Eclipsed Faith

Game Master bigrig107

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Friendly Arm Inn


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Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

"Oh, wow," Kiley says, fascinated by the creature. She wishes her family could see this, but if she can't have that, then having Shaggar here to share the moment with is about as good as she can ask for.

"How big do they get," she asks as she observes the creature, taking in as much as she can for when she gets a chance to sketch some more in journal.


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar hunches down, looking at the behir as close to eye level as he can manage. "I believe some of these creatures live in the desert, but I don't know much else. Between the claws, the shape of the head, and that noble muzzle, I expect it is a formidable predator. Do we know if it is a he or a she?"


Female tiefling unchained rogue [knife master] 1 | AL: CN | HP: 5/10 | AC 16, T 14, FF 12 | F +1, R +6, W +0 | Init: +4 | Per: +4 (darkvision 60 ft.) | Resistances: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5 | Detect thoughts 1/1, Disguise self 1/1

Ari doesn't need telling twice, nimbly shifting her position back a few steps at Elara's warning. She hopes the elf knows what she's doing - anything that in her own words requires 'proper protection gear' and has 'grown so quickly' seems like a curious kind of pet - Shaggar's observation that it looks like a formidable predator seems on the money to her.

Others may be concerned about the moral character of the intended recipient of the creature but Ari is more worried about the mage's sanity. She's heard stories of wizards whose creatures turned on them, whether employed as guards or something they believed they had trained or domesticate. Still, as she is constantly learning, the world is full of all sorts and apparently some people would like a dozen-legged blue monster as a pet. And in its own many-toothed-and-clawed way, she supposes it does have a weird beauty of its own - if you like that sort of thing.


Female CG Drow Cleric of Eilistraee 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 18, T: 11, FF: 17 | CMB: +0, CMD: 12 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +5 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5| Channels: 5/5
Skills:
Diplomacy +6, Knowledge (religion) +4, Perform (dance) +7, Perform (sing) +7

"I've never seen such a thing! Marith exclaimed at the sight of the behir. It took a great deal of willpower not to try and pet the strange creature but Marith managed it and instead asked Elara some questions. "You're taking it to a wizard? Is it some kind of enchanted creature? Some transmuter deciding to play around with nature and creating this wonderous beast?"


”Well when they’re fully grown, behirs can reach as long as forty or fifty feet, and several thousand pounds.” she answers, looking down at the small reptile. ”It’s hard to determine what sex they are before they reach a certain age, but this one is about a year old, and is a she. And while she might not look like much yet, within a year or two she’ll be a powerful predator in her own right if left to it.”

Seeming to sense Marith’s desires, the elf warns you away from that course of action.
”I wouldn’t approach it right now, anyway, she is still quite dangerous. As far as we are concerned, anyway. We are taking it to a wizard in Amn, yes. Not sure on her name or any real details, but that part doesn’t matter much to me. I’m much more interested in this little lady. Scholars have debated about behir’s origins for years actually, with a few theories being the most prevalent. Magical experiments, mutated beasts from the deserts, naturally occurring predators, no one really knows for sure. Whatever the truth, it happened so long ago that they’re native creatures at this point.”

Helga steps in at this point, unfortunately ruining the excitement.
”Okay, I think that’s enough show and tell for now. It makes me nervous when it’s out of the cage for too long. Dinner is ready anyway!” Elara complies, putting the behir back in its cage, and Garok starts handing out plates of roasted pork and eggs out to the group. A battle of ale is cracked open at some point during dinner, and cups make the rounds shortly thereafter.


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

One day, Kiley decides, she'd like to see a fully grown behir. She's sure the sight will be one to remember, but she's also aware that any such treks are a long ways away, if ever. She gratefully accepts her plate from Garok and digs in.

"Who do we have to thank for cooking this delicious meal," she asks, hoping that she might be able to persuade whomever it is for a lesson or two.


Female tiefling unchained rogue [knife master] 1 | AL: CN | HP: 5/10 | AC 16, T 14, FF 12 | F +1, R +6, W +0 | Init: +4 | Per: +4 (darkvision 60 ft.) | Resistances: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5 | Detect thoughts 1/1, Disguise self 1/1

Yes, definitely mad, Ari decides at Elara's description of the full-grown behir, applying the label to both the elf and the mysterious recipient. Helga at least seems to be talking sense when she suggests returning the creature to its confinement.

