Jak and Aerik race back into town, fearing betrayal... They arrive as the townsfolk are coming down the church steps, lead by Galt. "The Demon just stepped out of nothing in front of the church! He touched the Scarecrow and they both just vanished... I've never seen anything like it. Is it over?"
It seems Black is as good as his word, Albridge is safe.
There are no other copies.
Noting the interest the other farmers are starting to show in the conversation, Galt steps in. He looks to everyone not in the conversation, "Men, let's take brother Fruhand to the church for the proper rites and to comfort his wife. Leave these folks to discuss strategy."
I suggest you be careful who you speak to about this. If you stir up a lynch mob, you will be partially responsible for the results.
Galt, with a mixture of disbelief and mounting anger, spells it out.
"They made a deal with a devil, Jak. The price isn't their lives, it's their souls... collectable at death, if not before. Fruhand decided to honor his debt in the only way he could."
The priest rounds on the Mayor, "Davril, did you learn nothing from church? Devils honor the letter of their deal and they delight in turning the unspecified terms against their debtors. You may not think you received a fair deal, but I'm certain the devil does."
The first, and only, person to visibly react is Father Galt. He steps back at Jak's words, as if struck. He looks between Jak, Glinnora, and Davril. "What's going on here?"
Jak, if the priest's reaction is fake, he is a world class liar. Your opinion is that he had NO knowledge of any of this.
K:Religion: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Galt stops briefly to channel the power of the Gods before he continues chasing the hell-bound poppet. The downed farmer groans and rolls over, regaining consciousness. Marcus is healed fully and Aerik's faithful hound has the slash in its neck scab over.
~ Round 10 ~
INIT: Aerik, Ez, Jak, Doll, Galt, Marcus, Locals
Heal: 1d6 ⇒ 5
The priest considers the question soberly. "Well, he rotated crops as do most of the folks here - otherwise you wear out the earth. But corn was certainly a good cash crop for him and I suppose he favored it. He tended the fields himself - for the most part - but when crops are ready for harvest, everyone pitches in. Can't let crops rot on the vine. So many folks have worked in his fields and he has worked theirs."
Galt looks pale at Ezekiel's analysis of the attack. It takes him a moment to comprehend the Bonesetter's questions.
The priest nods and quickly casts a spell then looks at the aura on the body and needle. "There is no poison present, thankfully. As for someone who could do this... no, I can't think of anyone with this sort of skill. We're mostly farmers. Some folks have had to defend their homes and maybe know their way around a weapon or two, but not like this."
You find no tinge of dishonesty in the Priest, "I'm doing what little I can to investigate the matter on my own. There are few volunteers for this sort of task." Galt reflects on what happened. "At the time of the murder, I was in bed. I live near the church, on the other side of town. Davril sent one of the local boys to fetch me. By the time I got here, there were six or eight others about - mostly the town elders as I recall." He points to the muddy spot in the road. "Philmore was lying face-down here. There was a boning knife in his back. It may have been from his own kitchen. Philmore liked to fish so you'd think he'd have such a knife.. but I didn't find one in his home. From the blood and streaks, it looked like he crawled this way. I didn't see any other suspicious prints - nothing in the blood or on the knife. We looked through his house but found nothing out of place. Like most folks here, Phil didn't lock his doors or windows. So the killer could have come in by any number of routes."
He shrugs helplessly, knowing the information is scant. "I don't think Phil had enemies. Some folks might have envied him for his money, his house, or his skill with crops. And a few noses got bent when he bought more land and pushed a few people off their old acreage. It was all legal and he paid a fair price for every parcel but... there was some grumbling about it."
Galt switches to Philmore's mood, "He's been a bit more withdrawn recently, I suppose. He wasn't ever a chatty man but we'd at least exchange pleasantries. That hasn't happened in some months."
The Priest hems and haws for a bit, "Phil's funeral is tomorrow. His body is lying in state currently... if you want to see it."
The priest keeps a smile plastered on his face as he tries to follow Lyrica's sudden topic shifts. Finally he says, "Ah, a daughter of the Dawnflower, how nice! We should leave chatting about the divine until after we've dealt with the evil here. Don't you agree?" He pushes on smoothly, "I'm happy to help, of course, but I'm not sure I can assist in deciphering the motive for this crime. I'm at a loss, frankly. Philmore was a quiet man - more so in the last year - and he did enjoy fishing though I wouldn't call it a singular passion for him. Does that help in some way?"
