Omens Better Left Lost: An Age of Worms Campaign

Game Master Kobold Catgirl

It has been over a hundred years since Aroden's death, since the ravaging of Absalom. The Age of Glory is over before it began, almost all prophecies shattered and tossed to the winds. But the Age of Lost Omens may already be nearing its own end. What age comes next?
Loot Tracker


1,851 to 1,900 of 2,300 << first < prev | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | next > last >>

Male Human Brawler 3 I AC 17 T 13 FF 14 l HP 40/40 l F +7 R +6 W +2 l Init +3 l Perc +1 I Action Points 1/6 I Att +6 I CMB +5/+7*/+9** I CMD 17/+19*

Broccan stands by the pile of fill dirt, leaning on his shovel; figuring that he will be completing the interment once the ceremony is concluded.

"'ope we did righ' by ye, Caith," he says softly without stepping forward.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Male Dwarf Warpriest (forgepriest) of Gorum 3 | AC 20 (waraxe and shield), T 11, F 19, CMD 16, 20 vs bull rush or trip | F 6 R 2 W 5, +2 vs poisons, spells, SLAs | hp 23/27 | Init +2 | Perc +7 (+9 for unusual stonework) | Darkvision 60' | AP 5/6 | Blessings 4/4 | Fervor 2/4 | Effects:

Edrukk clears his throat. "If'n Ah might," he steps forward, stands straight, and sings, his Dwarven song the monotonous singing of a cleric in a massive chapel. When he is done, he strikes his breast with his gauntleted hand before taking a knee and bowing his head.

"May yer be received by yer gods 'n rewarded fer yer trials 'ere."

He glances at Venelle to see if she's ready to step forward, but says nothing and steps back once more.

For those that understand Dwarven, Edrukk sang one of the seven poems of the Gorumskagat, specifically referring to a battle (or task or life, with minor editing) seen through to its end. Often used to honor the family of a fallen warrior when their time comes as well as used to honor the fallen warriors themselves.


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

Mostly waiting to see if Kata wants to say anything! I know it's the weekend, though. No hurry. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5

Alaïs’ brow furrows at Agate’s challenge, casting her mind back to the graves at the ruined homestead. It’s the sort of thing that gets stuck in a court poet’s head, names that might need to be remembered. There was Anders, and … Bemissa, yes, and …

She’s sure she’ll think of them all in a moment, but she doesn’t want to interfere in whatever’s going on between Agate and Kata without the latter’s invitation. In the end, the elf lady throws her cloak over one of the lower branches of the tree the Jasidian indicates and sets to work alongside Broccan and Edrukk.

She listens carefully to the miner’s song as she works alongside him, taking the chance to get a better feel for the cadences of the local musical tradition, and doesn’t intrude there either. The part of her mind that can focus on her immediate surroundings eagerly feeds her uneasy imagination, as Alaïs’ thoughts immediately run to what sorts of buried treasures likely lie at her feet. The sorts of jewels Filge would love, presumably.

When the work is done, she quietly murmurs the names Venelle provided earlier as each body is lowered into the grave, and listens respectfully to Agate’s sermon and everyone else’s valedictions, even if she hasn’t the Dwarven to actually understand Edrukk’s song.

Not having known the Lands herself, Alaïs contents herself with kneeling at the foot of the grave and laying a gentle hand on the earth heaped up and filling it again. She murmurs,

in Elven:
<“You were cut down before your time. Gods give you peace, and may the earth lie light upon you, so you can bloom again in the great beyond.”>

And then, head still bowed solemnly, she rises and steps away, glancing at Kata to see if the elegist wants more space to say her farewells to her friend in private. Alaïs is quite - well, perhaps happy isn't the right word after all - to see if Agate can be taken aside to dicker about profane scrolls and be warned about the remaining zombies.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
N Female Human Bard (Dirge Bard) 3 | HP: 13/21 | AC: 15 ( 12 Tch, 13 Ff) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F+2 R+5; W+2 (+2 vs. enchantments, drugs and poisons; +4 vs fear, energy drain, death, necromantic effects) | Init: +2 | Perc: +8 (+9 vs. traps); SM: -1 | Speed 30 ft | Spells: 1st: 5/5| Bardic Performance 12/12 | Action Points: 3 | Active conditions: inspire courage 0/2

Kata was often dispassionate at funerals, her face soft and empathetic, but otherwise the elegist would stay to the side until it was her moment; she was quite comfortable being towards the outsides of these gatherings, and allowing those most haunted by their grief to center their voices, recollections, and feelings. It was quite different, being one of the people who were expected to be at the center. She cast a quick glance to Venelle, and a single, wracking sob let loose from somewhere deep within Kata, a shudder accompanying, as if her body was trying to purge herself of the trauma she'd carried for years now.

Then, rather than offer words, Kata did what she did best. She sang.

"When mint last in the boneyard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and I shall mourn with ever-returning spring

Ever-returning spring, the Lady sure to me you bring,
Mint blooming soft white and drooping star in the west,
And thought of her who I loved.

O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear'd—O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul,
You shall be free, whilst I am not.

That is, of course, enough."

With apologies to Walt Whitman.


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

Towards the end of Kata's song, Venelle's hand settles hesitantly on her shoulder and gives a squeeze. When Kata is finished, the half-elf clears her throat and shuffles awkwardly forward.

"I didn't..." She swallows, appearing to make a conscious effort to hold her compulsive filler words back for once. "I barely lived with Caith and I... under the same roof. I spent seventeen years living with the Lands, and that was too long. I got lucky, and. And she didn't." She runs her fingers along the buckles of her armor, idly undoing and redoing one of them. "And that's not fair. I don't know why she wanted to be buried with them, but I'm. I'm glad she's at peace now." She clears her throat. "I guess... that's all that matters, in the end. And--and these people here, Kata and her new friends, they found her body and brought her home. I'm glad she had a friend like Kata here to... to follow her when she wandered. And, uhh... she, uhh..." She appears to lose her way in the speech and ducks her head, allowing the service to complete.

The bones are slowly buried under six feet of soil, and the clumps of grass are pushed back into place. The bones of the Land family have been put back in the earth for good.

After a long silence, Agate clears her throat. "Well, then, should we...?" She gestures to Filge. She's trying to act like the ceremony didn't bore her, but Kata's heard enough to know what an act that is.


N Female Human Bard (Dirge Bard) 3 | HP: 13/21 | AC: 15 ( 12 Tch, 13 Ff) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F+2 R+5; W+2 (+2 vs. enchantments, drugs and poisons; +4 vs fear, energy drain, death, necromantic effects) | Init: +2 | Perc: +8 (+9 vs. traps); SM: -1 | Speed 30 ft | Spells: 1st: 5/5| Bardic Performance 12/12 | Action Points: 3 | Active conditions: inspire courage 0/2

Kata folds Venelle into her arms, wrapping herself around her friend as one uses a blanket to ward off a winter chill. [smaller]"It's okay, Venelle. You loved her and she knew that. That is what matters. You're here, hold her memory with you, and let it be a blessing."[\smaller]

Blinking as if coming from a trance, Kata nods. "We should." The elegist lets her irritation with Agate wash off her with a mostly involuntary shake, one unspoken thought lingering in her mind. There's a reason Agate is on grave duty.


Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5

Alaïs hovers with unusual skittishness as Kata and Venelle take a moment to collect themselves. If she knew them better, she would at least offer a sympathetic squeeze on the shoulder, if they’re even that touchy-feely, but as far as they're concerned she’s just an extravagant knife-eared weirdo from out east, far beyond Varisia.

In the absence of any other clear ideas about how she might usefully offer a bit of sympathy, Alaïs latches onto hashing things out with Agate quickly so that Kata doesn’t have to deal with the needling priestess any longer than necessary.

Kata Coszma wrote:
Blinking as if coming from a trance, Kata nods. "We should." The elegist lets her irritation with Agate wash off her with a mostly involuntary shake, one unspoken thought lingering in her mind. There's a reason Agate is on grave duty.

“Absolutely,” she nods. “What are the possibilities, exactly?”

“I suppose a few decades of reflection might let him see the error of his ways,” she adds, doubtfully, and either she’s just slightly miscalculated her tone, or she has a whimsical optimism about how many decades a human can hope to see through. She wonders how to address the issue of Filge’s remaining zombies, his mysterious not-quite-potions – injectables, she gathers – and that she’s worried there might be something (un)living in them, and if she can sneak off a bit to examine the contents of his spellbook.

“You can have this back – minus any spells with the [evil] descriptor – after you make 101 copies. One for me, the rest for charity. There’s also the question of mandatory counseling. For starters.” :p Sentencing should probably not be left to Alaïs.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Spells Per Day Remaining:
1-3/6
Spells/Effects Active:
Fight Defensively, Cloak of Shadows
Female Human AC 20 T 12 FF 14| HP 13/28| F +5 R +3 W +3 (+2 vs inhaled/ingested poison, roll twice take the worse)| Init +2| Perc +0 (darkvision 60ft)| Action Points 5/5

Briar remains quiet throughout. She is ultimately an outsider to this town, and it feels like an overstep to insert herself into such intense and heartfelt emotions. She feels sad of course—who wouldn’t?—but none of this is about her. Over the years, she learned to grieve by herself, so even if she felt it her place to say something, she is not sure if she could find the words. These new comrades she has found seem to have good hearts at the very least, and that appraisal does not come easily from Briar.


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM
Kata Coszma wrote:

Kata folds Venelle into her arms, wrapping herself around her friend as one uses a blanket to ward off a winter chill. [smaller]"It's okay, Venelle. You loved her and she knew that. That is what matters. You're here, hold her memory with you, and let it be a blessing."[\smaller]

Blinking as if coming from a trance, Kata nods. "We should." The elegist lets her irritation with Agate wash off her with a mostly involuntary shake, one unspoken thought lingering in her mind. There's a reason Agate is on grave duty.

Venelle returns the hug stiffly.

Agate and the other two begin to lead the sullen Filge off. Tesma hesitates. "Are you lot coming with, or...?"


Male Human Brawler 3 I AC 17 T 13 FF 14 l HP 40/40 l F +7 R +6 W +2 l Init +3 l Perc +1 I Action Points 1/6 I Att +6 I CMB +5/+7*/+9** I CMD 17/+19*

"We trus' t' yer judgement, Mis'tress," Broccan says quietly, continuing to keep his head lowered, and avoiding eye contact with his betters.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

The whole party--plus Filge, Venelle and the four Jasidians--set out for the ferry. It's been diverted down to the southwest, just south of the great hill on which the Garrison sits. This rescheduling is no doubt to the frustration of any would-be passengers waiting at the Old Piers.

On their way, the party passes by the Deepspike Mine, a place of tragedy and pain for many in Diamond Lake. Thought once to be empty, a deathtrap of flammable gas pockets and unstable foundations, the place was sold to Balabar Smenk when he first arrived ten years ago for a pittance, a vicious joke at a man nobody took seriously. Smenk proceeded to stripmine the Deepspike with such brutal, reckless abandon that the casualties and injuries rivaled those of some actual battles. Miners who worked there came to call it the Pit, and indeed, much of it has by now collapsed entirely. Balabar wrenched every copper he could out of the place, and all it cost him was forty-three dead over the course of six months. Tesma and another cultist pause to give quick signs of respect; Agate doesn't notice it.

The party presses on and arrives at the lake, where the Harkness rests waiting.

The Harkness is a sturdy ten-man sailboat. Pots of wild mint decorate the boat, bound from toppling or sliding across the deck with carefully-pruned living creeper vines. Some of the cultists make it a tradition to carve a new pattern into the wood with every voyage, and by now the boat is covered in designs of skulls, flowers, fiery hearts and swans--Wee Jas's favored animal. Tesma is carving the image of a well wreathed in flowers into the taffrail as the sailboat cuts through the turbulent, polluted waters of Diamond Lake.

The Shrine of the Lady of Mint is built out of a tomb from an era much later than the Whispering Cairn, but nonetheless ancient. Vivid green tapestries frame the entrance, and colorful mint gardens blanket the hill it's built into. A symbol of Wee Jas is carved atop the door, along with a hanging canvas painted with Pharasma's symbol beside it--apparently a recent addition, hanged to cover something up underneath. Though no symbols of Shelyn can be spotted, a large wild red rosebush grows next to the entrance, one of the few non-mint plants around.

Worshipers give the party curious looks as they come ashore. Amariss is already waiting for them. With a long diaphanous black gown laced tight at the waist and a meticulously-casual application of makeup, the towering High Priestess of Wee Jas cultivates a devastating beauty meant to intimidate as much as attract. Jasidians have a bit of a reputation for shallowness when it comes to choosing their leaders, but the powers of Diamond Lake learned not to underestimate Amariss after the last sheriff, known for his particular insensitivity to the word 'no', washed up dead on the Lake shores with his face cut off and stitched elsewhere.

She smiles brightly at the new arrivals, sashaying up to clasp Kata's hand in both of hers. "Oh, Kata, it's so lovely to see you again. Goodness, the state of you, though!" She frowns, then turns her that brilliant smile on the rest of the party. "Please, you all must come inside and take tea with me. I'm afraid I have to insist. Tesma, Agate, be my dolls and take the suspect down to the Hollow. I'll see to him later."

Tesma and Agate nod, the latter suddenly very quiet as they hurry to obey.

Amariss.

Time updated. It is now 12:30 PM.


Male Dwarf Warpriest (forgepriest) of Gorum 3 | AC 20 (waraxe and shield), T 11, F 19, CMD 16, 20 vs bull rush or trip | F 6 R 2 W 5, +2 vs poisons, spells, SLAs | hp 23/27 | Init +2 | Perc +7 (+9 for unusual stonework) | Darkvision 60' | AP 5/6 | Blessings 4/4 | Fervor 2/4 | Effects:

Edrukk has his surly, glowering face in good form to be sure whenever Filge looks at him, he knows what the dwarf would do to him given the chance, but the sight of the High Priestess of Wee Jas rocks him back and he gives a bow and a gruff "M'lady" when she turns her attention to the party after greeting Kata.