"Thank you," she says to Garok at the presentation of food, an appetising smell wafting around the camp.


"That'd be me." Garok says as he hands out two more plates. "Found it right off the road heading south out of the Gate. Was ane asy hunt, thankfully."

The dinner is delicious, and a few small conversations break apart from the larger group. A few minutes of talking passes before the halfling Pilkin makes her way over to you.

"Nice jokes you have, I like you guys already. How did you all get together? Seem like a relatively new group, from what I can tell."


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

"Well, Mister Garok, I hope your lovely wife isn't too jealous. I would love to learn how to make this," Kiley says with a grin.

===

"New may be a bit of an understatement. Shaggar and I have known each other for months, ever since he and the Bedine that took him in rescued me. Ari and Lysil seem to know each other from before today as well, but we only got together around Noon today. We were asked to look into something for the Church of Selune," Kiley tells Pilkin. "As for liking us, well who wouldn't like Shaggar? He's as sweet as his name sounds."


Female CG Drow Cleric of Eilistraee 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 18, T: 11, FF: 17 | CMB: +0, CMD: 12 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +5 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5| Channels: 5/5
Skills:
Diplomacy +6, Knowledge (religion) +4, Perform (dance) +7, Perform (sing) +7

Marith nods along at Elara's explanation of the creature's nature. Arcane magical theory and its history may not have been a subject she had much in the way of scholarly knowledge but learning of another element of the world always captured her imagination. "It's so large already I almost can't believe it can grow to such extremes. Seeing it full grown must be exhilarating... and daunting."

Later

Once dinner was served, Marith contented herself with having a few eggs while politely refusing the pork.


Female tiefling unchained rogue [knife master] 1 | AL: CN | HP: 5/10 | AC 16, T 14, FF 12 | F +1, R +6, W +0 | Init: +4 | Per: +4 (darkvision 60 ft.) | Resistances: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5 | Detect thoughts 1/1, Disguise self 1/1

"And beyond that," Ari picks up from Kiley, "we really can't say. Church secrets, you understand." She glances at Lisyil before adding, "Yes, we travelled together for a couple of months."


"Ah! I certainly understand that. Every god has their secrets, that's for sure. My own patron, Lady Luck, is no different." she says, laughing along with some of the jokes going around the campfire.

"What do you expect to find out there? Helga let me in on where you were headed, sorry about that. I knew a priestess of Selûne up in Waterdeep, they're good sorts. Hope everything is alright! I know there are a lot of horrible awful things in the woods, my momma always told me to stay away from dangerous places with dangerous things." each word and sentence progresses faster and faster, until she's basically rambling towards the end.

"Sorry about that, I tend to get excited when talking about things like these. Grand adventure and danger and what not." she finishes, sheepily.


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

"We do not know what we'll find. It may be nothing but a... hm... tempest in a tea-pot." Shagger offers, trying out an adage he didn't quite understand but thought might be appropriate. And he liked tea.


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

"I'm hoping that is all it is," Kiley says. "And it seems like your mother is a very wise woman," she adds as she turns to Pilkin. "Me, I'm not so wise, which is why Shaggar is here, to keep me out of trouble."


Female CG Drow Cleric of Eilistraee 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 18, T: 11, FF: 17 | CMB: +0, CMD: 12 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +5 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5| Channels: 5/5
Skills:
Diplomacy +6, Knowledge (religion) +4, Perform (dance) +7, Perform (sing) +7

"The Church of Selûne unfortunately has many enemies despite their good works, I'm afraid. An issue that my own faith shares as well," Marith adds with obvious melancholy. "Hopefully Silvermoon Glade is only suffering some easily remediated problem but if not... well I suppose we'll deal with it come what may."


”I have my own guess as to who’s responsible.” she says pointedly, obviously referring to the bloody feud between the two sister goddesses. ”But who knows, all sorts of things happen in times like these.”

