didn't let widespread panic push you to ridiculous decisions, like murdering those afflicted or burning half the town down. Instead you quarantined the afflicted, and cared for them by providing food and other comforts in a way that would reduce the risk of passing it on."
Pollo finally pauses for a moment. "A plague is a terrible and tragic thing. Even worse than a goblin raid because a man or woman feels helpless against sickness. At least against goblins you can raise your sword and cut them down. You've done the best you can, and you survived. Lesser folk wouldn't have."
Pollo stops finally, and listens to the good questions the others are asking.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
"Why would we check them? They're abandoned! Keep your fool head, girl. Nobody lives there. Why would they? And I think Vilree's father was some human, her mother was an elf. Dark hair? Half elf? I don't know."
He smacks Milo with his cane. "Don't bark questions at me young man! Sylwith lived in the woods, I don't know where."
He finalyl listens to Pollo whose eloquent speech seems to clam him down a little. "Hrmph. Manners. As you say young man. Very proper. Come on, we have more to see."
You wheel him north - he waves his cane at a variety of dilapidated homes. "Well, they're not all abandoned. Some folks live here when they don't have much coin. Anyone who can afford a turnip lives on the south side of town proper."
Quick, Milo or Gigon, pretend to be human children to get money or candy from him.
Osveta looks out across the not quite abandoned homes. Osveta one, crotchety old jackass zero.
“Yet the only evidence we have that these transactions took place at all are the entries in Master Bargith’s books,” she points out to Osveta. “Please don’t misunderstand me, though: it is not a hypothesis I put much stock in. I’m simply confounded by the secrecy that seems to surround these reagents and whoever is supposed to have purchased them.” She sighs. “Perhaps I should go speak to Tamli. She seems like she might know, if anybody does.”
Anghariel is content to listen as Mayor Fulst recounts the sorry tale of Etran’s Folly. His mentioning the pernicious plague that once befell the town gets her thinking about the monstrous wolf the caravan encountered on its way here…but it strikes her as quite far-fetched that a plague could somehow mutate and produce anything like that loathsome beast.
Osveta waves Anghariel off. "Don't worry, I'm not getting defensive or dismissing what you're syaing, just curious as to what all's playing out or could be."
Turns out the plague mutated everything but the turnips are a suppressant for the mutations.
Milo dodged enough that the old man only struck a glancing blow with his cane. The old coot is in a foul mood today. He offered his opinion to his friends, "We should ask around later about any hermit living off in the woods."
As they move on to the next area of sight-seeing, Pollo walks next to the old Mayor, eager to hear more. Already he is filing away some of this information, knowing the others are doing the same.
So many puzzle pieces and we don't even know how many there are supposed to be. This old man might just help give us some insight...
"When you opened your feedmill all those years ago, what kind of crops did you process? You had to have been harvesting more than just turnips fifty years ago. Come to think of it, I'm actually surprised you don't get more grains brought in on these trading caravans as they pass through." Pollo muses.
Gigon listened very closely to the old man, or mostly at least as he still could not shake the feeling of something watching him.
At his first opportunity, the Gnome asked, "Why do you call Silwyth a witch?"
She nods at the barbarian’s words. “As am I. To think that whoever wanted Master Borgith dead is out there somewhere, no doubt ecstatic that their plan worked…” Anghariel hisses a few words in Elven, their meaning as foul as their musical tone is fair.
Sorry for the inactivity, wild weekend.
"ONE AT A TIME!" snaps the mayor before he tries toa ddress your questions. "Take me this way. Now. Hrmph. Well, I suppose we had a bit more variety when we was younger but the turnips grow awful well here. Nobody had much money so turnips just sort of took over. And we like our turnips. We trade them but not much trade. As for why she was a witch... I dunno, she did witchy things. Brewed potions, made poultices, threw bombs, that sort of thing. Let's go this way. NOT TOO FAST."
Targen leads you out of the town down a path called the Drunk Shepherd's path. He mentions there were once sheep pastures here, but the flock wandered off a long time ago. The path then leads to an old shrine in front of an ancient copse of trees.
