Dien's For-Friends Fall of Plaguestone

Game Master dien

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Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita takes one look at the terrain and plans her path across it - a path which involves starting from the crates directly in front of her, jumping to the second row of crates and vaulting from these, over the trip wire to roll to her feet in front of Hallod

Acrobatical Nonsense: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

Unfortunately the corner of the first crate gives under her boot and she is forced to abandon the plan and just run across the battle field like a normal person.

Still. She is quick enough to reach Hallod and attack!

Attack!: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Maybe Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Unlike Lilita, Regariel elects to keep it simple. A quick climb onto the crates to gain a clear line of sight for his crossbow, a moment to analyze Hallod's stance and movement, and then--

But first the climb.

Acro that bat: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21

Reg soon has some altitude and Hallod in his sights. He watches the brute engage with Markon and Lita, seeking just the right moment...

Devise that Stratagem: 1d20 ⇒ 8

Unfortunately he can't get a bead on Hallod that doesn't risk hitting one of his friends instead. So like Lilita, Reg changes up his original plan and closes the distance.

The closer he gets, the more obvious it becomes that Markon is severely injured. Skidding to a stop, Reg drops his bow and attempts to staunch the fighter's wounds.

Battle Medicine: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 244d8 + 1 ⇒ (7, 8, 1, 8) + 1 = 25

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Reg runs up, hands flying to his pouches and pockets as he goes, snatching supplies for Markon's gruesome thigh shot! With remarkable speed, he manages to push the bolt through and also, somehow, staunch the wound! (Don't question the dice okay.)

"Thanks!" Markon gasps to Reg.

Hallod's smirk of triumph fades a bit as you all close in. With a sneer, the hulking man drops his crossbow and draws a savage-looking curved long knife...

Attack 1 vs Markon-kukri: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Attack 2 vs Markon-fist: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Damage: 1d4 + 6 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 6 + (2) = 11

Markon's relief is short-lived. Hallod slices him across one shoulder with the wicked blade, and as Markon reels from the cut, the burly man follows it up with a haymaker that sends Markon over the border into dreamland... hopefully, he'll wake up. For now he drops heavily to the ground.

"Leave. Him. Alone!" Sparrow shouts from behind the crates. The wizard's eyes roll back into his head a moment, his hands lifting in staccato gestures of arcane significance.

Casting True Strike and then Telekinetic Projectile

Attack: 2d20 ⇒ (15, 19) = 34 +7 to the 19 for a total of 26
Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8

Markon's dropped sword flies up from his limp fingers and slashes Hallod across one thigh, before clanging back down onto the rocks by Markon.

Markon stabilizing: 1d20 ⇒ 6 dun dun....

Reg and Lita are up!

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita tsks at Hallod, raising a haughty chin. She chides in her most crisp tone "The fist is the weapon of a brute" in an attempt to draw his attention away from those who can help Markon. She makes to strike the man with her sword from the above...

Feint: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25

...but then changes the direction and strikes him from the left.

Attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Confident Finisher!: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

She makes a second attempt, a wild flourish of a blow. It looks far more effective than it really is - it produces only a glancing blow. But the first attack may do them some good.

Damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Finisher Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 5

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Lilita fakes Hallod out with a high swipe-- and as he follows the blade up with his eyes, she whips her blade around lightning fast and it bites deep!

Nicely done! Hallod's looking reasonably hurt....

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Reg has never been prone to rage, preferring to project an aura of calm control as much as possible. He doesn't give in to rage now, but Hallod's vicious treatment of flat-on-the-floor Markon pushes him closer than he's been in quite a while.

Teeth gritted, he draws his sword and moves into range, taking advantage of the excellent distraction Lilita is providing to watch for Hallod's weak points, for any signs of inattention.

Free DaS: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20

At what he hopes is the right moment, Reg's short sword flashes in a hard, fast jab.

Strategic Strike (if that 20 actually hits): 2d6 ⇒ (1, 4) = 5

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Reg strikes! Pushing past Hallod's guard and opening a gash on the big man's face to match his other scar. Hallod roars in pain.

"Damn you all! Die, already!"

He glares between both Regariel and Lilita, teeth bared in a snarl, blood running down the fresh cut on his face to make his bared teeth edged in crimson.

1 - Lita, 2 - Reg: 1d2 ⇒ 1

Pausing only to spit the blood out, he turns on Lilita.

"Brute THIS, girlie!"

Attack 1, Kukri: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
Damage: 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Attack 2, vs Flat Footed: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Attack 3: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15

Though his dagger connects-- and painfully!-- with Lita's upper arm, biting deep and momentarily throwing her off balance, neither of his follow-up punches connect! Though she's bleeding horribly, Lilita is still standing through his assault!

Party's up!

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita staggers back half a step with the blow, but she is quick to return one and then another of her own.

Attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Last Gasp Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3 Doubled would be 6?

Her first attack, made in desperation and panic to not go down again, connects, but she clearly is feeling weak. The second strike is a meager affair.

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

The blow may be weak-- but sometimes it isn't about how hard you hit... but where. Lilita's blade, in her flagging arm, snakes past Hallod's swinging fists... and into his chest.

With a gasp instead of a curse, the hulking man falls.

Sparrow doesn't spend time in congratulations-- he rushes over to Markon's downed body, trusting that Reg has Lita in hand.

Medicine: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15 On the nose
HP: 2d8 ⇒ (1, 3) = 4

Markon comes to, coughing weakly, spitting his own blood. "...did... did we win?" he gurgles.

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Regariel leaves it to Sparrow to bring Markon up to date, turning instead to aid Lilita. "Easy," he murmurs as he attempts to clean and bind her wounds, starting with the nasty upper arm slice.

Battle Medicine: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14

Unfortunately Reg's fatigue throws off his technique somewhat. But at least he's not making things worse?

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita watches Reg fumble for a moment then shakes her had and holds her hand out for him to stop. "I need to sit down. I think." she says.

She limps her way over to a crate and sits down. "I am glad you are awake again, Mr. Markon. I think that what happened probably is considered 'winning'" she says. "We're all alive, after all.