She takes a final drink out of her cup before standing and nodding to you. ”With Her luck, may your journey there be safe, even after you’ve left our company.” with that, she moved off to rejoin the rest of the caravan crew, joining back in with the revelry.

If you’d like to approach any of the crew to ask some questions or anything, feel free! Otherwise we’ll move on to tomorrow. Lots of excitement ahead!


Female tiefling unchained rogue [knife master] 1 | AL: CN | HP: 5/10 | AC 16, T 14, FF 12 | F +1, R +6, W +0 | Init: +4 | Per: +4 (darkvision 60 ft.) | Resistances: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5 | Detect thoughts 1/1, Disguise self 1/1

Tapping a finger to her forehead in a slight salute, Ari bids the halfling goodnight. It's been a busy day and she suspects that the next few are unlikely to be any less eventful. Grand adventure and danger indeed. Taking her cue from Pilkin, she too rises, saying "It's been a long day and I want to be sharp for tomorrow."


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar observes the revelry of the caravan closely but makes no move to engage. Mostly, he watches the twin sisters as well as the interactions between Helga and Garok.

He's learned enough about other races to know that it was too soon to ask the questions that most intrigued him.


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

Kiley stays by Shaggar's side, as much to keep him company as to hide her growing fatigue. They'd been on the road a long time, and she'd hoped that they could stay in an inn for at least a night or two, but alas, their quest is urgent and the journey long enough already.

By the time they turn in for the night, the young woman is all but out on her feet and quickly falls asleep once she's curled up in her blanket and bedroll.


The night passes peacefully enough, with only the occasional sound of an animal in the sparse trees surrounding the camp interrupting the quiet conversations of the ones on guard.

Morning arrives without much fanfare, the sun rising at dawn and a bell ringing annoyingly loud waking you in time to help take down tents and clean up the campsite as the cooks prepare breakfast for the group. Seems like the 'earn your keep' part started early! Fifteen minutes later a small meal of hashbrowns and toast is served with coffee, and then the caravan is on the road once more.

Helga takes the lead seat on her wagon again, but is significantly less energetic and talkative today than she was last night. Must not be a morning person.

Seraphi, Elara's sister, however, takes the opportunity to introduce herself properly. "Apologies for not speaking last night, I was so exhausted and needed the rest. It's good to have you along!"


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

Kiley is definitely not a morning person at the best of times. The bell certainly didn't help. After taking a few minutes to make sure everything is still in place (take 10 on disguise to hide her inhuman features) she gets up and helps get things packed up and ready to go.

Seraphi's cheer does help Kiley pull herself from the morning slump, however.

"Thanks! And no worries about last night. Some of us love the dawn, others are most awake at dusk, and then there's those of us that would sleep all day if allowed. Life would be rather boring if we were all the same, wouldn't it?"


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar offers her the circular hand gesture of the Bedine. "Good morrow, sayyidah. It seems you slept well, yes?"


”That damned beast my sister keeps kept me up for longer than I’d have liked, but well enough, yes.” she answers Shaggar’s question frustratingly.

”But I suppose that is true. I prefer the feel of the warm sun on my skin and the road beneath my feet on these trips. They’re often so eventful! We should have one more stop for the night tonight before reaching the Inn tomorrow. When we usually make this trip south to Amn there’s a sort of refuge station for travelers on the second day out of the Gate. Not as big as the Inn, mind you, just a small fishing village on the side of a lake near the road. Good place to stop for information about going-ons and gossip.”

”You know the type, surely.” she says, smiling knowingly.


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar jokes drily, "I know it is surprising but often - when people see me - they do not think to share gossip."


Female tiefling unchained rogue [knife master] 1 | AL: CN | HP: 5/10 | AC 16, T 14, FF 12 | F +1, R +6, W +0 | Init: +4 | Per: +4 (darkvision 60 ft.) | Resistances: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5 | Detect thoughts 1/1, Disguise self 1/1

Ari sleeps well enough, Lisyil's familiar presence is definitely preferable to that of a stranger, though she tends to sleep lightly anyway. She's certainly spent less comfortable nights.