He's forgotten all about the necromancer, feeling very out of place suddenly.


Male Human Brawler 3 I AC 17 T 13 FF 14 l HP 40/40 l F +7 R +6 W +2 l Init +3 l Perc +1 I Action Points 1/6 I Att +6 I CMB +5/+7*/+9** I CMD 17/+19*

Broccan becomes visibly nervous about the prospect of sitting down for tea with a
High Priestess. ”’m nah dress’d r’ wash’d fer tea, Mistress, ‘n I don’ ‘ave th’ prop’r manners fer such gath’rins. Per’aps I shou’ wait outside wi’ yer boatmen’n stable’ands…” once again, he keep his eyes lowered, and his tone is apologetic.

Broccanese:

”I’m not dressed or washed for tea, Mistress, and I don’t have the proper manners for such gatherings. Perhaps I should wait outside with your boatmen and stable hands…”


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

"Oh, fiddle-faddle." Amariss laughs. "We're not going to judge you over how people are dressed--goodness, our sacred shrine is a hole in the ground, what would it say about us if we made everyone take off their shoes and wash their hands?" She looks Broccan up and down, visibly appraising him with a raised eyebrow. Her eyes drift over the rest of the party. "Of course, I could have Fleck and Henna draw up some baths, and we'd be more than happy to provide something finer to wear, if you feel ill at-ease taking tea in your... necromancer-battling clothes. It will give the tea time to steep. Really, it's the least we can do for friends of our sweet Kata's, especially after the ghastly day you've had." Her eyes sparkle. "One way or another, darling, I must insist on having my way on this."

She smiles and dips her head respectfully to Edrukk. "Master Thorvirgun. Always a too-rare pleasure."

Sense Motive 17 or Knowledge (religion) 13:
They absolutely are going to judge people over how they're dressed. It's kind of their whole thing. The offer is kindly-meant, though.


Male Dwarf Warpriest (forgepriest) of Gorum 3 | AC 20 (waraxe and shield), T 11, F 19, CMD 16, 20 vs bull rush or trip | F 6 R 2 W 5, +2 vs poisons, spells, SLAs | hp 23/27 | Init +2 | Perc +7 (+9 for unusual stonework) | Darkvision 60' | AP 5/6 | Blessings 4/4 | Fervor 2/4 | Effects:

Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14

A bit of a blush tinges the cheeks just above his beard. ”Too-rare, aye. Pleasure? All mine, m’lady. Ye already know ‘ow we look, th’ baths ‘r a kindness. If’n yer sure, we would be ‘onorin’ yerself ‘n cleanin’ up.”


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

The Jasidians show the party inside, where they find much of what was no doubt once a humble tomb has been drastically expanded. The sarcophagus is right in the entrance room, surrounded by magenta silk curtains embroidered with a skull, roses blooming from its eye sockets, wreathed in spiraling silver flames. Offerings surround the curtains--mostly of wildflowers and beautiful stones gathered from the area around Diamond Lake. The smell of mint is nearly overpowering here, but it does lighten slightly as the party is led through the main room and to some bathchambers, where hot, sudsy baths have been prepared. Anyone who avails themselves of the Shrine's hospitality is also offered a change of clothes, invariably in the crimson colors of the Dark-Eyed Lady.

Those who don't take a bath are encouraged to stop by the sarcophagus to pay respects to the Lady in Mint or wander the gardens above.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Male Human Brawler 3 I AC 17 T 13 FF 14 l HP 40/40 l F +7 R +6 W +2 l Init +3 l Perc +1 I Action Points 1/6 I Att +6 I CMB +5/+7*/+9** I CMD 17/+19*

Broccan enters the bath-chamber, knowing that only by being freshly bathed will his presence be tolerated by such people of high station. He removes his clothes and takes them into the bath with him, scrubbing off the dirt and blood as best he can. Once he and his clothes are as clean as he can make them, he rings them out and hangs them up to dry. He then dries himself off and dons the clothes the Jasidians have so kindly loaned him for the duration of their visit. He looks down and his the flinty roughness of his hands, the dirt no-doubt permanently imbedded in his nails. A clean pig is still a pig, he thinks to himself. Just because you don't stink for the moment and you're wearing fine clothes doesn't change who you are. Don't be presume to act as if you're one of them. You're not, Broccan. Only speak when spoken to. Don't open your mouth and make a fool of yourself.

He takes a steadying breath and steps out of the bath-chambers into the hallway, and looks around to get his bearings.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Male Dwarf Warpriest (forgepriest) of Gorum 3 | AC 20 (waraxe and shield), T 11, F 19, CMD 16, 20 vs bull rush or trip | F 6 R 2 W 5, +2 vs poisons, spells, SLAs | hp 23/27 | Init +2 | Perc +7 (+9 for unusual stonework) | Darkvision 60' | AP 5/6 | Blessings 4/4 | Fervor 2/4 | Effects:

Edrukk takes advantage of the offered bath, scrubbing his gear where appropriate, much as his friend was doing. He pays particular attention to washing the grime and blood from his beard before drying it as much as possible before rebraiding it damp, knowing there was no way it would be completely dry before they gather. The beard is where he focuses, weaving in bits of jewelry and beads that normally remain out of sight in his pack along with the pieces that he always wears to honor his family, his home, and his god.

Leaving his clothes to dry and sporting the borrowed finery of the Jasidians, he feels more properly presentable to pay his respects at the sarcophagus. After all, his business was to send business her way, best be on good terms.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5

TL;DR for the ferry ride:
Alaïs is quiet on the way to the shrine; she’s fairly sure that Agate wouldn’t care if she prodded Filge about what exactly goes into his necroturgons and why he’s opted for such a revolting way of delivering what she’s pretty sure normal people would a potion for, but the other acolytes seem like friendlier and more innocent souls, and, besides, traveling with them gives her new perspective on Diamond Lake, both literally and otherwise.

She silently notes the Pit, gleaning that the ruinous site is a place of ill-omen, and it’s with some relief that she steps onto the ferry. She hasn’t had occasion to visit the shrine before, so Alaïs hasn’t seen much of the town from the lake, and she spends a few minutes watching the slow panorama, until she spots Tesma carving away. She finds she rather likes the idea, and she spares a moment to add her own swirling monogram to her spot at the railing with a few flicks of her keen dagger. Abstractedly, Alaïs lets her knife continue without her, until she looks down to find she’s carved an additional rune beside the sigil: i. Hmm. She spares another moment to consider the arithmantic suggestions of the rune, and then they’ve arrived.

The Jasidians seem much more her style than the town itself. All that mint! And roses! And Amariss’ dress is lovely. Alaïs wonders where she got it. She’s also deathly curious – appropriately enough – about what’s underneath the Pharasman banner at the entrance to the shrine, but is far too polite to twitch it aside to take a peek.