"The question is what happens now. We don't know where we are. Will we have to go back through the tunnel?"

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Reg at least makes sure Lilita has a clean cloth to keep pressed to her arm wound. As she asks her question, he stands and scans their surroundings, turning slowly in place. He stops facing the gnarled remains of a tree that stands between them and the pond.

"We appear to be at the location shown on the map that Mr. Sparrow found," he replies. "I can follow the path and try to determine our location with respect to the village. But the map also indicated that this stump was of some importance..."

And with that, Reg begins to circle the stump, examining it minutely. He doesn't wade into the pond though, or at least he doesn't yet.

Perception Check (+1 if trap): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

The stump.... is empty. Whatever it once held, there's nothing there right now, despite Reg's careful searching.

Sparrow leaves the stump to Reg, helping Markon to his feet, then scrutinizing Lilita. "Give me a few minutes, miss Yuzu, we might get you feeling better. Some rough cuts, there."

Medicine: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Healing over ten minutes: 2d8 ⇒ (8, 8) = 16

While Sparrow attends to Lillit's gouges and bruises, a slightly-woozy Markon ... digs through the pockets of the slain Hallod.

"I might keep this knife of his.... oh, a note... readin's for you, Sparrow.... also he's got another of those little silver potions on him... an' some other bottle....."

Crafting DC 15:
The silver flask is another of the juggernaut mutagens, and the other bottle is a lesser healing potion.

As for the note, well-- when Sparrow is done seeing to Lilita's injuries, he reads it aloud for the group:

Mysterious note on Hallod wrote:


The final shipment of corpse blood is due in just over a week, and it is the last thing I need from that greedy bastard, Bort. I’ve enclosed a parting gift for him that should ensure he never tells anyone of our dealings. Be sure that he gets it, my darling.
Drop off the reagents as soon as they arrive. My work is almost done. You will find your usual reward in the stump.


Markon whistles a bit after the note's read. "Damn. Seems like we're not through with the mystery, huh? This guy was just the patsy. Makin' Finnik the patsy too. Like a.... a patsy-chain. Patty-chain. Patty-cake."

"--did you hit your head when you passed out?" Sparrow asks with an arched brow.

Markon grunts. "I dunno, maybe? I could use a rest, I know that much."

Sparrow straightens the note into the ledger stack. "I think we have a good supply of things that need showing to the so-called sheriff, at any rate. And rest would be good for us all. Where are we, I wonder?"

Though you collectively check out the immediate surroundings beyond the pond and stump, you don't see the town, or any recognizable landmarks. Your underground traverse through the caves must have been even more distance than it felt like.

Though it might be a good idea to determine where this outlet is in relation to the town, for now, the quickest way back to friendly environs is through your tunnel.


With your discovery of an apparent tunnel complex beneath the village, to say nothing of the note and the rest of it, you certainly have the blustering sheriff's attention. An informal sort of jury develops with a few prominent people exchanging heated opinions-- though no-one seems to be grieving too much for Hallod, even Rolth, who you sense is somewhat relieved that he may no longer have to deal with the surly big man. He still wishes to enforce some sort of punishment on Finnik-- but Delma intercedes, putting her foot down metaphorically and literally, squaring off with the puffed-up constable and informing him that the only punishment she'll tolerate is for Finnik to be remanded into her care and to work it off. Faced with the prospect of alienating the woman who owns and runs the town's only true business, Rolth huffs and puffs but eventually backs down.

Rolth insists on being shown the tunnels; Markon, restored a bit by a breather, gives him the tour, showing him the dead dogs, the overgrown serpent, and the body of Hallod himself.

By evening, the gossip has spread through the whole town-- hard to keep anything such as this a secret in a town like Etran's Folly. It's the most exciting news since the time someone tried to poison Bort Bargith! --oh wait, that was just last night.

Well, anyway. The story is told, again and again, for the curious-- you can already sense the retelling of it will grow. No doubt in a week's time it will be a whole pack of devil-dogs, and a serpent that was made of lightning rather than merely spitting it...

...but, of course, none of you plan to still be here in a week's time.

The big question remains, of course: Who is the mysterious 'V'? Nobody in town seems to have any suggestions.

Sparrow, at least, gets his bath. And when Markon comes back from his tour with Rolth, he finds Lilita, to offer her something-- a rapier, elegant in design, possibly of elven make-- and though it is discolored and scratched, with chunks of limestone calcite clinging it, the blade appears to be plated with silver!

"Took the chance to go digging in that pond," Markon says with a crooked grin. "Found some stuff. Had to break that fancy toothpick out of the limestone that was formin' over it, but I figured, it's more your style than mine."

The other things Markon brings back include a runestone etched with a rune for stealth-- such things can be affixed to one's armor or clothing, to make one blend just a bit better with the shadows-- two everburning torches that shed perpetual light-- and about fifty more gold coins' worth of small coinage.

Sparrow looks at the small pile of treasures and rubs his chin. "Well, not the worst pay for a day's work, I suppose, though I like days where we don't come so close to dying, personally."

"Hazard pay," Markon says with his good cheer restored, admiring his new, wicked-looking dagger. "So we gonna try and dig up this Vee person too?"

"I think that we'd have to know who that WAS, first. For now, all I want is a good night's sleep," Sparrow sighs. He looks to the others, and gives a tiny nod. "We worked together well today, didn't we."

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita thanks Sparrow for his help patching her up. She says a blessing for the dead man before they leave.

While Markon is away with the constable, Lilita is doing her best to tell the story in a way that encourages people to buy herself, Reg and Sparrow the drinks (be they tea or ale) that they desire. Dinner is probably already taken care of to some extent, given the incident with the boar.

Performance: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

Although she would also like a bath, Lilita is determined to wait until she can turn in for the evening. Since she is already wearing her spare set of clothing, she is hoping she can get some of the blood and dust out and they will be dry by morning. Besides, the smears of dust and bandaged arm lends something to the story, once her face is washed.

She snorts at Markon's words when he presents her the rapier "My toothpick did all right today, you know." she examines the new sword "Nice." she smiles at him "Thank you.