The caravan is up and about to get on the road early but she doesn't consider that a problem. Long days and hard work often start before morningfeast and she tends to grab the opportunities for fun that present themselves with both hands, happy to burn the candle at both ends. The food is more than decent again, and the coffee perks her up further as she tunes in to the conversation with the other elf.

At least based on first impressions, Ari warms to Seraphi more than her sister, not least because her words suggest she is rather less keen on the baby behir. She offers a "Good morning," adding "I surely do," to the elf's comment and offering a smile in return.

Knowledge local: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13

@GM - does Ari know anything about this particular village?


The 'fishing village' is less of a village and more of a collection of huts on the side of a small lake. Ari has likely been there before, the only real attraction being a single building that serves as a makeshift general store for any travelers passing by. A side pasture is held aside for any groups that want a semi-safe campsite as well as some local gossip.

Nothing too impressive, just a little cluster of people trying to make their way.


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

Talking to Seraphi
"Yeah, poor Shaggar normally got 'Ah! Run away!' from anyone he tried to talk to. I know the kind of person, though. Found out a lot more than I ever wanted to about some of the local goings-on in a few places when I ran across them," Kiley says. "Amazing how they know the ins and outs of who's in whose bed, but don't even mention bandits with gangs of goblins or bugbear highwaymen."

The Fishing village
Kiley smiles when she sees the small village and the lake. Fresh fish sounds lovely to the young woman.

"I could see some adventurers choosing to retire here. Seems like a nice, relaxing place. I'd love to come back when there is time to explore."


The fishing village is at the end of this day, and I figured it’d be good to roleplay a bit more instead of waiting patiently for our recruitment to finish.

Seraphi laughs at Kiley’s statement, knowing just how truthful it is.
”Isn't that so often the case? People like those always seem to have to know everything that’s going on in their small little world, while ignoring the bigger problems of this one.” her words are tense towards the end, pointing to some grievance she has with someone, somewhere else.

”No offense intended, good sir, but how did a gnoll come into the service of the church? They must be desperate if they’re willing to use outside help, let alone a gnoll. I haven’t been in the area very long, been a few years since I made my way this side of the Gate. Are there a pack of socialized gnolls now?” her tone gives off no hint of malice or insult, she’s legitimately curious. She pulls a small crescent moon pendant from beneath her robes, and holds it up.

”I am a somewhat active member of the church myself, you see, and I can’t imagine the church I know ever trusting a gnoll. Maybe things are changing for the better after all.”


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)
Seraphi wrote:
”No offense intended, good sir, but how did a gnoll come into the service of the church? They must be desperate if they’re willing to use outside help, let alone a gnoll. I haven’t been in the area very long, been a few years since I made my way this side of the Gate.”

If Shaggar takes offense, it doesn’t show. ”I do not serve a church.” He amends the terse answer with more context. ”I serve Elah – she who you call Selune.” He displays his simple holy symbols of Elah and Selune. ”I am of the Bedine. We are small tribes scattered across a great desert. Churches, as hm organizations, work where there are many followers living near each other.” He thinks for a moment, what to say and what to leave out. ”Most Bedine worship Elah but we do so within each tribe. There is no, uh, hierarchy outside the tribe… so no ‘church’. Our الرائي (alraayiy), our ‘seer’ saw dangerous portents for Selune and asked who would help? So, we are here.”

Seraphi wrote:
”Are there a pack of socialized gnolls now?” her tone gives off no hint of malice or insult, she’s legitimately curious. She pulls a small crescent moon pendant from beneath her robes, and holds it up. ”I am a somewhat active member of the church myself, you see, and I can’t imagine the church I know ever trusting a gnoll. Maybe things are changing for the better after all.”

”If there are more gnolls like me, I do not know of them. But I hope there are many. Blackmaw do not live long, not in the desert. Here, with your soft weather and many foods… it is possible.” He says, considering the possibilities.

Shaggar scratches his chin at Seraphi’s last comment. ”Among Elah’s faithful - and we are told Selune is the same – the faith accepts some were-creatures because of their connection to the moon. If a were-beast is welcome… is a gnoll so strange?”