Defeated, Marcus lays the Apothecary's lifeless body gently down beside the Fountain.
For no reason, Ezekiel begins to glow with a gentle light to the sound of a lone songbird in the distance. Bones crack and reknit, torn muscles bind, his awkward neck straightens, his skin sutures, and many of the most grievous wounds vanish from his form. Ezekiel's vacant eyes shut and tears stream from beneath his lids.
When the song and the glow fades, the Apothecary draws a shallow breath again as living color returns to his skin.
He is deeply unconscious but, miraculously, alive.
A's HPs: 8|24
The squinch-faced old man just grunts. "You're cured. If you start experiencing symptoms, they're all in your head. Can't say I'm surprised you got bit for no reason. We're seeing more and more of these sorts of attacks. So... do you have money for a donation or are shall I put you down as a charity case?"
A grey-haired and sour-faced older man greets you curtly. He appears to have a permanent scowl but becomes marginally more jovial when he examines your wounds and declares you have contracted the curse of lycanthropy.
He quickly casts grave magics which remove the curse from your spirits before channeling the powers of his god to remove all the remaining damage you have suffered.
"So what foolishness have you been up to that you were bitten by such unnatural creatures, eh?" It seems a vague accusation.
Ushari Velnokal wrote:
She returns the playful smile of the priestess, "Ohh, you know, Jayse enjoyed meeting you SOOoo much, he just had to SEE you again!" She throws the monk a wink, hoping he would chime in here.
The priestess raises a questioning eyebrow at the monk. "Indeed? I didn't realise I'd had such an impact, but you know how the old saying goes..." She holds for a heartbeat before illuminating you all, "You never know how good it can feel 'til you've been in a Priestess of Erastil." Her innocent look is 100% devilish.
Ushari Velnokal wrote:
"We had a run in with some foul wererats and unfortunately the wounds suffered by Jayse and Straehan became infected."
She looks the men over and hisses through her teeth, "I'll take you to Brother Malthus, healing is his gift. Come." She leads you down a side aisle and into a very modest hospital.
The Church is quiet, as a small service is just letting out. You enter the church to see the pervasive woodland theme yet again - from the tree-like columns to the leaf-shaped and autumnal-colored stained glass to the animals carved into every fresco.
Several priests are conveying blessings and exchanging words with the vacating parishioners. One, the pretty Priestess you met before, nods to you, makes short goodbyes with an older couple and comes over to you. Curiosity, yet again, on her face - particularly at your bloody and torn clothing.
"Am I correct in assuming you aren't here for spiritual enlightenment? How may we serve?" Her tone is playful.
The priestess frowns, "We don't often keep scrolls on hand, but I will see what we have." She strides off leaving you alone with your thoughts for a few minutes before returning with four scrolls. She hands them Ushari, "A gift with our thanks."
(2) Cure Poison
Ready to move on? Shopping or chatting with the Lumber Consortium?
General 1d100 ⇒ 76
Specific 1d5 ⇒ 2
FYI - a Diocese isn't a person, it is the overall administration of a church. Sometimes it refers to the administration of churches in a particular area - so all of the churches of Erastil on Amador Isle might be run under the authority of folks at the 'main church' in Orfallen. As a cleric, Ushari would know this so she would have phrased her request a bit differently. I'm going to play through as if she used the question she'd most likely ask.
(revised)"May we see the head of the Diocese of Erastil? I have a message and an urgent request from Hallis of Bartleby's Cross. I promised to deliver it personally."
The priestess raises a surprised eyebrow. "Indeed? There is no one 'head' of our church, we are ruled by council. I sit on that council... so would you entrust this letter to me?"
Gonna assume you would...
She reads through the letter quickly. "From this account, you were instrumental in stopping this 'Dweller' creature and protecting the town, our priest, and his parishioners. Is this not so? Then we owe you a debt." She bows to your group, "We'll act on this immediately. If there is anything you need from us, you have only to ask." She pauses briefly to see if there is anything you require or would ask of her.