She watches as Sparrow goes through the rest of the haul. "At least I will be able to afford laundry service, now."

"Somehow I think we would all rather not know who V. is and what they are up to. At least we managed to clear the names of all of the people the town's illustrious constable was accusing. Lilita says. She smiles at Sparrow's words "I think every one of you saved my life today , so I can only agree.

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

"Sure, your little sword did real good," Markon says with a wink, clearly just teasing. "Just figured here's an even shinier one."

Sparrow waves Markon away without even bothering with a pithy comment. "Yes, about laundry-- I will remember the cleansing spell tonight, so save your coin. I'd say buy something nice in town but your options seem limited to turnips and their derivatives."

The boar, however, has only light seasonings of turnip; it's overall delicious, robust but tender, the cook having managed to slow cook the mea long enough it's falling off the bone, arranged on a plate of spring greens. Markon even eats some of the greens.

"Yeah, yeah, we cleared everyone's names, even the goblin," he says with a snort, watching the goblin in question-- Finnik is back helping in Delma's inn, though he sticks very close to Delma and avoids eye contact with anyone-- though he does seem to be very impressed with Lilita's dramatic performance, as are all the townsfolk.

Tamli and the twins barrel in to clap you on the back and shake your hands, and to give a report on Cooky and Bort. "Cooky says Bort's still-- stable. That's not the best, but it could be a damn sight worse," Tamli grunts. The half-orc sits heavily down at the table and starts absently helping herself to some of the roast boar.

"We'll keep tending to him. Swap shifts so Cooky can get some sleep-- or whatever the hell it is elves do." The half-orc looks about to say something else, then shakes her head.

Setting her jaw, she growls out, "I'm glad this prick who managed the poison is dead, and I thank you. But I don't like that some other person's still out there. Even if Bort recovers- we go our whole lives waiting for this 'V' to try again? To the red hells with that.

"We won't be traveling for at least a few more days. Love if Bort would wake up. But there's bigger cities where maybe we can get him a gods-healer.... if it's safe to risk traveling, with someone after Bort. It's not like it's a secret hereabouts that he survived the attack, however barely. You all need to keep your guard up and keep looking."

There's a light pause, and then Tamli's grim glower switches to something much more abashed. "--uh, I mean-- uh-- it'd be good if you did. Sorry, I forget you lot aren't, uh, caravan employees for me to boss. --aw s*!$, and here I am, eating your food!"

"Not to worry," Sparrow says drily. "I think there's enough to go around. I'll take your words in the spirit they were meant; yes, it is good to remain on our guard. And with that, I may be turning in early-- I have study to do, if I'm to play laundryman in the morning." A half-a-smile at Lillit, then the wizard stiffly gets to his feet, the day's activities having clearly worn him out.

Markon, however, is in no hurry to retire. He uses some of the newfound wealth to order a round of drinks for everyone in the bar, and stays up throwing dice for as long as anyone will try to match him at the game.

Eventually, though, people turn in.....

You toss and turn despite your weariness. It's a strange thing, to have come so close to death twice in the space of one day. And that first time-- with the boar. The voice.....

Eventually, your eyes slide shut. And when you open them you are back in the monastery.... white and red and thread-of-gold tapestries hang on the wall, showing the Acts of Iomedae, her heroism and valor. Shafts of sunlight shine through stained glass windows, playing on the floor, illuminating this square or that square and not the others-- making a checkerboard in the long halls that it had amused to use for hopscotch, once upon a time, except for when you got caught and ordered firmly back to chores or drills.

You try the old pattern again, step step hop, spin, thrust with an imaginary sword-- but it seems real enough in your hand, and your blade clangs lightly against a longsword that effortlessly deflects it.

The grey-eyed woman smiles at your attempt. Keep trying. Go with my blessing. And my gifts.

You dream of .... portals. Mundane ones: the hatch that dropped you into the cellar of Hallod's home, the heavy door that had boasted the eye-hole, the door with the rope that had been in truth only a cunning trap. Corridors, like the cramped tunnel you'd been in when the rocks had rained down. Places where you travel from one place to the next, and they seem to never end, never reach a destination-- where were you headed, anyway? What were you looking for? Surely it's around the next bend. Through the next door.

The snake... the wolves. Unnatural creatures, blighted and twisted from their normal state. Dangers upon the road. A woman's voice whispers to you, Mind your step, traveler. Corruption breeds, and the way is not safe....

You wake from dreams, either calming or disquiet as the spirit takes you, and... feel that in some intangible way, your knowledge has increased. (Official level up!)

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Reg will also wait a bit for a full bath, but he sighs in relief as he washes the mud from his face and hands and trades off for clean clothes. Much better. He returns to the common room, listens to Lita's talespinning, and sips tea in a cheerful mood.

Sparrow wrote:
"We worked together well today, didn't we."

Reg offers a smile and nod of agreement to Sparrow, Markon and Lilita. It may be a touch awkward, as he often can be, but also clearly sincere.

He is equally sincere when he joins Sparrow in reassuring Tamli. "As the twins pointed out, we couldn't get through half of the boar on our own. You're quite welcome to share."

After dinner Reg lingers downstairs for a bit, idly watching the dicing and sipping wine instead of tea. His mood turns pensive as his mind chews at the puzzle still in front of them. Who is V? Will they make another attempt on Bort's life? Someone else's? Hallod had apparently been inflating Bort's prices for his own profit; would V have been motivated to murder had he not done so? Rather a moot point now, but still... What 'work' is V so close to completing, and why does it require corpse blood of all things? Is V one of the villagers, someone they've already met?

Perhaps someone in the room right now?

Eventually Regariel's thoughts tire of chasing themselves in a circle. He retires to his room after bidding everyone a good evening, and eventually drifts off to sleep.

The whispering voice from his dream echoes in his mind for some time after his eyes open to the dawn light. Who--? Another who with no answer. He probably should be disquieted.

He finds himself intrigued instead.

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita turns in early as well. Despite her apparent willingness to ham it up before dinner, once Sparrow has turned her wounds begin to trouble her and she suddenly feels tired thinking of all that has gone on. Besides, she longs for that bath.