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

"Besides, Shaggar has saved my life many times since we've met, starting with how we met," Kiley says. "My father was a priest of Selune and he taught me that we don't turn out our friends. Shaggar is my friend and I trust him with my life. Surely, who he is matters more than what he is."


Female tiefling unchained rogue [knife master] 1 | AL: CN | HP: 5/10 | AC 16, T 14, FF 12 | F +1, R +6, W +0 | Init: +4 | Per: +4 (darkvision 60 ft.) | Resistances: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5 | Detect thoughts 1/1, Disguise self 1/1

She doesn't say anything - what a ridiculous idea that would be - but Kiley's last point cuts to the heart of Ari's dilemma. She truly agrees with her assessment that what you are shouldn't matter, though experience has taught her not everyone sees things this way. Still, she holds on to this hope as the tiefling has also met enough people unbothered by her appearance and ancestry. Her biggest fear, however, is that people are able to look beyond this and still find her wanting, a far more personal blow.

Instead she follows on from Shaggar's point. "If anyone in their heart aligns with a particular faith, the bottom line is that's a matter between them and their god. And it's a foolish deity that turns away an honest worshipper." She shrugs her slim shoulders, as the point seems so commonsensical it barely needs saying.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar rests a massive clawed hand gently on Kiley’s narrow shoulder and looks at her earnestly. ”It took a couple turnings of the great wheel for the Bedine to accept me among them – to go from enemy to friend. And they are a practical people who know my value. I expect Selune’s folks will be more cautious and the road will be longer. Practice patience and drink tea, Kiley.”

Ari wrote:
"If anyone in their heart aligns with a particular faith, the bottom line is that's a matter between them and their god. And it's a foolish deity that turns away an honest worshipper."

The gnoll nods at the wisdom of Ari’s view. ”I think this is true. I do not think gods turn away true worshippers… but some churches do.”

Yes, Shaggar is in the vanguard of drawing a distinction between faith and institutionalized religion. :p


The sorceror thinks for a long moment on Shaggar's words before nodding.

"I suppose there has always been some inherent prejudice against the more bestial races of Faerûn in most civilized nations. I think the prevalent attitude towards were-creatures is that they were once something else before being blessed with the divine grace of the Moonmaiden." she says, without thinking about what she was saying, and hurriedly interjecting before the gnoll could respond.

"Don't worry, I don't believe that's the case. I am more than willing to work with anyone who proves themselves trustworthy. And I haven't seen anything to be worried about from any of you."

"I do not know if there are any other gnolls in the area, but if there are I hope that they are as reasonable and level-headed as you are, my friend." she finishes, laying a hand on Shaggar's shoulder.

Feel free to roleplay some more, just including the next part for when you're ready!

===

The road to the Inn continues, and the morning stretches out into noon quickly enough before melting into the afternoon. The biggest excitement comes when one of the wheels on your wagon catches a rock wrong and snaps; you have to help Helga get it off and hold the wagon up while she attaches a new one to the axle.

The sun has started its low descent beyond the horizon by the time you reach the fishing village, a small semi-circle of wooden buildings spread around a larger inn-looking structure in the middle that likely serves as what could be called a town hall.

A few children play in a flattened field next to the village, kicking what looks like some sort of ball back and forth before they are called back to their respective houses as the caravan approaches the field. As the crew begin unpacking the supplies you'll need to make camp once more, you see Helga discussing something with a man in tattered grey robes. She passes him a bag of things that clink suspiciously like coins, and then she returns to the caravan and begins to help her crew.

About fifteen minutes into your preparations, you notice a figure exit the makeshift town hall and approach towards you. It's a heavyset woman, her cloak high up on her head covering most of her features, but you can see her pale skin peeking out beneath the shadows.

Jump in whenever you're ready, Sasha!


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

Kiley looks up at Shaggar when he lays his hand on her shoulder. As much as she thought of him as a friend and did her best to help him navigate these lands so unlike his home, she can't help but feel as if he is as much like an uncle as he is her friend.

"I'll try. So long as you're making the tea and not me," she says, smiling up at him, though it's pretty clear that the joke is as much to try taking her mind off of how the world sees Shaggar as it is to reassure the gnoll ranger.

