Caraid also accepts a touch of luck, planting a kiss on the woman's hand in return, along with a roguish smile.
When he sees chanting undead he rolls his eyes, knowing that there is no way Telvir will do the sensible thing and avoid them. Instead he resigns himself to the (almost inevitable) conflict.
"What, and you just stand around all day, lazing about and singing?" This all seems pretty frivolous and wasteful to Telvir, and his contempt shows in his tone.
Messing with the restless dead when there's no need to do so bothers Ceceka. Especially when their restlessness drives them to sing, and nothing more than that. God, they know what other things the undead are capable of. "We should leave them be, no?"
The wights narrow their eyes at Telvir. "We sing the funeral dirges of times long ago. We mourn the passing of millenia. We were once guardians of Axan Wood, but we desire to guard it no longer. Now, we only protect our burial site."
The lead wight turns to Mithralline. "Go, then, and leave us in peace. But if you dare to raid our treasures, you will face our wrath!"
Mithralline is tempted to destroy the things for their impertinence, but she can appreciate the desire to protect one's own property and selves. She hasn't -- yet -- claimed rulership of this place, so she's willing to leave the wights alone.
"Come, we will go around these ones," she instructs the others. "We have more important prey this day."
Telvir shrugs and makes a mental note. It doesn't seem like those guardians are really doing anything useful, and they might put their efforts into something more productive with a little encouragement.
You leave the wights to their song and continue along the path. Just before sundwon, you reach a meadow containing a creek lined with willow trees and a large stone cottage at its center. The entire meadow is surrounded by an old, low stone wall with a front and side gate.
The stone cottage has a window beneath its masonry roof that likely leads to a small attic, a front door under a covered porch, and a side door. Gardens line the side of the cottage and the front porch. Underneath a large willow stands an outhouse. Wagon ruts lead to the cottage and away again, into the forest. A ceramic figurine of a sad-faced bleachling gnome rests in the front garden amid flowers and herbs.
Two fetchling caretakers are visible from the edge of the forest, working outdoors. One weeds the garden alongside the kitchen while another conducts repairs on the outhouse.
The two fetchlings exchange a look as Telvir approaches. The gardener steps forward. "Why, this is the home of a kindly old woman who watches over travelers in these woods. You look like you have journeyed a long way. You must be tired. Won't you come inside? I'm sure our mistress would be delighted to see you!"
Perception (Sense Motive): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Telvir narrows his eyes at the suspicious groundskeepers.
Mithralline locks eyes with the closer of the two. "Tell us more about your mistress. And yourselves. How did you come to be here?"
Once per day, you can cast charm as a divine innate spell (DC 19). Casting it requires staring into the target's eyes, giving the spell the visual trait.
"Yes, Iron Taviah will be happy to have you for dinner," the fetchling says with a smile. "She likely already knows you are coming. She has wards in place to alert her. We have nothing unpleasant planned, but I can't speak to what the mistress may have in store for you."
The other fetchling has been slowly backing away. As he steps into the shadows of the outhouse, he seems to meld with them and disappears.
Aily is rather impressed at the fetchling's disappearance. While she yearns for hunting them down, slipping into the shadows for a nice cat and mouse chase, she knows her place is here.
"Well then, let's go meet this Iron Taviah. Mithralline Cort would have words with her!" She knows we're coming now that the other one went to tell her, if she didn't beforehand.
She casts a quick glance at her companions -- "Prepare yourself to greet Iron Taviah appropriately," she instructs -- and leads them forward into the house. That gives us time to cast any buffs if necessary.
The fetchling gestures for you to follow him into the cottage through the side door. The door leads into a dimly-lit kitchen with a black iron stove, two large washbasins, and storage shelves and cupboards filled with eating utensils and cooking tools. A small wooden doll dressed as a witch rides a broom hanging from the ceiling.
Two more fetchlings are here, partially blending into the dim light. They seem to be ready for you. "You will not reach the mistress!" they shout as they brandish daggers.
Caraid: 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 8 + 1 = 16
Ceceka: 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 10 + 1 = 29
Mithralline: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 7 + 1 = 11
Telvir: 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 8 + 1 = 13
Enemies: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Aily and Ceceka may act. The fetchlings are concealed from anybody without low-light or darkvision. The flat check to target them has a DC of 7, not 5, thanks to their Shadow Blending ability.
Aily's eyes gleam slightly. Darkness is no obstacle to her.
stride, attack attack
attack dagger 1: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
damage: 2d4 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (2, 2) + 4 + (4) = 12
attack dagger 1: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
damage: 2d4 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (1, 2) + 4 + (5) = 12
"My lady requested an audience and this is how you treat her?? Tsk Tsk" the dhampir mocks them, servant to servant, before dashing as quick as a snake and slamming her dagger into the nearest, Once, Twice, sidestepping with ease the gushing blood spurting out of the wounds of the one she just murdered. "You really should behave properly around your betters."
Ceceka swings at the shapes in the dark but ends up hitting one of the cupboards. Frustrated to the point that anger is starting to cloud his judgment, Ceceka roars. "I can't see the bloody bastards!"