Dungeon Madam wrote:

"Oh, fiddle-faddle." Amariss laughs. "We're not going to judge you over how people are dressed--goodness, our sacred shrine is a hole in the ground, what would it say about us if we made everyone take off their shoes and wash their hands?" She looks Broccan up and down, visibly appraising him with a raised eyebrow. Her eyes drift over the rest of the party. "Of course, I could have Fleck and Henna draw up some baths, and we'd be more than happy to provide something finer to wear, if you feel ill at-ease taking tea in your... necromancer-battling clothes. It will give the tea time to steep. Really, it's the least we can do for friends of our sweet Kata's, especially after the ghastly day you've had." Her eyes sparkle. "One way or another, darling, I must insist on having my way on this."

She smiles and dips her head respectfully to Edrukk. "Master Thorvirgun. Always a too-rare pleasure."

** spoiler omitted **

Her lips purse for a bit at Broccan’s diffidence, and she wonders what she’s going to do with the young man. She doesn’t want to officiously start tidying everyone up willy-nilly with her magic after they get dragged into trouble (not that there isn’t some appeal to the idea), but if people are going to be so self-conscious if she doesn’t share her magic about…

Know (relg): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18

Bah, a bath would do her good, too, show some solidarity with those of her friends that don't primp themselves obsessively with prestidigitation, and really show some reverence for the sanctity of the place.

* * *

The hot water eases her lingering soreness from the morning’s fighting, and the crimson robes she’s borrowed (to say nothing of the heat) bring out the roses in Alaïs’ cheeks. She pauses to add one of her enchanted berries to the offerings around the sarcophagus – a little thing, but it is magic, and she thinks for a moment about the cycle of seed to flower to fruit to earth and seed to…

And there’s tea! Things are looking more civilized all the time, out here, if a bit morbid for her tastes. Nonetheless, she eagerly takes in everything about the place. She looks around to find out where Amariss wants them for tea and scandal (the best sweetener), gathering her thoughts to make the most of the conversation.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N Female Human Bard (Dirge Bard) 3 | HP: 13/21 | AC: 15 ( 12 Tch, 13 Ff) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F+2 R+5; W+2 (+2 vs. enchantments, drugs and poisons; +4 vs fear, energy drain, death, necromantic effects) | Init: +2 | Perc: +8 (+9 vs. traps); SM: -1 | Speed 30 ft | Spells: 1st: 5/5| Bardic Performance 12/12 | Action Points: 3 | Active conditions: inspire courage 0/2

Kata watches Diamond Lake shrink from view, the town eventually nothing more than a gray stain amidst the blues, purples, browns, and greens of the surrounding land. The ferry ride is often chilly, and this late morning is no different; Kata turns her attention to the many carvings she's made over the years aboard this boat, each one the same: a small, jagged, tight spiral.

At the tomb, Kata's earlier rage has vanished; she is quiet, differential.

religion: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19

"High Priestess, your kindness is welcome. It has been a morning, and I'm sure we would all find a bath rejuvinating." The emphasis on the word all saying what she couldn't aloud: the offer was kind, but of course the Jasidians would judge them on their appearance.

After the bath, Kata flits to her room, little larger than a closet. A cot stacked with blankets stretches along the long wall and a thin shelf and small rack abut it, along the shorter walls. The shelf stores nearly all of Kata's worldly possessions, save her clothes and weapon; a few books, mostly poetry, religious texts, and songs; a small lockbox, its lock clasp never closed; and a handful of dried flowers. Kata flicks her wrist and utters a short arcane syllable; the room's lone sconce beams with a soft, blue light.

There is an urn next to thin shelf; Kata slides her longspear into it, and places her hand drums onto her shelf. Kata leaves her clothes on the floor - she'll ask an acolyte later to use their magics to remove the blood and dirt. Kata's clean clothes hang from the rack and are almost universally black and modest, with a splash of color here and there, as befits one who works with the grieving; she chooses a black dress with a white collar, embroidered with green silk mint leaves, and makes her way to tea.


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

We'll move on--feel free to write in how your characters handled the journey/bath invitation if you got 'skipped', I just don't want to get bogged down.

Venelle also avails herself of a bath, though she takes hers quickly, and refuses a change in clothes. "If they were good enough for the funeral, they're good enough for the shrine," the shopkeeper mutters.

When it is time for tea, the party is shown into what appears to be a dining room for the live-in shrine-tenders. Though underground--dug further into the earth like the rest of the expansion on the original tomb--the room is lit by beautiful stained glass windows in the ceiling and well-ventilated such that one could almost forget. A sweet honey scent blends with the smell of lavender in this room, a rare reprieve from all the mint. The round table is decorated with a fine yellow tablecloth embroidered with pale lilies, and a shallow little cloth-lined basket contains an array of tart lemon crinkle cookies. A set of white china teacups covered in bloodred heart designs sit beside a matching teapot.

"So," Amariss says, slipping into her seat as one of the keepers pours her a cup of tea and drops a sugarcube in, "you must tell me everything, my buttons. How did you find this man was stealing bodies? Where from? And what did you find at his no-doubt ghastly abode? And--" Her delicate brows furrow. Her eyes flit between Kata and Venelle. "Kata, is it... true? You found her?"


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Spells Per Day Remaining:
1-3/6
Spells/Effects Active:
Fight Defensively, Cloak of Shadows
Female Human AC 20 T 12 FF 14| HP 13/28| F +5 R +3 W +3 (+2 vs inhaled/ingested poison, roll twice take the worse)| Init +2| Perc +0 (darkvision 60ft)| Action Points 5/5

Backing up a bit

Briar keeps to herself on the ride over, one hand on her hat to keep it in-place, only offering the occasional comment or reactive phrase. She is not much for the Jasidians, honestly. It always seemed the type of place to draw gossipy rich girls with more taste than sense. And not the kind-hearted ones like Alaïs. Kata has that more melancholic aspect that she can appreciate, but her estimation that Kata is unusual for the Jasidians seems proven when she sees her with the other ladies. There's a few times she considers saying something on the trip over, but she always stops herself. The last thing she needs now is--what she assumes to be--the town mean girls talking about her when she is trying to keep herself below notice. She can already imagine all their little faux niceties: "Oh what kind of accent is that? How quaint!" "Right? I was thinking the same thing. It sounds so lovely with that nice deep, resonant voice" "A Calistrian, you say? Of course you are."

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12

She does not notice anything particular about the Jasidians' underlying motives--having already assumed the most tediously petty ones. Actually seeing the building, she does have some appreciation for the aesthetics. A bit overdone, but rose-red death is a hard look to completely muck-up, though she has seen tattoos on clients that gave it a good go of it. The mint though? She's almost wishing for the tomb again. Maybe that's why they drown you in it?

She takes up the offer of the bath as soon as she realizes it will be private. She even takes up the offer of clothes, as they favor the same red she does, but only if they cover well and she has time to do herself up properly before anyone sees her. Briar knows you do not turn down a free bath and clothes more than most, and any illusion she has enough pride to turn either down disappeared the first week she spent on the street.

And, as much as she wants to keep herself below notice, she is desperately hungry and thirsty and takes to the tea and cookies quickly, only waiting a few moments after finishing one to get another. She knows it reads as rude in "polite" company, but she feels she will always be the girl who never knew when she would be eating again.