Despite the tossing and turning before sleep, in the morning she wakes refreshed after her dream. She peers out the window to see she has slept in (by her standards - at the monastery waking at dawn was expected).

She gathers her new rapier, pulls on her spare clothes that she washed as best she could the night before and folds the bloodstained red and white jacket and smart dueling cape over her arm to go see Sparrow. She heads down for breakfast.

Markon - AC 18/20 | HP 1/21 | Per +5 | F+7 R+7 W+5 Sparrow - AC 14 | HP 15/15 | Per +6 | F+4 R+4 W+6

Sparrow is there already, and gives Lilita a nod and a restrained but genuine smile. "I trust you're feeling better today, after some rest."

(There would probably have been some Medicine checks before bed to get Lita up but *handwave handwave* You're full.)

"Now let me just see about that jacket and cloak of yours..."

Rubbing his thin fingers together, Sparrow mutters to himself, a look of concentration creasing his brow as he mumbles over Lilita's garments. A little ripple in the air seems to pass over the items, and when it fades, the stains are gone! An impressive laundry service indeed.

"There. It's a very convenient spell but it seems so.... I don't know. Self-indulgent? When on the road. Especially when danger's a reality. But there's a good deal to be said for clean clothes on the road too, isn't there... And I think I may be able to bring a few new magics to bear in the case of threats, anyway. I've felt some progress in my spellwork. All this unaccustomed use, I suppose."

The mage pauses, then looks sheepish. "Er, forgive me, I'm babbling. There's hot tea if you want some of mine. I believe the cook is currently frying up ham slices from the boar to go with a mighty quantity of eggs. Perhaps the smell will get Markon out of bed... but I doubt it, he stayed up late."

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

"Worlds better." she says "Though, I seem to have slept in very late."

I need to update everything. I hadn't been thinking about the hit points - I have fixed them but some of the saves probably changed too...the comment about the wounds was more flavor text and speculation than me thinking she had not been healed.

Lilita nurses a cup of the offered tea as she watches him. "Well. I might not be the best person to ask about that. I've been told I am a bit vain."

This might seem like a bit of a joke, right now, given that she is sitting in front of him in her drab, battle stained spare clothes, with her hair pulled back rather austerely. But even these have been carefully tailored to fit her and she has clearly taken the time to comb her hair and wash her face before coming down. Perhaps he recognizes a bit of his own fastidiousness in her?

She thanks him for his help with the laundry in appropriately impressed tones. "It's not just vanity, though, is it? It is hygiene. Besides, I think sometimes it matters how you look doing a thing. Creating the right impression can help you avoid a fight. Or, even win one."

"Lords, I hope you weren't studying last night. After all that. She glances at her sword, a bit guilty "Though, maybe I should go do some drills once I've finished this cup of tea.

"I don't know how Markon had the energy to stay up.

"I'm glad we're eating the mean old thing, anyway, instead of the other way around.

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

I assume Reg also got back the 4hp he lost to those vicious geese.

Regariel comes down to the common room a bit later than Lilita, having taken a few minutes to check on Bort. Reg looks quite neatly turned out, bathed and wearing his clean best again; to look at him you'd never suspect what he went through with his companions yesterday. Though you'd likely get a clue when he produces his garb from yesterday, smudged with mud, grease, blood, and unmentionable things that geese emit.

"Might I trouble you, Mr. Sparrow?", he murmurs. If it wouldn't be an imposition..."

He obtains a cup of tea and brings it back to the table. "I fully agree with you on the merits of cleanliness, Lilita. And one can best keep the mind clear and focused when the body is also in good order."

After a slow sip of tea, Reg turns to his companions, focused and intent. "Any ideas where our investigation should go next? If you are inclined to continue, of course. I am, not least because we have likely come to this V person's negative attention ourselves."

Markon - AC 18/20 | HP 1/21 | Per +5 | F+7 R+7 W+5 Sparrow - AC 14 | HP 15/15 | Per +6 | F+4 R+4 W+6

"Hm--? Oh, yes, certainly," Sparrow says with a distracted nod at Reg. A repeat of the muttering and the small ripple in space, and Reg's rather filthy-looking garment seems quite restored.

Sparrow adjusts his glasses. "I admit, they never really FEEL as clean to me when laundered via magic... but perhaps that's just me being oversensitive. It looks clean, anyway.

"And you're quite right, Miss Yuzu. The clothes make the man, as they say in Absalom. Or the woman, of course.

"As for our investigation..... I'm not really sure. It's a pity Hallod fell in the thick of things-- I mean, we were in no position to try and pull our blows, we were fighting for our lives there-- but whatever he knew about his employer likely went to the grave with him. It seems we can certainly assume that the mysterious V has some skill at alchemy-- I don't think Hallod was the one mixing up those potions, and of course, whatever reagents were being ordered weren't there in his little lair, either.

"I suppose we could try and stake out that stump? See if 'V' shows again? But if they have any eyes or ears in the town, they'll know that that location is compromised..... It is a knotty little problem.

"But I agree with you, Regariel; we likely haven't made a friend of this person. May I suggest we try to stick together, rather than not? No solo information gathering? We really don't know who in this town we can trust. For instance, that jumpy fellow you so spooked, miss Yuzu-- I wonder if we ought to still visit him. But as a group, nobody going off to investigate hunches or--"

A rather loud feminine laugh and squeal from upstairs makes Sparrow cut off; Markon's voice is heard chasing it and then a 'Oh, now I gotcha, honey--"

"MARKON, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THE GODS, CLOSE THE ROOM'S DOOR," Sparrow says with an expression that can best be described as extreme disgruntlement.

"Oh! Haha, sorry!" Somewhere overhead a door shuts.

Sparrow stares into the middle distance, and then picks up his teacup and has a sip. "I was going to say, or going off to satisfy individual curiosity or pursue personal errands, but clearly, it is not the two of you that I should be addressing. I'd apologize for my traveling companion, but whatever is the point?"

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Regariel's gaze flicks upward at the jovial ribaldry that wafts down the stairs. His lips curl up in amusement, but he says only, "He sounds fully recovered at least," as he finishes folding his newly-restored clothing.