She turns her attention to Seraphi again.

"Honestly, if more people were as kind, reasonable, and level-headed as Shaggar, the world would be a much better place," she says.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)
Seraphi wrote:

"I suppose there has always been some inherent prejudice against the more bestial races of Faerûn in most civilized nations. I think the prevalent attitude towards were-creatures is that they were once something else before being blessed with the divine grace of the Moonmaiden." she says, without thinking about what she was saying, and hurriedly interjecting before the gnoll could respond.

"Don't worry, I don't believe that's the case. I am more than willing to work with anyone who proves themselves trustworthy. And I haven't seen anything to be worried about from any of you."

The gnoll chuffs in amusement. "Are you concerned you have caused offence? You have not, Miss Seraphi. For generations my people have preyed on yours - in terrible ways. There is too much blood between us for the reputation of my kind to be washed clean by one example alone. Kiley is a staunch friend and has great... zeal in defending me, even when I do not feel attacked. In this, she reminds me of a hyena mother."

Seraphi wrote:
"I do not know if there are any other gnolls in the area, but if there are I hope that they are as reasonable and level-headed as you are, my friend." she finishes, laying a hand on Shaggar's shoulder.

"Elah make it so. But, if we run into gnolls... do not place your faith in their charity. Be ready to kill, as will I."

Kiley wrote:
"I'll try. So long as you're making the tea and not me," she says, smiling up at him, though it's pretty clear that the joke is as much to try taking her mind off of how the world sees Shaggar as it is to reassure the gnoll ranger.

The gnoll's ears perk up, "I have thoughts on that. I miss the ritual of tea. I was thinking to buy a tea set and some teas at the next village. I hope they are not too costly. Please come with me Kiley to ensure the merchant charges me fairly. I wouldn't want them losing money to get me out of their shop quickly."


Female tiefling unchained rogue [knife master] 1 | AL: CN | HP: 5/10 | AC 16, T 14, FF 12 | F +1, R +6, W +0 | Init: +4 | Per: +4 (darkvision 60 ft.) | Resistances: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5 | Detect thoughts 1/1, Disguise self 1/1
Shaggar wrote:
The gnoll nods at the wisdom of Ari’s view. ”I think this is true. I do not think gods turn away true worshippers… but some churches do.”

Quietly pleased by Shaggar's affirmation of her position, it takes Ari a moment to realise that she has ventured a view with such a strong degree of conviction. She turns it over in her mind; doubtful, probing. Certainly the church of Cyric she had grown up in was oppressive and autocratic. It may not have been heavily regimented but certainly there was little room for dissenting views and it was survival of the fittest - keep your head down to avoid trouble and be prepared to defend yourself with force. Cleverness, ruthlessness and ambition were rewarded, provided you could back it up.

Despite this, Ari feels that the fact she jumped straight into the arms of another church in spite of this must say something, though her experience was quite the opposite. The Cavern of Mists was largely unstructured, with much learning and worship self-directed, and she found it much more to her tastes. Coming full circle, she finds that her statement does hold up, even if it is perhaps because the church itself largely aligned with her personal beliefs and views as well as her relationship with Leira.

* * * * *

As they approach the village, Ari decides to venture some information unasked. She hopes for an easy bit of approval from the group and it's also much easier to bring up neutral things like knowledge of the local region - something as a seasoned traveller she knows a fair bit about - rather than answer personal questions or deflect away topics she would prefer not to talk about. "Don't be expecting too much," she warns. "It's a standard waystop - they're ten-a-copper - but definitely preferable to just wild camping and even tiny settlements thin out pretty quick once you get off the road or the river."

Upon arrival, Helga leads the caravans to a large field where they can make camp before speaking with a man Ari presumes is some kind of authority figure.


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar is vaguely disappointed. "Oh. Well perhaps at Friendly Arm there is a tea shop?" He asks hopefully.


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

When Shaggar asks her to come with him to purchase a tea set, Kiley's smile turns more genuine.

"Of course I will," she says while she gives the hand he has on her shoulder a pat.