She finishes off another cookie before taking up Amariss's question. "Oh those...four or five questions, depending on whether ya count the last two as one, are really all the same story. Nothing particularly fancy or grand though. We're just a few common chancers in the right place so." She glances to Kata and smiles.

Kata or DC 30 Sense Motive:

Bluff to Pass Secret Message: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
She wants Kata to talk as if Briar is just a normal woman with no particular powers, if she comes up at all


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5
Briar Vervain wrote:
... gossipy rich girls with more taste than sense. And not the kind-hearted ones like Alaïs. ...

Wow, the truth hurts. ;)

Also, while Alaïs is much more of a treehouse / princess tower sort of girl, bonus points to the Jasidians for the whole hollow hill thing they’ve got going on.

Alaïs sips her tea (neat) and nibbles on a cookie while thinking of how she would frame things, bearing in mind Kata’s discretion around Agate, earlier. Her eyebrows lift at Briar’s opening gambit and being lumped in – she’s not sure if she hopes, actually, or not – among “common chancers.”

“Adventurers, certainly, I suppose you could say, though I prefer to think of it as errantry, myself,” she demurs, nodding an apology in Briar’s direction as she raises her cup to her smile again, still choosing her next few words.

“As Miss Vervain could tell you, it’s a rather silly story of some hapless ruffians who got the worst of an owlbear and made quite a mess of our turn about the hills to take the air. They left the most adorable little savage behind, poor tyke,” Alaïs, as she turns to Amariss, is not above stretching a point or two for effect, such as to imply that Kullen and his cronies were driven in disarray before the little owlbearlet that they’ll have to do something about soon.

“When we investigated the commotion – we couldn’t not, it was terrible – we ended up at the old Land farm, and we discovered…” Alaïs leans in confidingly. “That the wretched devils had dug up what was left of the Lands, obviously with no good intent! Fortunately, Masters Dunchad and Thorvirgunson were able to help us persuade the villains to reveal who passed for the mastermind of their sordid operations, and where we might find him.”

“Dear eye,” (that would work better to answer hooks than buttons, but Alaïs is improvising), she says, giving a little shiver and with pale green eyes wide, “it was dreadful! Completely tacky, not just with the monuments of a self-aggrandizing madman to himself, but regrettably literally, with unholy necromantic apparatus dripping all over the place.”

The elven aristocrat frowns with a downward glance, as if the memory alone has conjured an unfortunate stickiness even onto the delicate porcelain in her hand. She pauses there, partly to tease the promise of details, but also to let the more devout in the party decide how to introduce the profane scroll they’ve got a hold of, and, especially, so that Kata can decide how much she wants to say about finding Caith – or the girl’s restless spirit.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N Female Human Bard (Dirge Bard) 3 | HP: 13/21 | AC: 15 ( 12 Tch, 13 Ff) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F+2 R+5; W+2 (+2 vs. enchantments, drugs and poisons; +4 vs fear, energy drain, death, necromantic effects) | Init: +2 | Perc: +8 (+9 vs. traps); SM: -1 | Speed 30 ft | Spells: 1st: 5/5| Bardic Performance 12/12 | Action Points: 3 | Active conditions: inspire courage 0/2

Kata's eyes widen just so slightly, an acknowledgment of a Briar's message received. "Yes, we were fortunate in many ways to come together by chance. And a fair amount of luck has been involved. To answer your question, High Priestess, we found Caith... and her spirit was restless. It wished her remains to be reunited with her family. It was merely fortituous, or errantry, as Ms. Thalanasa says, that thus led us to the Land farmstead, where we hoped to inter Caith's remains with her family, per her spirit's wishes. And thus, we stumbled into a sinister plot..."

Kata pauses now, looking down at her fidgeting hands, a small sign of restlessness in her otherwise composed demeanor. "The necromancer, Filge... it was horrible High Priestess. He's a small man driven by hate and perceived slights. He had animated those that had slighted him in life, including a once lusted after partner, unreconciled or not I'm unsure. They were mere marionettes to satiate his bottomless insecurities. I trust you'll examine the scene at the old observatory and pass a fair and needed judgement. But before you do so, you should speak to him at length, for he knows much about what we're about to share. We found a worm, an oddity of necromantic energy, whose purpose is no doubt as sinister as the worm is to our knowledge unheard of previously. We have the specimen, but do not know what its purpose is. Of course, we are not Priestesses of the Lady of Mint. It is our hope that you can shed some light on this creature?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 15

Amariss doesn't seem to mind Briar's voraciousness, though she sips her own tea and nibbles her own cookies in the demure disinterest of one who rarely has to worry about the next meal.

"I see!" she says when Alais is finished, smiling in polite intrigue. "Your 'errantry' seems to lead you down wondrous and terrible roads, Lady Thalanessa."

She turns her attention to Kata, and her head tilts thoughtfully to the side as Kata explains just what the party found. She lifts her teacup to her lips and delicately sips. "How positively ghastly! You were right to come to us, my sweet Kata. I know we have... some little quibbles here and there about the recycling of the dead, but what you speak of is just beyond the pale and back again, a complete abuse of the craft, unethical necromancy through and through. We will see to him."

As the topic of the worm is brought up, her eyes sparkle with sudden curiosity. She leans in slightly. "May I see the specimen?"

Sense Motive 19:
Amariss's knuckles whitened against the table as Kata mentioned the reanimated corpse of Filge's ex-lover. She seems extremely disturbed and horrified by the tale.

She also seems to have a strong intellectual curiosity about the worm.


Male Dwarf Warpriest (forgepriest) of Gorum 3 | AC 20 (waraxe and shield), T 11, F 19, CMD 16, 20 vs bull rush or trip | F 6 R 2 W 5, +2 vs poisons, spells, SLAs | hp 23/27 | Init +2 | Perc +7 (+9 for unusual stonework) | Darkvision 60' | AP 5/6 | Blessings 4/4 | Fervor 2/4 | Effects:

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12

Edrukk sniffs at a cookie suspiciously, sees the others are partaking, and crams it into his face unceremoniously. Almost immediately, he realizes his faux pas and concentrates on chewing it up quietly in hopes no one points it out.

He looks at the fragile teacup and thinks better of touching it lest it shatter on contact.


Male Human Brawler 3 I AC 17 T 13 FF 14 l HP 40/40 l F +7 R +6 W +2 l Init +3 l Perc +1 I Action Points 1/6 I Att +6 I CMB +5/+7*/+9** I CMD 17/+19*

Sense Motive, Untrained: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18 (Missed it byyyyyy..that much!)

Broccan looks down at the tiny, frail cup of hot tea. He notices that Edrukk hasn't picked up his cup either.

"'ow'r we s'posed t' pick't up withou' break'n it?" he attempts to stage whisper to the dwarf.


Male Dwarf Warpriest (forgepriest) of Gorum 3 | AC 20 (waraxe and shield), T 11, F 19, CMD 16, 20 vs bull rush or trip | F 6 R 2 W 5, +2 vs poisons, spells, SLAs | hp 23/27 | Init +2 | Perc +7 (+9 for unusual stonework) | Darkvision 60' | AP 5/6 | Blessings 4/4 | Fervor 2/4 | Effects:

Edrukk’s eyes furtively glance at Broccan’s teacup under his bushy brows. He whispers back,”Wit’ bot’ ’ands, Ah s’pose.” He reaches down, gently cradling the cup in both calloused paws, and raises it slowly to his lips. He’s to engrossed to listen to the conversation.


Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5
Dungeon Madam wrote:

She turns her attention to Kata, and her head tilts thoughtfully to the side as Kata explains just what the party found. She lifts her teacup to her lips and delicately sips. "How positively ghastly! You were right to come to us, my sweet Kata. I know we have... some little quibbles here and there about the recycling of the dead, but what you speak of is just beyond the pale and back again, a complete abuse of the craft, unethical necromancy through and through. We will see to him."

As the topic of the worm is brought up, her eyes sparkle with sudden curiosity. She leans in slightly. "May I see the specimen?"

** spoiler omitted **

Moonshot: Sense motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (20) - 1 = 19 … Well, I'll be darned. I'll see if I can work it into my next post or so.

“It seems the knave has a particular interest. If you’ll excuse me…” Alaïs steps away from the table to retrieve the sinister ‘treasures’ confiscated from the observatory from where she stored her stuff before her bath. Unless there are any objections, I guess she could also retrieve the green worm, unless anyone’s felt like keeping it close the whole time. :)

She returns in a moment with a handful of scroll and vials, which she happily presents to Amariss before resuming her seat. The elf’s friends might notice that one vial is missing, for reasons that become clear as Alaïs continues chatting again.

Although she previously held her cup daintily by the handle in her slender fingers, as she makes herself comfortable, pouring a second cup of tea, she curls her hands around the bowl as if to warm them, with a small, encouraging smile directed vaguely towards the gentlemen as she addresses the priestess.

“I’m no expert in this sort of potioncraft, but I think these are necroturgons. The yellow one would let someone reproduce the grasp of a ghoul, I believe, but I’m not sure about the other two. In any case, I couldn’t swear to it, but I think I may have seen something flobbly-blobbly move in one? It wouldn’t be too surprising, if that Filge creature had a penchant for worms. He tried to convince us that the specimen Miss Coszma mentioned was natural, even though it was – as far as I understood his ravings – of this earth but powered by unlife, or negative energy, at least. I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

“The scroll should do to animate some zombies or skeletons. It’s not the sort of thing that fits comfortably within our customs –” Alaïs’ loose gesture takes in the group generally, but especially herself and Kata “– but if anyone can by counted upon to handle such an item responsibly, it would be the followers of the Lady of the Mint, I’m sure.”

Despite the subject of conversation, Alaïs nibbles happily on another cookie in the lulls and pauses of the back-and-forth.


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

"Interesting." Amariss smiles politely. "I'm sure you will find these to be very useful. Are you offering to sell these to us?"

Amariss asked for the specimen, so Alais showing her everything but the specimen would come across as deliberately concealing it. Is that the intention?


Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5

Oh, I'm just trying not to steamroll anyone who might be inclined to play things closer to our chests, and to make sure the others can jump in rather than have to put up with the dulcet tones of my chatty voice. :)

Left to her own devices, Alaïs would probably spill all our secrets, however inadvertently.

If everyone's OK with showing off our worm, when Alaïs talks about what Filge claimed about it, she'll present the box it's in for inspection. *Recklessly shakes caged abomination so that it sits up for the nice priestess that wants a look!* XD


N Female Human Bard (Dirge Bard) 3 | HP: 13/21 | AC: 15 ( 12 Tch, 13 Ff) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F+2 R+5; W+2 (+2 vs. enchantments, drugs and poisons; +4 vs fear, energy drain, death, necromantic effects) | Init: +2 | Perc: +8 (+9 vs. traps); SM: -1 | Speed 30 ft | Spells: 1st: 5/5| Bardic Performance 12/12 | Action Points: 3 | Active conditions: inspire courage 0/2

Kata trusts Amariss.


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

Amariss takes the vial and handles it delicately with just her fingertips, holding it up to the light and whispering a spell-prayer. Her eyes shimmer with several colors at once like swirl marbles as she inspects the worm with naked fascination.

She lowers the worm and allows the spell to fizzle out, though her eyes remain fixed on the dead creature. "This is... an abomination," she says softly, with a mix of revulsion and admiration running through her voice. "That man did not create it. I can promise you that."


Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5

“Fabulous.” The uncharacteristically breathy huff of Alaïs’ tone indicates the low irony with which she freights the word, though in a heartbeat she’s all light and smiles again.

“Speaking of wicked lunatics and their unholy pets and other things that should probably be squished – even if one wouldn’t want to get them on one’s boots – Filge claims that there’s a cell of Ebon Triad cultists lurking about town that that worm probably came from originally. I can’t imagine that we could do anything but look into that as soon as we can,” she says brightly, as if arranging the next meeting of a reading group or sewing circle.

“If you think that thing would reward further study, or if any of these oddments are of interest (and I’m sorry I can’t say more about those potions!), we’d be happy to leave them to your charge while we seek out implements of more use to the sort of the Lady’s work that we’re likely to end up doing if we track down where that worm came from,” Alaïs adds, as she finishes her tea. “Although, now that I think of it, I’m sure Allustan would also be curious about Mr. Green-Wiggly there, so even if his time has come, perhaps we shouldn’t press him quite flat on his way to meet his maker?”

Alaïs would absolutely be happy with a bit of quid pro quo for the necromantic loot: she’s just too proud (and trusting) to haggle and talk about bald numbers, as opposed to hand-wavey “the temple treasurer will deal with it,” either in kind or a suitable sum. She is just shrewd enough to hint that if the Jasidians aren’t interested the adventurers could take their custom elsewhere.

I'm guessing Amariss hasn't recognized what the worm is and is just holding back? *Paranoia intensifies. "It was the priestess all along!"* ;)


N Female Human Bard (Dirge Bard) 3 | HP: 13/21 | AC: 15 ( 12 Tch, 13 Ff) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F+2 R+5; W+2 (+2 vs. enchantments, drugs and poisons; +4 vs fear, energy drain, death, necromantic effects) | Init: +2 | Perc: +8 (+9 vs. traps); SM: -1 | Speed 30 ft | Spells: 1st: 5/5| Bardic Performance 12/12 | Action Points: 3 | Active conditions: inspire courage 0/2

"Yes," Kata murmurs, her countenance darkening. "Ebon Triad Cultists. We believe they are the creators. Can you tell us anything else about this worm? Why would someone created something like this?"


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

Amariss's eyes narrow as she hears the explanation. "The Ebon Triad. I know of them, of course, my sweet, though maybe not quite as much as the Heironeans might. As to why they would create something like this..." She looks down at the vial and sets it down next to her tea, reaching up to delicately rub her chin. "I'm no scientist. I hate to say it, but if that grim little weasel says it feeds off of negative energy, we might just have to take him at his word or call him a liar. But a worm that feeds off of death itself... what would that look like?"