"I'd say you're absolutely correct." Reg's intent gaze returns to his companions as he sets the garments to one side. "Today has provided ample evidence of the advantages in working together. None of us alone could have survived the hazards we've faced since this morning."

He turns to the young initiate. "What do you think, Lilita? You saw this Krent more closely than the rest of us. Does he seem a likely thread to follow?"

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Though Lilita has no particular opinion on Krent, Sparrow nods with a frown at Regariel. "I think he's worth looking into. He was clearly frightened of.... something. In a town this small, what could be so terrifying? Perhaps some knowledge of Mr. Bargith's attacker? I grant you it's a thin thread, but.... I'm not precisely sure what our next step might be, otherwise."

He has a sip of his tea, gazing upwards in Markon's unseen direction. "I suppose that means I'll have to tear Markon away from his amusements. At some point."

Sparrow has a bite of a piece of toast. Then another. And another.

"But likely there's little reason to rush."


It's well past lunchtime by the time Markon wanders downstairs in seeming good humor. Sparrow has the various ledgers spread out on one of the common room tables, and has been asking people coming in and out of the inn/store if they recognize the handwriting on the note from the mysterious 'V', to no avail, however. Regariel has no doubt spent time checking on his patient. Bort is still breathing, but a weary-looking Cookie confirms that he hasn't stirred or woken. Tamri intercepts Regariel and mutters to him that Cookie hasn't left Bort's side for anything more than a few minutes-- that she and the other caravaneers have tried to spell Cookie but he has refused to leave Bort in anyone else's care.

Lilita perhaps drills with her sword, as she indicated she might do-- or perhaps she has a long relaxing soak in the inn's copper tub, relishing the comfort of the water... either way, she has the chance to relish simply being alive, given yesterday's close calls. They say the cloak of an Iomedan is red to hide the blood....

The little group reconvenes in the common room.

"So, now that someone is finally ready to rejoin the world..." Sparrow begins.

"Y'know, I almost died yesterday," Markon sighs. "Even Celias believes in a little rest and recovery, Sparrow."

"Yes, well. In any case, Regariel has suggested we investigate this Krent fellow, and I agree. He was rather suspicious. Shall we?"

"Well, let me eat first..."


With instructions for Delma to the house where she believes Krent stays, you once again make your way to the north side of the village, moving among the abandoned and rotting homes carefully.

Doing anything in particular on approach?

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

"He seemed to be afraid of me. My vestment riled him up." Lilita says, in relation to Krent. "I felt guilty. For scaring him and for telling that constable about him afterwards. But I suppose my feeling guilty doesn't change the fact that we need to talk to him."

Her attention turns to her tea as the conversation trails off.

She indeed goes out to do her drills. When she is finished she goes inside and cleans up, taking a bath and changing into her freshly cleaned garments before siting down and thinking about last nights dream, and yesterday's close calls.

She digs a letter out of her bag. There are creases in the paper from being folded and unfolded a thousand times. More a journal than a letter she supposes. After all, she can never send it.

"Dear Corinna" she writes "I think I died yesterday. It is only by the grace of a miracle that I am alive at all...

After a time, she comes down for lunch and eats quietly, settling in a corner to look out the window afterwards. She's just about to doze off at the table when she hears voices and sees the others are gathering.

She is fairly subdued as she listens to Markon and Sparrow, it is not until they have stepped outside that she will comment "After yesterday, perhaps we should have Reg here take the lead. He seems to have a knack for sniffing out traps that the rest of us don't exactly. At least not Markon or myself."

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Regariel's check on Bort leaves him almost as concerned about Cookie as he is about his patient, especially after Tamri confides her own worry about the elderly elf's lack of rest. He wonders if he should offer to look after Bort for a while, though he's not sure how well that would go over, given Cookie's refusal of help from people he's known much longer.

Regardless, he has other things to deal with today. All through lunch he mentally sifts through events, not only since their arrival in Etran's Folly, but back to when he joined the caravan. He maps people, things and places in his mind, seeking connections, seeking suspects, seeking answers.

Reg pulls himself back to the present as he joins his companions for their walk to Krent's home. When Lita suggests that he take the point man's position, he blinks, then nods agreement, secretly pleased to have this skill recognized after some of his more embarrassing moments yesterday. "I'm willing if you all are," he replies. "We haven't exactly had the best of luck paying visits in this area."

And so Reg will spend the time walking to Krent's scanning their path and surroundings, looking and listening for anything out of the ordinary.

Markon - AC 18/20 | HP 1/21 | Per +5 | F+7 R+7 W+5 Sparrow - AC 14 | HP 15/15 | Per +6 | F+4 R+4 W+6

"Suits me," Markon says with a shrug and a clap of Regariel's slim shoulders. "Eyes and Ears, you're a package deal alright."

He takes up a spot behind Reg, though walks with his sword drawn through the empty buildings and overgrown streets of the north side of town. Sparrow takes up the rear, glancing side to side occasionally.

You can see the house in question, but before you enter, a figure lurches from the gap between two nearby buildings, wide-eyed and staring at your group. Markon wheels with blade half-raised, but the figure before you isn't armed-- at least, not with anything but an empty turnipta bottle held low at one side.

It appears to be Krent, looking even the worse for wear than when you ran into him the other night. He weaves on his feet, hand outstretched towards Lilita in a hesitant way.

"Don't go in there, Talmore," he mumbles, and the waft of strong turnip-based alcohol accompanies his words. "It's dangerous, old friend..."

Markon and Sparrow trade looks, then both look to either Lilita or Reg.

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita is started by the sudden appearance of Krent, even though he was the one they were looking for. She swallows when he offers his hand to her and speaks of...danger? However she only misses a beat before offering her own hand to Krent.

"What's the danger, Krent? Either way, it looks like you could use a meal and a place to sit down. Maybe we should go find those for you?"

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Regariel takes a step forward, ready to catch Krent if the man takes a drunken tumble. Otherwise he does and says nothing to interrupt his conversation with Lilita. Reg stays alert, watching and listening for more information, more pieces to the strange puzzle they need to assemble.