===

Kiley isn't surprised to hear Ari's description of the village. A small place like this isn't likely to have much to offer beyond a relatively safe place to camp, some food, and some news and gossip. She does find it a bit curious that someone's coming out from the town hall to talk to them from all appearances.

"I wonder who she is," she says to no one in particular before getting back to work helping set the camp up.


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

The ranger's eyes track to the woman Kiley pointed out. He watches for a long moment. "She does seem to be coming to us... I have read this story in a book once! She has fallen in love from afar and she comes to declare her love for one of us." He looks at Ari, "But which one?" He bark-laughs.


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

"Just be sure to turn her down gently," Kiley teases.


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HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar cocks his head sideways, like he heard something curious, "Why would I turn her down? Perhaps she is my... uh... destiny. That is what the literature said."


Female Half-Orc (disguised as human) Stargazer Oracle 1 (Lunar Mystery, Shadowbound Curse)

Sasha's Status:
Sasha Shardlight
Female Chaotic Good Half-Orc Oracle (Stargaser Archetype), Level 1, Init 1, HP 9/9, Speed 30
AC 17, Touch 11, Flat-footed 16, CMD 10, Fort 3, Ref 3, Will 3, CMB -1, Base Attack Bonus 0
Light Crossbow +1 (1d8, 19-20/x2)
Longspear -1 (1d8-1, 20/x3)
Morningstar -1 (1d8-1, 20/x2)
Scale Mail, Light Steel Shield (+5 Armor, +1 Shield, +1 Dex)
Abilities Str 9, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 20
Condition None

Sasha walks out into the evening air, silent relief evident in her expression as she looks out into the darkness. With a sigh she looks around the little village and sees the travelers arriving. Murmuring a silent prayer to the Moonmaiden she walks towards them before slowing a moment at the unusual members of the company. The gnoll stands out the most, but several of the others are (also) not (fully?) human. With a deliberate nod she walks in their direction.

"Hello! In the name of She Who Guides I welcome you...for what it's worth. My name is Sasha Shardlight, and I'm a visitor here too. I've been traveling for some time, trying to find other like-minded people with whom I can build a community to worship Selûne. What brings you to this place?"


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Unconsciously, the gnoll slouches over, lowering his over seven feet of height to a more ‘approachable’ six-ish feet. ”Good day, Miss Shardlight.” He makes a curious set of circular gestures with one hand, touching a claw to his head, muzzle, and chest – a greeting of some sort. “I am Shaggar, of the Bedine of Anauroch. We are traveling to Friendly Arm to meet one of Selune’s followers. But we camp here this night.” He glances at his compatriots to make sure he hasn't said too much.


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

Kiley pats Shaggar on the arm to let him know he's doing fine before introducing herself.

"Welcome, Miss Shardlight. I am Kiley Sherrow and have been traveling with Shaggar. We are both followers of Selune. We'd be more than happy to travel with you to Friendly Arm. We'll have to see where our paths lead from there," she says after making the sign a lay-worshiper of Selune gives to a priest.


Female Half-Orc (disguised as human) Stargazer Oracle 1 (Lunar Mystery, Shadowbound Curse)

Sasha's Status:
Sasha Shardlight
Female Chaotic Good Half-Orc Oracle (Stargaser Archetype), Level 1, Init 1, HP 9/9, Speed 30
AC 17, Touch 11, Flat-footed 16, CMD 10, Fort 3, Ref 3, Will 3, CMB -1, Base Attack Bonus 0
Light Crossbow +1 (1d8, 19-20/x2)
Longspear -1 (1d8-1, 20/x3)
Morningstar -1 (1d8-1, 20/x2)
Scale Mail, Light Steel Shield (+5 Armor, +1 Shield, +1 Dex)
Abilities Str 9, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 20
Relevant Skills Disguise (to look human, took 10) DC 25
Perception/Sense Motive +3
Survival +3
Condition None

"Good evening to both of you" replies Sasha with particular emphasis on the different choice of words. "I prefer the nighttime - better to commune with Selûne that way.

But why wait to travel? The night is young and with the right guide you can easily set a trail by the stars. I never get lost with a clear night sky - we could keep going tonight and likely be at the Friendly Arm Inn either tonight or early tomorrow night.