She shakes her head in distaste and takes a sip of her tea. "Do you know what the Jasidians and the Pharasmans believe in common, my buttons? Everything lives in its own death. We devour life every second our hearts beat. We eat with every breath, and death comes to us all. Something that eats death..." Her eyes grow faraway. "Perhaps someone thinks they've found themselves the key to immortality. They do come along now and again, that sort. We Jasidians, of course, know that undeath is a tool. It's not a top to set spinning, a pretty skirt to try on and take a twirl in." She giggles, but there's little mirth in her eyes now. "And it isn't a miracle. The Ebon Triad want to bring back Aroden? Well, bringing him back might settle some of my dolls' tempers towards you, sweet thing..." She reaches over and pats Kata's hand, but her gaze remains unfocused. "... but if they're getting caught up in necromancy, they've lost their way even worse than I knew."

She stares off into the distance for a moment, then seems to snap out of it. She looks at everyone, her charming smile returning. "Or maybe they've come to believe in fairy tales, and they think they can use undead-eating worms to destroy the 'Whispering Tyrant' when he returns. Oh, I don't know. Something like this is so... remarkable, I suppose I'm not sure I believe any mortals could have made it, let alone some obscure cult."

Her eyes flash, as if she's only just registered something. "Wait. Are you saying the Ebon Triad is here--and in conflict with that gruesome old pit-spider Balabar Smenk? And you want to involve the mayor's brother in this, as well?"

Knowledge (religion or history) 5:
The Whispering Tyrant is a sort of bogeyman, a mythical undead monstrosity that the stories of Aroden often see him pitted against.

Knowledge (religion or history) 10:
It's said by some that the Whispering Tyrant is real, and that he's the one that killed Aroden.


Male Human Brawler 3 I AC 17 T 13 FF 14 l HP 40/40 l F +7 R +6 W +2 l Init +3 l Perc +1 I Action Points 1/6 I Att +6 I CMB +5/+7*/+9** I CMD 17/+19*

Untrained Knowledge Check: 1d20 ⇒ 12

"Aro'dn'n th' Whisp'rin' Tyrant. 's like m' Ma's ol' bedtime tales com'n t' life. Always though' they was jus' stories," Broccan says softly to Edrukk, in an attempt not to interrupt the main conversation at the table. "Seems'eh bit worl'shakin' for th' likes'eh Smenk'n th' folks o' Diamond Lake, don' it?" he adds, a tone of skepticism in his voice, as it to say, Something like this couldn't possibly happen in a place like Diamond Lake.

Broccanese:

"Aroden and the Whispering Tyrant. It's like my Mother's old bedtime stories coming to life. I always thought they were just stories. It seems a bit world-shakinf for the likes of Smenk and the folks of Diamond Lake, doesn't it?"


Male Dwarf Warpriest (forgepriest) of Gorum 3 | AC 20 (waraxe and shield), T 11, F 19, CMD 16, 20 vs bull rush or trip | F 6 R 2 W 5, +2 vs poisons, spells, SLAs | hp 23/27 | Init +2 | Perc +7 (+9 for unusual stonework) | Darkvision 60' | AP 5/6 | Blessings 4/4 | Fervor 2/4 | Effects:

Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15

Edrukk nods at the miner's remarks, but addresses the priestess, forgetting his place, "But, ma'am, why use somethin' undead t' combat th' dead Whisperin' Tyrant? 'R they fer sure agin th' Tyrant?"


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

Amariss smiles slyly at Edrukk and Broccan, her long nails idly tapping the glass vial as she speaks. "According to your guest, these worms aren't undead. If they eat negative energy, maybe they're meant to feed off creatures that are. Although..." *tap, tap, tap* "If there's anything Diamond Lake has taught me about parasites, it's that they thrive when their host thrives. I find it hard to believe these worms would be any real good for destroying some ghastly undead host, if that was their purpose." Her eyes sparkle. "I do wish I knew. I may be thinking about this all wrong, but without a live specimen..."


Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5
Dungeon Madam wrote:
Her eyes flash, as if she's only just registered something. "Wait. Are you saying the Ebon Triad is here--and in conflict with that gruesome old pit-spider Balabar Smenk? And you want to involve the mayor's brother in this, as well?"

Did we mention Smenk’s involvement to Amariss? Or has Filge blabbed? Or *tinfoil hat* (an exquisite, elegant tinfoil hat, naturally) was that a revealing slip? I’m fine with any and/or all of the above. :)

Know (history): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Alaïs is less enthused by the speculations about undead masterminds and Aroden’s fate (Yes, yes. How apt and dramatic. A fairy tale without the fairies, more's the pity.) than by Amariss’ metaphysical musings. Misguided as such impulses may be, Alaïs can’t help but sympathize a bit with the anguish that she can imagine most mayfly folk must feel. And, if death is a natural part of life, and there are realms of existence in which something like this green worm is normal, is a natural part of antilife antideath? undeath?, er, regular life? … It would take a lot more wine before she could delude herself into thinking such thoughts could lead to any productive insight, and even she’s not reckless enough to speculate – even theoretically, as a devil’s advocate, in the absence of a cultist to interrogate right now – in such heretical terms to the Jasidian leader’s face.

Dungeon Madam wrote:
Amariss smiles slyly at Edrukk and Broccan, her long nails idly tapping the glass vial as she speaks. "According to your guest, these worms aren't undead. If they eat negative energy, maybe they're meant to feed off creatures that are. Although..." *tap, tap, tap* "If there's anything Diamond Lake has taught me about parasites, it's that they thrive when their host thrives. I find it hard to believe these worms would be any real good for destroying some ghastly undead host, if that was their purpose." Her eyes sparkle. "I do wish I knew. I may be thinking about this all wrong, but without a live specimen..."

“We’ll keep our eyes open, but I certainly hope we don’t see any of these things bonded to a host,” Alaïs says, shuddering with revulsion. “Regardless, on a related note, I’m not sure the Triad is in conflict with anyone as such, apart from being vile and wicked, so much as their pet going missing and conveniently its way into the hands of another mad necromancer.”

“I don’t think Allustan will want to get involved – I think he’s been mentioning mysteries to keep me entertained and out from underfoot, frankly – but he is my host, more or less, and I think it would only be fair to let him know. Besides, he might have stumbled across some relevant lore at some point.” Let’s not mention how informative he was about Seeker, which is another matter of nasty wiggling things. Nerve and sinew rather than worm, but still.

“I am sure that we should try to get to the bottom of things, though. In the interval, would you like us to clear out the last zombies from the observatory?” the flamboyant aristocrat offers gently. One might be forgiven for thinking that she has somehow fallen into the misapprehension that discretion is another word for politeness.

That’s Alaïs for you: she’ll sweetly, but inexorably, air someone’s dirty laundry if she thinks that’s what it will take for good to prevail, and then be surprised if all hell breaks loose, compared to being more careful to sneak around a bit first. XD We're probably going to have to find a way into the mines the Triad's lurking in, aren't we, it will probably take more than a pretty elven smile and a "But thou must!", and leading with that will probably lead to swords in various faces in short order, I presume.


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

You sent enough word to the Jasidians earlier to get them to come, so I'm assuming you told them why you couldn't risk bringing Filge into town?