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Krent pumps Lilita's hand with a sort of desperate friendliness, though his breath reeks of booze and his eyes are hazed with a lack of recognition.

"Trouble? No, no trouble now, haha, you're fine, yes, yes, you're fine, nothing happened, I'm sorry but it's alright because you're fine, haaa... yes... meal... meal... the inn? Yes, let's go to the inn, they have drinks there, I'll buy you one, dear Talmore.... so good to see you again... thought you were gone..."

Somewhat ineffectually, Krent begins to try and tug Lilita down the street back the way you all came. He throws a few glances back over his shoulder as he does so, wild and unfocused.

Perception DC 15:
He seems to be deliberately, if drunkenly, trying to lead you away from the house that he's been staying in. The fervent cheer only thinly masks his fear and unease. He also keeps reaching towards his shirt's collar with furtive little gestures, using the hand that's not attempting to guide Lilita-- nervously touching at his shirt front like trying to reassure himself something is still there, or touching something for comfort or security perhaps.

Getting more sense from Krent will be probably be helped by a Diplomacy roll.

Behind Krent's back, Markon makes the 'coocoo' symbol with a swirl of his finger at his temple. Sparrow grimaces at him and shoves his hand down.

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14

Lilita looks at the others. "Uh. Let's have a chat, then. Right over here." She tries to lead him a few steps away. "What's the danger?

Dipolmacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Sparrow Per: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11

Sparrow also gives Krent a critical once-over, but doesn't appear to see anything beyond the man's drunken state. Markon doesn't look.

Lilita's gentle words seem to appease Krent, slightly. He still seems nervous, but willing to go as long as the direction is away from the building you were originally seeking. He raises the empty bottle to drink from it, seeming to barely notice there's nothing there, and flicks a glance back and forth from Lilita over his shoulder.

"It's-- hahaha, nothing, nothing, you-- it's so silly! I thought it was a -- a ghost, you see! But-- that can't be. Why, you're right here, old friend! You're just fine. Such a relief! Io... Iomedae's seen us through it again, eh, old fellow?"

He offers a tremulous smile to Lilita, but seems on the verge of tears.

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Reg's Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14

Regariel continues to watch and listen, silent and attentive. Was this the source of Krent's extreme reaction to Lilita last night at the inn -- he thought he'd seen a ghost? Or at least had some unpleasant memories stirred up by the sight of Lita's acolyte garb. Does his reference to Iomedae mean that he and this Talmore also served the Inheritor once?

And what happened to this 'old friend,' that Krent thinks he's actually haunted?

For that matter, is he actually haunted?

Looking thoughtful, he glances toward the house they were approaching and attempts to detect magic.

No idea if our little band is within 30 feet of their destination, but what the hey!

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita attempts to press again - gently.

"A ghost? Just what made you think that?"

She looks around for a place to have Krent sit down - he seems so unsteady on his feet after all. She glances back the way they came.

She whispers to her companions as she leads him away "We won't get sense out of him until he sobers up, I fear.

Just in case.

Diplomacy?: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Krent just offers a sickly smile at Lilita. "Er... What made me think that? Well-- it's quite obviously there, you know. I have eyes."

He doesn't resist being guided to a spot to set, at any rate, but lapses into rubbing at his face.

The house is relatively close, but Regariel's muttered enchantment doesn't turn up much-- not necessarily surprising. Ghosts don't usually detect on the magic-seeking spell he knows, which is more for detecting active enchantments than the undead.

Markon crosses his arms, looking from Krent to Lilita to Regariel. "So, nutter here," a sharp look from Sparrow makes him drop his voice, slightly, "....the nutter, here.... he says he's got a ghost in his uh, house. So, the way I see it, we can either go dip his head in the animal trough back at the inn to sober him up, or go look for this 'ghost.' What are we doin'?"

Sparrow frowns, stroking his chin. "I leave it to Miss Lilita and Mister Regariel to decide, I think. I know the theoretical lore of ghosts but admit I've never, well, met one."

Markon gives Sparrow a look. "You're talkin' like one's really there."

Krent just moans vaguely, rubbing at his head.

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

The lack of result from his spell indeed does not surprise Regariel, but it does let him tick off one possible alternate cause for Krent's haunting. He divides his attention between listening to the conversation and noting the details of the man's emotional state.

"I recommend giving the house a once over," he says, keeping his voice low. "Whether we find a ghost, something other than a ghost, or nothing at all, the information may be a part of our larger puzzle. At the least it may help us get sense out of any subsequent conversation." He tilts his head briefly in Krent's direction.

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

"That seems sensible, Regariel," Sparrow says with a nod. "Why don't you keep your eyes out for traditional hazards as we approach, and I'll keep an eye out for magic?"

"I'm just keepin' my shield up," Markon mutters, but does just that, and unslings his blade as he stalks forward towards the house, with only a light pause to let Lilita fall into place next to him.

Krent mumbles to himself behind you all...

Lilita can declare one of the exploration activities mentioned in the Discord if she wishes!

The door of this house barely closes, let alone locks. Markon uses his boot to nudge the creaking door open, shield raised warily, but after peering inside a second he shrugs. "Don't see nothing ready to eat me."

Moving inside, you see a shabby room with an old, sagging bedframe and table, as well as holes in the thatch roof that let in sunlight from above. The only thing that seems newer is a pack rested against one corner, along with a sword, a breastplate, and a helm-- they are marked with the insignia of Iomedae, as Lilita can certainly identify. Inside the pack, Regariel's keen eyes see something metallic glinting...

... but no sooner has he noticed this then the temperature inside the hut begins to plummet sharply, and cold fingers race along the napes of your necks...

GM rolls:

Lilita: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Markon: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Regariel: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Sparrow: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Ghost: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13

...the figure of a man begins to appear next to the knapsack and gear. Translucent, wavery, armored, with pits of glowing fire where his eyes should be... holding a sword that he aims accusingly towards you...

"That-- certainly does look like a ghost!" Sparrow says with a bit of a -gleep- noise.