"This shrine is currently to eh, Gozreh. But since the death of Father Bolgrist nobody comes here for worship." He looks mournfully over the old shrine.
Gigon: Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Anghariel: Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Osveta: Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Milo: Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Pollo: Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Bloodseekers: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
As you take a look at the shrine there's suddenly a loud, low buzzing sound. Emerging from behind the shrine are four enormous bat-winged insects that resemble overblown mosquitoes. They start speeding for the group, clearly hungry for blood!
Targen lets out a yelp of panic and starts trying to wheel backwards but just collides into Osveta.
Anghariel, Pollo and Osveta are up!
Yeah, sorry hehe. Had invetory yesterday so couldn't post then either >_<
"S#*$! Skeeters!" Osveta lets out inbetween Targen and Gigon, drawing her as she does alongside hyping herself up.
Though she is far from a pious person, Anghariel finds herself filled with a vague sense of melancholy by the sight of the abandoned shrine. It speaks of faith lost, of trust withdrawn. In a way, it reminds her of death.
Then those horrible winged things pop out, and she instead finds herself wishing somebody had set fire to it years ago. The elf lets out a tiny startled yelp but rallies quickly, summoning a little lightning to hurl at the bloodsuckers while simultaneously casting a protective charm on herself.
Actions 1 and 2: Cast Electric Arc on the two bloodseekers closest to the party. They take 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 electricity damage each and must make a basic Reflex saving throw.
Action 3: Cast Shield, gaining a +1 circumstance bonus to AC until the start of my next turn.
Pollo reacts as the oversized mosquitos come out of the woods, instinctively flinching at the sound of the buzzing in his ears. He pulls his flail out from his belt and quickly slips his arm inside of his shield.
"Nice shot!" he compliments the elf as the electricity arcs between two of the bugs with a satisfying bang.
Action 1: Draw flail
Action 2: Draw shield
Action 3: Step forward 5'
Reflex: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 161d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Leg: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 121d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 3
There's a BZHT and two of the bloodseekers drop dead as electricity jumps from Anghariel to two of the bitey, bitey bastards. Pollo and Osveta get into play with their weapons drawn.
Two of them zoom in on Pollo and Osveta. Pollo manages to avoid it, but Osveta has one land on her! Its weird little feeties attach and it begins draining her blood.
Osveta (drained 1)
Osveta takes 3 damage and is drained 1! Everyone is up!
"Gagh! Horrible things!", Milo cried, drawing his sword and stabbing at the monstrous insect attacking Pollo.
Draw shortsword, strike, strike
Shortsword: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Piercing damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Shortsword, MAP (agile): 1d20 + 7 - 4 ⇒ (2) + 7 - 4 = 5
Piercing damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
As Gigon saw these creatures approach, he searched his memories and teachings for some insight.
> Recall Knowledge. Nature +4, Occultism +6, Arcana +3, Religion +1. Secret Check, so GM if you please.
Flailing his flail around his head, Pollo does his best not to shriek out loud. He grunts with each swing as he desperately tries to swat the little bloodsuckers away.
Attack 1: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20 for Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Attack 2: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12 for Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Attack 3: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (16) - 2 = 14 for Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
If somehow I kill the one buzzing on me, I'll focus on the other one attacking Osveta.
“Um, thanks?” the wizard all but squeaks in response to Pollo’s praise. She doesn’t doubt that he is being absolutely serious, but it still feels a little strange to be complimented on such murderous work.
Not that this keeps her from attempting the same feat a second time.
Actions 1 and 2: Cast Electric Arc on the two remaining bloodseekers. They take 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7 electricity damage each and must make a basic Reflex saving throw.
Action 3: Cast Shield, gaining a +1 circumstance bonus to AC until the start of my next turn.
Pollo and Milo quickly attack attack the bloodseekers and with a few swipes, they are killed. Pollo manages to skewer the one on Osveta, which explodes wetly and results in a pouring wound on the barbarian.
End of Combat
Targen makes a lot of confused noises as the fight is over as quickly as it started. "Oh my stars, I could have been killed there!"