N Female Human Bard (Dirge Bard) 3 | HP: 13/21 | AC: 15 ( 12 Tch, 13 Ff) | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F+2 R+5; W+2 (+2 vs. enchantments, drugs and poisons; +4 vs fear, energy drain, death, necromantic effects) | Init: +2 | Perc: +8 (+9 vs. traps); SM: -1 | Speed 30 ft | Spells: 1st: 5/5| Bardic Performance 12/12 | Action Points: 3 | Active conditions: inspire courage 0/2

"It seems we may need to pay a visit to the mines then," Kata muses, a hard lilt creeping into her voice, "And to the cultists. What they are doing can't be good..."


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

"And you're certain it's Mr. Dourstone?" Amariss's brow furrows. "I can't say I'm the best-informed about the inner workings of Diamond Lake politics, but Zal--that is to say, I've always heard that Balabar and Dourstone get on like spark and tallow. But if you need to investigate this further, the resources of the Shrine of the Lady of Mint are at your disposal, my sweet. Within reason."

Knowledge (local) 18:
It's a somewhat poorly-kept secret in the city that Amariss and Zalamandra, owner of the Emporium, regularly take tea together--and perhaps more besides behind closed doors. It would be something of a scandal, but Jasidians sort of expect those sort of indiscretions from their high priestesses. Their lawful goddess's love for the wild luck-god Norebo teaches that love is the one thing no one can control.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Male Human Brawler 3 I AC 17 T 13 FF 14 l HP 40/40 l F +7 R +6 W +2 l Init +3 l Perc +1 I Action Points 1/6 I Att +6 I CMB +5/+7*/+9** I CMD 17/+19*

Knowledge, Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14

Oblivious to the subtleties of the conversation, Broccan tries one of the cookies provided with the tea. Unaccustomed to eating anything so sweet, he stifles and urge to cough it up and grabs his cup in his scarred and calloused hand and swallows its contents in one unrefined gulp. He sets the cup down, missing the saucer, causing it to rattle and roll. He quickly grabs it, sets it back in the saucer as gently as his laborer's reflexes allow. He looks around sheepishly, hoping no one noticed. He coughs once, blushes furiously, then lowers his head. Thoroughly embarrassed, he sits as still as possible, staring into his lap.


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

Amariss's eyes travel slowly to Broccan, filled with a gentle--if somewhat amused--sympathy.

After a moment, the high priestess gives a delicate laugh. "Hm. You know, if I didn't know any better I'd swear I had three very well-behaved mice at my table!" She sets her teacup aside. "And here I am chattering away. You must think me such an oaf. Silence is golden, as they say, but I would simply love to hear your thoughts on these matters. Mr. Dunchad, Master Thorvirgun, you're far closer to the mines and their dealings than anyone in my congregation. And Miss Vervain..." She pauses, just a hair, as if considering the tack to take. "When it comes to the faithful and their patrons, very few do honest dealings in this town. I trust yours. What do you need from me?"


Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5
Dungeon Madam wrote:
You sent enough word to the Jasidians earlier to get them to come, so I'm assuming you told them why you couldn't risk bringing Filge into town?

Oh, right. Slipped my mind, and I hadn’t thought of the details of what we were reporting. It stands to reason that even if Diamond Lake is hopelessly corrupt, it was a bit more detailed than, “We can’t hand him over to the guard with THEM waiting to spring their patsy.” “…” “‘Them?’” “Of course. You know, THEY are the ones that really rule Diamond Lake!” “Riiiight…” *Backs away quickly from the conspiracy theorist.* :)

Alaïs dips her head gratefully, and is also pleased that Amariss makes an effort to include the less fortunate of the adventurers. Holding her tongue for the moment, the elven aristocrat takes the opportunity to find the note giving Filge his instructions and implicating Dourstone.

She wonders just how messy the lines of influence and obligation are in Diamond Lake, and what’s really going on. It’s all quite exciting! Shame it’s not, you know, about something mostly harmless like competing to make the best match to put one’s family ahead, or to win the prestige of endowing a chair for another instructor at an important school, or to embarrass someone who’s made a habit of breaking hearts and promises, but something involving lunatic cults and undead parasites. Well. If that’s the diversion on offer…

After a moment, she hands over the note to Amariss, and tries to encourage their more practical, hands-on friends as she tries to remember anything that she might have gleaned from the night at the Feral Dog or whenever about what the priestess was saying about Dourstone. “Anything you might know would be helpful. Are there any stories about the Dourstone mine in particular, even fanciful ones? I can’t think a mine would be an easy place to keep a low profile, outside of the grandest dwarven workings.”

Bardic Brainy-Smurphitude: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11 Flattery aside, looks like we're seeing Alaïs' real lack of interest, privately: It's ... a mine? A claustrophobic hole in the ground? Remind me why anyone who's not an earth elemental wants to do this again? At least we'll have the high ground, and not just morally. ;)


Female Elf Skald 3 HP 21/21 | AC 17 | T 11 | FF 15 | CMD 15 | Fort +5 | Ref +4| Will +3 | Init +2 | Perc +1 | Untrained Knowledge/Lore +4 | Raging song: 10/10 rounds | Goodberries: 3 | Action points: 5

Oh no, I forgot about that. *Shakes tiny elven fist at pesky blue gnomes!*


Male Human Brawler 3 I AC 17 T 13 FF 14 l HP 40/40 l F +7 R +6 W +2 l Init +3 l Perc +1 I Action Points 1/6 I Att +6 I CMB +5/+7*/+9** I CMD 17/+19*

Knowledge, local-Dourstone and his operation: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25


Whispering Cairn Maps (Current: Slide 14); 16th of Arodus, Time: 5:00 PM

Broccan:
Dourstone is considered one of the most cunning mine managers of Diamond Lake, his wits matched only by his dearth of ambition. He's a brutish employer, cruel to his employees and unforgiving of laziness, a self-made man who expects everyone to work as hard as he believes he did. His one redeeming characteristic is that he despises Balabar Smenk. Dourstone has a strong code of conduct, and the only thing he hates more than a layabout is a criminal who got away with it. He even has a reputation for circumventing the sheriff and taking his complaints directly to the Garrison, a habit that irritates just about everyone involved. Dourstone would sooner cut his own throat than do dirty dealings with Smenk.

You know Smenk's habit of lying to his employees, of keeping everyone on a "need-to-know basis". The man has send miners to work with the wrong safety equipment just so they can't use the equipment to guess what they're in for.

There is no way it's actually Dourstone.

You review the other options. It's unlikely to be Luzane Parrin, given the rumors about what happened to her late husband. She's been fighting Smenk tooth-and-nail for years; he wouldn't let her go into business with him unless it meant buying the last of her holdings and leaving her destitute.

That leaves Gelch Tilgast, one of the city's oldest mine managers and a furious opponent of Balabar Smenk; Chaum Gansworth, Parrin's cautious paramour; and Ellival Moonmeadow, the silver mine manager who sees Diamond Lake's politics as beneath him and only employs other elves.

1,851 to 1,900 of 2,300 << first < prev | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Online Campaigns / Play-by-Post / Some Omens Better Left Lost: AoW Gameplay All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.