Sparrow tries to know things about ghosts: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

"Ah-- um-- dammit, let me think-- restless spirits usually are bothered by, by, unfinished business, and may return indefinitely until the matter of their--"

"F$+$'S SAKE, can I HIT IT?" Markon shouts from the front.

"--yes but it will resist damage unless your weapon is enchanted-- magic is more efficacious--"

"Then maybe you should magic it, genius!"

Sparrow doesn't respond with banter, but rather, the words of a spell. Electricity arcs from his fingers towards the spectral form.

Damage: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Ghost Reflex save: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26

But the ghost seems to dodge it entirely. Markon says a vulgar word. "Fine. Guess it's up to me!" He races forward and tries to put all his strength into one powerful blow at the ghost's side.

Markon Power Attack: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Damage: 2d8 + 3 ⇒ (7, 3) + 3 = 13

Markon's blade whistles through the ghost and nearly embeds itself in the wall-- a powerful blow, but the ghost's outline seems only slightly disrupted.

Round 1


Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Regariel draws his blade as soon as the apparition appears, but his eyes widen when Markon's ferocious attack has so little effect on the ghost. If the fighter-slash-rogue couldn't do serious damage, Reg and his short sword likely won't fare any better. But there is another who may have a different sort of influence on 'Talmore,' if this is indeed him...

"Lilita," he leans forward to murmur to the young woman, "perhaps you should talk to him. As one Iomedan to another, yes? You may be able to find out what he wants, what keeps him here ... or at least distract him for a bit."

With that, he keeps his sword at the ready and examines their opponent. He wants to go investigate that pack and the metal object it holds, but best to deal with the situation at hand first.

Reg will use his final action to Pursue a Lead, preparatory to Devising a Strategem or making a Perception or Occult check next round. Hopefully he'll still have a chance...

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Right, ignore the previous post; someone is still Sussing Out The Rules. u___u

Regariel draws his blade as soon as the apparition appears, but his eyes widen when Markon's ferocious attack has so little effect on the ghost. If the fighter-slash-rogue couldn't do serious damage, Reg and his short sword likely won't fare any better. But there is another who may have a different sort of influence on 'Talmore,' if this is indeed him...

"Lilita," he leans forward to murmur to the young woman, "perhaps you should talk to him. As one Iomedan to another, yes? You may be able to find out what he wants, what keeps him here ... or at least distract him for a bit."

With that, Reg keeps his sword at the ready and examines their opponent. He wants to go investigate that pack and the metal object it holds, but best to deal with the situation at hand first. He casts back into his memory, dredging up everything he can recall about ghosts and how to deal with them...

Dig deep, Reg: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21

Still focused on the specter, the elf moves to a flanking position on the end of the bed in an effort both to support Markon and leave an opening for Lilita, should the swordswoman decide to act instead of talk.

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Regariel digs deep! Sparrow's right, they're bound with unfinished business, and cannot be permanently destroyed until that is set right-- but even dispelling them temporarily can be difficult. Aside from Sparrow's observation that non-enchanted weapons deal less damage to them, Regariel knows they similarly resist fire, ice, and all the typical elemental compounds. Even more worryingly, they cannot be targeted with those attacks that aim for special nerves or weak spots (immune to precision damage, like Reg's strategic strike).

The one silver lining Reg can think to point out is that ghosts are almost always bound to a specific location and cannot pursue those souls who are wise enough to flee....

The ghost howls at Reg's approach-- and the howl cuts deep into your ears, your skin, down into your hearts.

Sparrow Will save: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Markon Will save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16

Both your wizard and your warrior look frightened! Markon goes pale and nearly drops his sword; Sparrow mutters something that sounds like a stammering prayer...

Will save from both Regariel and Lilita, please! The DC is 19. Regariel gets his 'forlorn' bonus to this save. If you fail you are frightened 2.

The ghost wheels on Markon, the only person to damage it yet, and thrusts its incorporeal, shifting blade at him. "Thiiiieefff!"

Attack Markon: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13

Markon throws himself to the wall, and the blade passes by him. "I didn't steal nothing from you!" the warrior gasps, still looking shaken by the encounter.

Lilita, you're up! Make a save, then take your actions. And Reg can also roll his save.

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Reg's Will save: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15

The howl also chills Regariel's heart; he shudders and takes a step back, fighting the impulse to flee.

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita doesn't draw her sword for the moment. She shifts her cape back to show her Iomedan uniform to full advantage and holds up her hands.

"Brother! Please. Hold your attack! Speak to us. Why are you here and how can we help you?"

Ghost Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Though Lilita's words are sincere, the chill of terror that has driven deep into her heart makes her words catch in her throat, and she speaks them with less conviction than she might wish. Can anything of Iomedae's nobility exist still in this maddened shade?

The spirit doesn't say anything in answer to Lilita-- but it does hesitate a moment, as if taking in her appearance, her Iomedan garb.

Sparrow looks on the verge of fleeing but he swallows hurriedly and tries another spell. Glowing motes of pure arcane force array on his fingers and then form the shimmering outlines of a flock of small birds that fly arrow-straight for the ghost!

3-action Magic Missile: 3d4 + 3 ⇒ (2, 4, 2) + 3 = 11

This spell seems to be much more effective than the lightning that Sparrow had tried before. The form of the ghost reels from the magical birds, seeming like it might almost dissipate entirely from the attack.

"THAT'S more like it!" Markon cries with a ragged cheer.

"Yes, well, unfortunately, I can't do that again today!" Sparrow pants. "That took a good deal of my reserves and--"

"Yeah yeah, fine, I'll finish it up!"

Markon nods acknowledgment of Regariel's joining him to threaten the ghost... and tries to capitalize.

Power Attack, frightened, vs flanked AC: 1d20 + 9 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 9 - 2 = 10

But alas, the dissolving ghost form seems hard to hit. Markon hurriedly brings his shield up to protect himself.

The ghost seems to consider Sparrow the biggest threat... possibly within reason, given the spell assault. It flies towards the wizard! Markon hacks desperately at it again as it passes.