Osveta is bleeding 1!
Milo took out a bandage and tried to staunch Osveta's bleeding wound.
Medicine (Stop Bleeding): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23 Should do the trick.
He commented, "Seems awfully dangerous around the village today — first the boar, now overgrown mosquitoes!"
"Maybe I can make that one my pet." Pollo grins, relieved to see Osveta seems to be fine.
"I won't get my hopes up too high though. Mayor Fulst my friend, you seem to still be in one piece. I'm certain that isn't the craziest thing you have seen around these parts, right?" Pollo asks, subtly leading into a question about just how strange these very strange animals and insects really are around here.
"Before we were interrupted, you were talking about this shrine to Gohzreh. Do you still worship the lord of storms?"
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"I don't know can you get a collar on me?" Osveta chuckles before abruptly looking around both of her sides to make sure there wasn't any more bloodsuckers about.
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Pollo blinks once, then twice at Osveta's quip, a sly grin growing on his face. "Something tells me attempting that might be dangerously fun." he grins.
Targen is plenty flustered by the bloodseekers but after a bit manages to calm down. "Eh... oof. Right. Well no. Since the priest died there ain't been much religion around these parts. Folks just tend to their turnips. The shrine never sees much use - probly why those bastards were hiding in it!"
You continue down the trail around the west side of the town. On the way back home you see a large hill to the southeast.
"Etran's Hill, site of the first home built in the area. Etran spent his fortune building the town, only to die in a fire that consumed him and his family because the darned fool built his house too far away from the well and the river. That's how we got the name Etran's Folly. And that's our nice name, peh!"
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”One way to find out.”Osveta replies with a grin of her own.
The Barbarian stares blankly as Targen explains how the town got its name. ”And y’all prefer that... over Plaguestone?”
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Gigon looked at the exchange between Pollo and Osveta with some confusion. What are they talking about?
The Gnome just continued to listen to the old man, but still could not shake the feeling of being watched. Despite looking around, he saw nothing.
“Oh, yes, the bear,” she sighs, shaking her hands to dislodge the last few clinging sparks of electric discharge. “We really shouldn’t try to fight it unless we have no choice.”
“Imagine how those turnips would be thriving if the people here worshipped Erastil!” the elf says. A little while later, she raises an eyebrow at Osveta’s apparent incredulity regarding the settlement’s name. “Can you really blame these folk for wishing to be reminded as little as possible of the disaster that struck this town?”
Noticing Gigon looking around, she glances at the gnome. “Did you hear something? Not more bloodsuckers lurking in the bushes, I hope?”
"Anything worth checking out in that house? Pollo asks, curious enough that he begins to break from the group and walk closer to inspect the abandoned house.
Gigon turned to the Elf, "Hmm? Oh, no I didn't it's just........I feel like something is watching me. As in me specifically. I just can't shake the feeling."
"Well they're both tragedies is the thing, with one name they're making fun of it." Osveta replies to the Wizard.
"Might be a ghost." she tells Gigon.
"Who wants to be called Plaguestone?! Etran's Folly has a bit of mystery to it at least - there's a story there. You hear Plaguestone, folks will just think they come here to get the plague or get stoned. [i]Feh[/i. And his house burned down. Nobody lives there. Pay attention."
As you make your way back around to the Feedmill, Targen finally stops complaining and nods off. You get back to a very grateful Delma.
"Thank you so much, you have no idea how much easier you've made my life everyone."
Targen wakes up. "That took too long! I'm late for lunch."
Milo bowed slightly to Delma, "Glad we could help."
He turned to the others, "Shall we go and question Amora? Or do you want to gather rosemary, and take our chances with the bear?"
Pollo shakes his head, staring off into the distance. "It still feels like we haven't gotten very far with this investigation." he sighs.
"I am curious enough to want to explore more around this town, but we really should stick to the leads we know we have right now. Perhaps we should go talk to Amora first, and then if we are feeling fiesty we can go try to pick a fight with a bear. Maybe it will breath fire!" he chuckles.