Just don't ask me to do much walking in the daylight - I'm all but blind in bright light..."

The canny observer might note that Sasha is already using words like, "we" with Shaggar and Kiley, perhaps based on their apparent respect for the Night White Lady.


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:

Sense Motive DC 10:

Bluff: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
A slight hesitation and a widening of the eyes give away that Kiley is a bit nervous about something.

"O-Oh? Well, I think if you're willing to help out, Helga would be happy to have you riding in one of the wagons. We've been traveling all day, so I don't think travelling tonight will happen either way," Kiley replies.

I really hope she's not serious about traveling at night. Maybe if it were just Shaggar and me, but not with others around!


HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar chuffs as he considers, ”We are traveling with the caravan for safety. Theirs and – most specifically – mine. Travelers and guardsmen see a large gnoll with small women and they assume I am taking slaves, or worse. There have been problems since we left The Sword and many explanations. The caravan lessens these matters. A gnoll traveling with women in the dead of night, I do not think even Kiley’s many charms would convince the guard not to think the worst of me.”

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9 No joy


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Female tiefling unchained rogue [knife master] 1 | AL: CN | HP: 5/10 | AC 16, T 14, FF 12 | F +1, R +6, W +0 | Init: +4 | Per: +4 (darkvision 60 ft.) | Resistances: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5 | Detect thoughts 1/1, Disguise self 1/1

Ari narrows her eyes at Sasha as she introduces herself. Another Selûnite? Is this providence, fate or something more sinister? She's happy to see how things play out and reserve judgement for the moment but the way the hairs on her arm are standing on end means she is alert to something happening. Even if she can't immediately identify it, she's learned to trust her senses.

Following a couple of steps behind Shaggar and Kiley, the tiefling introduces herself. "Well met, Sasha Shardlight," she says. "I'm Ari." Deciding to probe a bit she asks, "So what brings you here? It seems a remarkable coincidence to meet such a devout worshipper of the Moonmaiden in such a small place."

While she waits for Sasha's reply, she turns to the gnoll. Dropping her voice into something more husky than her usual timbre, she lightly quips, "I don't know, Shaggar - with you outnumbered several to one I think the guard would just assume that you were taken by all of our many charms."

Sense motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19

It does not escape Ari's notice that there's a slight stutter in Kiley's words and she looks as though something about Sasha's words, or perhaps her appearance, has unsettled the woman. Perhaps she too has found something about either the situation or the woman to be strange, so Ari decides to pick it up with her privately when she gets a moment.


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HP:12 | AC:16 ; T:11 ; FF:15 ; CMD:16/15 | Fort:+4 ; Ref:+3 ; Will:+2 | Init:+3 ; PER:+6 (Darkvision)

Shaggar's ears fold back, appreciating the husky timbre in her voice and Ari's more playful side. "In my heart, I can hold two contrary facts to be true at the same time. You nymphs have seduced me while I, poor fool, have convinced myself that I have captured you." The gnoll practically growls, so satisfied is he with this fiction. "But I think most men - guards included - lack the imagination required to believe this. Women are more clever."


Female Human Slayer 1 HP: 10/10, NL: 0 | AC: 17/13/14, CMD: 17, Resistances: Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5 | F +2, R +5, W -1 | Per:+3 (Darkvision 60 ft.), Init: +3 | Detect Thoughts: 1/1, Arrows: 40
Perception DC 18:
Kiley's not actually human
Status:
Shaggar wrote:
”A gnoll traveling with women in the dead of night, I do not think even Kiley’s many charms would convince the guard not to think the worst of me.”

Oh, that's a good point. Yeah, not even if it were just the two of us then.

"Alas, 'tis your curse to bear, noble Shaggar. To ever woo pretty ladies so that they woo you in return without even realizing it," she says in her best, overly-exaggerated noblewoman's voice. "What cruel fates have burdened you so? 'Tis only fair we find them so that they may succumb to their own trickery!"

With laughter dancing in her eyes, she grins widely up at him.

Shaggar wrote:
[dice=Sense Motive]1d20+1 No joy

One day, my friend. One day.

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