Markon Attack of Opportunity, frightened 1, vs flanked AC: 1d20 + 9 - 1 ⇒ (12) + 9 - 1 = 20
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

His blade does seem to connect-- but the wispy substance of the shade stymies it entirely. Markon growls in both fear and fury, clearly out his depth with a less-than-flesh-and-blood enemy.

The ghost advances on Sparrow....

Attack Sparrow: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14
Attack 2 vs Sparrow: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9

But through the grace of Iomedae, perhaps-- or whatever other kindly forces watch over you-- both of the ghost's sword strikes just miss the frantically dodging wizard.

Reg and Lilita are up; your frightened value reduces by 1 at the end of your turn. So for Reg, he's currently frightened 2 and takes the -2 penalty to all his rolls. Lilita was frightened 2 when she made her diplomacy attempt (I added the penalty on my end) but at the end of her turn that dropped to frightened 1, so she is just a -1 for this turn and then after this turn she won't be frightened at all.

The good news is that the ghost actually looks very hurt, if you guys can manage to damage it at all....

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Knowing things is not a panacea, unfortunately. Regariel knows perfectly well that the spectral power of the ghost's cry triggered the fear twisting his gut, but that comprehension does nothing to dissipate the emotion. Nevertheless, he also knows he must do what he can to aid his companions.

Reg clenches his teeth, closes the gap between himself and the Sparrow-focused apparition, examines its movement and condition, and swings.

Devise a Strategem, Frightened 2: 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (14) + 4 - 2 = 16

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita throws up a hand and says "Please, Brother, speak to us."

Diplomacy minus afeared!: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Reg hurries into position to aid Lilita's attack, and swings his shortsword-- accurately enough, a blow that would solidly land on any mortal foe. But the wavery, translucent mass of the ghost seems to resist his sword, as if he plunged it into water or mist!

Still, he's ready to help Lilita with her next..... attack?

But the Iomedan does not yet draw. Despite the supernatural fear that still quivers her voice-- she stands, resolute. She lifts her chin. Her speech is not long-- but it is sincere...

And the ghost responds. It hesitates, seeming transfixed by Lilita's gesture and the gleaming Iomedan sword-shaped pendant that hangs around her neck. It clutches at its own throat, mistlike fingers passing through nothing.... then points accusingly out the still-ajar doorway, into the sunlit out of doors.

But it doesn't attack.

Have a hero point, Lilita!

Both Markon and Sparrow hang frozen, breathing hard.

"Do I kill it NOW?" Markon wheezes.

"Miss Yuzu is communicating with it!" Sparrow hisses fervently. "For all the gods' sake don't provoke it!"

(Sparrow and Markon will hold action to give you Lilita and Regariel a chance to do things! I will have them take actions if you guys don't, but since I as the GM know how they can 'win' it's better to let you two drive the action. :) Investigating the pack is an option-- Perception and Religion will help there; attempted further communication with the ghost can be done with Diplomacy and/or Perception to understand its clues; and Krent is also outside somewhere. We will stay in rounds.)

Male Elf, AC 18 | HP 24/24 | Per +7 | F+5 R+8 W+7 Investigator/2nd

Though not fully recovered from the specter's unnerving howl, Reg feels his hammering heartrate gradually slowing, the tremors in his ready-for-flight muscles starting to ease. He stands poised, sword at the ready to follow up an attack that doesn't happen. When Lilita chooses to talk instead of fight, Reg returns to observation mode, tracking the ghost's gaze, watching its gestures. The Iomedan pendant ... Krent ... the revenant's earlier cry of Thief ...

Regariel edges over to the pack that caught his attention earlier, trying to avoid diverting the ghost's attention away from Lilita. He kneels beside it, looking for that metal glint that (he hopes) may have something to do with the creature's binding.

Stealth: 1d20 + 6 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 6 - 1 = 20

Perception: 1d20 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 7 - 1 = 21

Religion: 1d20 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 - 1 = 15

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

The pack seems to contain a soldier's gear-- canteen, polishing cloths, whetstone, and other such sundries of the road. Atop the accoutrements, thrown in in seeming haphazard fashion, is a pendant similar to the one that Lilita wears-- the winged sword of Iomedae.

Regariel knows more of the elven funerary customs than human-- but surely this holy symbol should have been buried with the man whose shade stands here? That might play a big part in why his ghost is so unquiet.

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Lilita looks from the pack Reg is searching and the pendant in his hand, to the ghost's gesture, then at the door.

Her voice is not as confident as usual, but some of her usual poise has returned as she takes a deep breath and says. "I think, if someone would be so kind as to fetch him, Krent may need to offer us some insight here."

She raises her chin and looks at the ghost. "Brother, Please stay your hand. We will do our best to return what has been stollen from you.

DiplomaLil: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25

Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

The ghost stands still, a strange solemnity etched onto its flickering face, the cold fires where its eyes should be seeming calmer, now. It nods once, gravely, to Lilita.

Markon is all too eager to scramble out of the room and go grab Krent-- none too gently, by the sounds of the fearful yelping that results a few seconds later.

"Noo--- please, no, let me go! My arm, you're hurting me--!"

"Then I suggest you walk with me, and you're lucky I don't knock ya out, you bughead!"

Sparrow peers around the doorframe with a light frown, but doesn't interfere with Markon's brute-force hauling of the pathetic Krent back into the room. The man resists as best he can, but drunk and in poor shape as he is, Markon has no trouble manhandling him along. Krent's face is pale with sweat and fear both as he is forcibly hauled back into the room-- he cringes before the silent stare of the shade, lifting his hands to cover his face.

"No-- please-- Talmore--" he whimpers.

Sparrow looks grave. "I think, Mr. Krent, that you owe us an explanation..."

I don't have Sparrow or Markon's sheets handy at work or I'd have them roll a social check. Lilita or Regariel can do so! Either Diplomacy or Intimidate. I'll have my chars do it when I get home too.

Female AC 18 | HP 30/30 | Per +6 | F+4 R+9 W+6 Swashbuckler

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12

Lilita attempts to summon her inner diplomat. But she can't seem to do it.

"Funny how you failed to mention that the ghost was all your own fault." She grumbles "I hope you are going to tell us what we need to solve this."

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