Actions 1+2+3) Strike, Exacting Strike, Powerful Shove (+1 to hit from Sweep, +4 damage if the foe gets pushed into an object)
Flat check 1 vs 7: 1d20 ⇒ 1
Flat check 2 vs 7: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Flat check 3 vs 7: 1d20 ⇒ 17
Powerful Shove: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Aily's daggers find their mark in one of the fetchling's neck, taking her down. Ceceka attacks the other one, but is unable to land a good hit.
The remaining fetchling slashes at Aily, but she easily avoids the attacks.
Dagger: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 141d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 131d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
The caretaker Mithralline charmed panics and runs away, looking for a place to hide.
Everybody may act!
"Cowards!" Ceceka's anger took root and judging by his strikes, it is blossoming.
Actions 1+2+3) Strike, Exacting Strike (if it misses, no MAP), Powerful Shove (+1 to hit from Sweep, +4 damage if the foe gets pushed into an object)
Flat check 1 vs 7: 1d20 ⇒ 15
Strike 1: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Flat check 2 vs 7: 1d20 ⇒ 10
Exacting Strike 2: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Crit dmg: 1d8 ⇒ 6
Flat check 3 vs 7: 1d20 ⇒ 13
Powerful Shove: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Ceceka's furious assault sends the other fetchling crashing into the shelves, knocking down dishes and pots. The fetchling falls and lies still.
A search of the fetchlings uncovers a small notebook on one of them filled with pickup dates and quantities of braingrit. Notes in the margin of the book name Sahni Bride-of-the-Sea with the words “tremor paste” and “Sallowshore” beneath them. A second note names Decrosia and the town of Pagked with the words “insufficient quantity!” The notebook plainly indicates that Carters Consortium members arranged the shipments and names an agent, Mauldor Gavvik, in Yled.
The crude doll hanging from the kitchen is a lucky kitchen witch. A barkskin potion and an oil of mending sit on the counter in neatly labeled jars.
"Nicely done." Caraid says, ignoring the bodies in favor of flicking through the notebook. "It looks like the Carter's Consortium are doing this. Mauldor Gavvik in Yled seems to be the lynchpin of what's going on. Might be worth talking to them so we can see just how deep the problem goes. After we've dealt with the witch of course."
"You did well" my minions, Mithralline praises her minions.
She nods as Caraid proves he is actually capable of reading (she had her doubts), outlining the next steps Mithralline herself would have ordered. But where was the hag.
"We will hang this doll in my manor," she announces, gesturing for it to be giving to Agatha. "But first the witch. Where did that fetchling go? Someone go fetch(ling) it and it can tell us where the hag is."
"They were weak" Aily scorns the enemies lightly while discounting the praise in the face of the facts. All very logical of her. At the suggestion of a DOLL in her kitchen, she looks stricken but stifles her complaints since it was unlikely her mistress even knew where the kitchen was.
the doll is awesome btw!
She could not silence her groan at the pun though, fresh thoughts of her mistress without a tongue hover behind her eyes for a moment, before she looks around for the runner.
The charmed fetchling seems to have vanished into the shadows. You continue without him, moving through an open archway into the cottage's common room.
The cottage’s common room is large but cluttered, with several mismatched and rickety chairs, a rectangular wooden table with a single long bench, and a colorful but faded carpet. An impressive stone fireplace fills the northeast corner and atop the fireplace is an obsidian statue of a cat with a large gem as its single, central eye.
Religion - Success! Aily identifies the statue as an icon to the goddess Gyronna, the Angry Hag.
As you are looking around, the fireplace suddenly seems to animate, forming a face with the open hearth as its mouth. "Whooo are YOU?!" it shouts.
You can hear small footsteps scampering off, revealing that someone else was in the area and the fireplace did not, in fact, speak. The source of the footsteps is not visible, though.
"I am Mithralline Cort, the new master of this place!" Mithralline announces. She knows that it wasn't truly the fireplace speaking, but best that the fleeing creature realizes who it was facing. Perhaps it would be smart enough to surrender. If not, she will find it soon enough.
Telvir can see a a tiny humanoid creature crouching in the corner of the room. He resembles an elderly man with wrinkled skin and pointed ears, and he wields a fire poker larger than his body. "You are trespassing! Leave this home, lest I rouse my mistress, who will turn you all into toads!"
Telvir recognizes the creature as a domovoi, a type of house spirit.
Telvir turns to face the creature and points a long finger at the domovoi, "Consider your words carefully, spirit. We don't appreciate being threatened. If you would rather stand guard over a smoldering ruin, feel free to continue your impertinence."
Intimidation: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
The threat is well informed, but Telvir doesn't really have the force of personality to carry it.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
"Ignore it, the creature isn't worth our time." Caraid says flatly. "We can destroy it later." His indifference is much more chilling than Telvir's threat.
The domovoi shakes his head. "No. The stairway leads to Shadow! It’s beyond my reach. Taviah seldom emerges from there now, ever since her daughter Kepgeda departed for Gravedirge. Honoria, one of the fetchlings, serves her down there, and feeds Taviah’s pet, a big lizard they call Midnight. I have never seen it; it never leaves the basement."
Ceceka can't help but snicker when the domovoi states that Kepgeda left for Gravedirge. "Heh, she departed alright." Were the hag to hear them, good. "Say, can you swap houses whenever you feel like it, Smirtlbin? Or are you stuck inside this one?"
Aily was tracking the conversation while staying alert for danger. Then suddenly she understood what Cecka was suggesting, and looked at the warrior with abject horror. "Meaning can you go Free, to find a new cottage in the woods or maybe seaside that could use a spirit like you managing the place, one without servants and maids already cluttering up the place, getting in your way." she says, a bit too quickly to the house spirit.
"What he does next is none of our concern." Caraid adds, backing Aily up. "I propose upstairs. The spirit may be willing to help us. If Iron Taviah is anything like her daughter, we'll need it."
The warrior does not comprehend the horror in Aily's eyes. A domovoi is a blessed creature, and it would bestow honor and luck upon their house. "You'd deny the opportunity to invite a Domovoi into your household, but you'd happily decorate the kitchen with an enchanted witch effigy? Urgathoa must've bitten me in the brain. Let's move on before it starts dripping out of my nose."
"Happily?" Aily says with disdain. In truth, she knew she could hide the doll (burn it and bury it in the gardens) with almost no one being the wiser. While she could do the same with the Domovoi, it might be noticed.
"That would not be my word, sir, no." she does realize she is allowing too much of her emotion to show. With a short bow to the warrior, "I apologize, any addition you wish to make to the household would be accepted and respected. The staff will accommodate accordingly."
The staff WILL bathe, trim, and restyle the shabby little thing, she adds mentally, careful to keep her face contrite this time.
When Caraid mentions Taviah's daughter, Smirtlbin sighs. "The poor girl. She and Nebumi dwelled here for a time, and those were good years. The house was more of a home. Taviah doted on Kepgeda, in her way, teaching her magic. In time, she left, but Taviah didn’t let her go easily—she lopped off one of her daughter’s fingers, and keeps it to this day! Now Taviah is worse than ever.” Smirtlbin wrings his hands in anxiety. “This house is again a place of darkness, but it’s still my home, and I can’t leave.”
When asked about Nebumi, Smirtlbin beomes even sadder. "His tale is the saddest of all. While Taviah lavished attention on her daughter, she shunned her son—he looked too much like his woodsman father, Neboah. Nebumi’s presence was painful to her, and he died years ago, alone, in the attic.”
Any talk about fighting or trying to kill Iron Taviah causes Smirtlbin to retreat into the fireplace, cover his ears, and sing loudly in Sylvan until you go away.
Once you are ready, you open the trapdoor and climb a ladder into the cottage's attic. Heavy drapes cover a large rectangular window at one end of this long attic. Trunks, boxes, and assorted odds and ends line the east and west walls, and everything is covered by a thick layer of dust. Many of the objects cluttering the floor are children’s toys, though they’re all a bit macabre—the smile on a doll’s ceramic head is marked with vampire fangs, a skeleton toy is made of real bones, a small stuffed fox has blood-red buttons for eyes, and a set of children’s blocks are all painted in pale green to resemble gelatinous cubes.
From the darkness, a voice asks, “Can you play?” A skeletal child clad in rags creeps forward, while a humanoid shadow detaches from the wall and moves in his wake. "Shadow isn't very good at games," the child says. "But maybe you'll be better? C'mon, I'll show you the rules..." The child then begins to rush towards you!
Caraid: 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 8 + 1 = 20
Ceceka: 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 10 + 1 = 27
Mithralline: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 7 + 1 = 12
Telvir: 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 8 + 1 = 16
Enemies: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26
Aily and Ceceka may act! The child and the shadow are both 20 feet away.
Aura of Sobs (auditory, aura, emotion, enchantment, mental, occult) 10 feet. An attic whisperer enshrouds itself in a tapestry of stolen voices. Each living creature that enters or starts their turn in the aura must succeed at a DC 19 Will save or the unnerving, bitter sobs render them distraught and they become stupefied 1 for as long as they remain within the aura. A creature that succeeds is temporarily immune for 1 hour.
Ceceka darts forward and strikes at the undead abomination. Still, it's a child, and what kind of person can do this without feeling remorse? Thoughts and doubt plague Ceceka as he gets closer, and they, not his arms, guide his strike.
Action 1) Stride (10 ft) | Actions 2) Strike | Action 3) Stride to keep the creature at 15 ft
Will vs 19: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
Attack: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
will: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
The toys, the sobbing, tug at Aily's chest, for some inexplicable reason. The emotion irritates the dhampir more than makes her distraught, but the effect is the same as her knife fails to find purchase in the skeletal child's body, which irritates her MORE.
stride, attack, attack
attack: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17
damage: 1d4 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 4 + (6) = 11
attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
damage: 1d4 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 4 + (5) = 12