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350 posts. Alias of rungok.


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I've noticed a few bits of bugginess, yes.

After spending some time thinking about it, I've realized that the coming holiday season is going to be very busy for me and I'll be moving, taking care of two children, and more, and cannot give this game the attention I promised I would. I'm going to put a halt to the game.

I do apologize, and I hope to see you in other games on the forums.

Marius only replies with a grunt, taking a seat near the fire and setting his axe down with minimal interest.

"I think I shall turn in for the night." Joan says, giving a tired but friendly smile. "We have a lot of Astora to cover before we're out of your hair, I'm afraid."

Kearan, Alder, please make me the vigor check at -2 again please.

If succeeded:

Your night is plagued by discomforting dreams, but none are remembered when you awaken. All that remains is a sense of foreboding.

If failed:

You have an incredibly vivid dream of being thin, naked, and scrambling around in the dark. That is until you see light for what must be the first time in your life. A single, solitary flame remains in this massive kiln, and it is a black thing, tinged in white, but it is surprisingly comforting to pick up and hold to your breast, where it sinks in and gives you new life. Your flesh fills out, breath enters your lungs, and for the first time, you feel your mind become clearer than the knot of primal desperation you were before.

The night goes otherwise uneventful; Watches set have no trouble, and the drizzle stays throughout the night only to be broken up by the sunrise, as if Gwynn himself decreed it to be so.

Your group finds itself on the second day of their journey, this time pestered by the flies and mosquitos that came out on the humid air. Soon enough, you come across the part where your old path starts to diverge, and not a moment too soon; for further along the road lies the way to the bridge the drake sacked. This route is supposed to take you north along the river a few days before crossing at a nearby church.

I need everyone to tell me where they are around the wagon as this day comes to a close.

Wagon placement:

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[ Back]
Sorry I don't have a google image or something better to work with here. I'm not very good at that part of doing this pbp gm-ing.

Joan nods "I understand. This is not a duty I take on lightly."

A few minutes later, Marius returns, his armor bearing a few new scratches and wiping blood off his axe with a rag. You didn't hear any sounds of combat, but the sound of rain and the forest around you likely muffled any sounds.

"No wolves, but there were some wild dogs." he grumbles. "Must've wandered away from town during the massacre."

Sorry. Been sick all week and this game keeps slipping from my mind. Will try to have a post up by tomorrow

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Joan tilts her head. "I felt the calling." she explains simply. "I cannot identify any one moment that crystallized it for me, but it was many little things that led me to this path. The fires need keeping, and I have the potential to do that."

She gives a wan smile. "I'm certain your land's traditions and training are less... Arduous to perform, but are nevertheless equally important. This pilgrimage is a test of my resolve, more than simply a ritual to perform. If I cannot handle this, I do not have what it takes to keep the flame."

She holds a hand out to the bonfire, admiring its light and warmth. "Already, I can feel the humanity welling up inside me. If I succeed, then it will grow, and my soul will be as strong as strong as yours. If I fail... Well, then Marius takes care of the rest."

whoops alias snafu!
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The group makes camp, and the rain never stops but never really gets worse than a miserable drizzle.

Marius grunts in approval when Annalise sets her bonfire blade into the ground and creates a warm, rain-defying fire. "You'll be doing that someday, if you got what it takes." he says to Joan.

"I assure you, I do." she says, still composed despite the discomfort. "Do you think you can do me a favor and do a patrol around the area? I thought I spotted wolves in the woods nearby."

Whether or not he believes her, he grunts. "Fine." he says. Marius turns to Ordric. "Her safety is your duty too, remember that." he warns before taking up his greataxe and stalking off.

Once he has departed, Joan turns to Annalise. "I sensed that you had some more to ask, but perhaps my company would have made that difficult. He should be gone for a little while." She says, folding her hands in her lap.

The group finishes their repast and get geared up to go.

Hours into the journey back, The maiden riding in the wagon and the knight walking alongside it. The going is slower this way, but he indicates that he has a duty to walk the pilgrimage, even if his ward can ride along.

The strange dream that you experienced lingers in your mind, and is only exacerbated by the rumble of thunder as dark clouds roll into the area. Slowly, but then with increasing frequency, raindrops start to fall around you.

notice-Joan: 1d8 ⇒ 6
notice-Marius: 1d6 ⇒ 2
It appears that in this rain, Marius isn't paying attention to much besides walking.

Joan looks around and finds a solid looking rise in the stone. "There, we can stop for the night there. Without a bonfire, though, it will still be a cold night." she says.

The group is more than capable of pushing on, if they so desire.

Finally getting it under control. I should have a large post for you all by the 1st.

-Posted with Wayfinder

Sorry. Been dealing with health issues.

-Posted with Wayfinder

Joan nods, but is interrupted by her escort before she can speak.

"Of course she is, 's why we're trodding out here, through your territory." he grumbles.

"Please." Joan pleads. "We don't need to offend our escorts."

Marius turns back to his breakfast and grunts.

Joan smiles wanely. "Do forgive Marius. I feel recent events have... strained his good nature. But yes. That is my purpose. All Carim priestesses seeking to become one must take the pilgrimage."

Annalise senses that there is a spark that would make of a Fire-Keeper, not stemming from pyromancy, but a spark of faith.

Joan takes a sip from her cup and smiles politely at the blind woman. "So you are already a fire keeper? Amazing. You must have much you can tell me about it!"

You find the Carim Knight and the Maiden entering the mess hall shortly after. Both look like they need more rest, but they do look better than when you rescued them.

Joan puts a hand on the knight's arm as you approach. "Good morning." she says. "We need but eat, and then we shall be ready to depart." she gives the group a reassuring smile.

Your meal is great, and Lord Hiram is pleased to hear of your endeavors. He sends his forces out to collect the dead and burn them on a pyre, as is the tradition. They work through the night, but you all get some sleep instead.

Annalise, Drystan, Ordric:

Your night's sleep is plagued by strange visions. The ancient battle depicted on the walls of that long-buried church seem to come to life in your dreams, where you envision yourself fighting alongside a vast army of humans. Around you giants and godly beings in armor and wreathed in power join you as your forces wage war on colossal dragons covered in stone scales. Only the lightning of the gods could strip away these stone scales, where then your people poured into melee with them. Even so, for every dragon felled thousands of your fellows were slain.

When it was over, the greatest of the gods, wreathed in lightning and sunlight, reached down and touched the chest of man, and that touch did... something. Your chest burns.

When you awaken, it is because of a great pain in your back, just under your left shoulder blade. The pain fades quickly, until you think it was just part of the dream you had. Looking at the spot is going to be difficult without help or a mirror.

Alder and Kearan awaken with a minor itch on their back, but otherwise are very well rested.

You come out of your rooms, where a serving girl directs you to the barracks dining room, since Lord Hiram is currently indisposed.
The barracks is at half-capacity, but the soldiers accept you amongst them with little complaint. Oats and soft-boiled chicken eggs are served for food, as well as fresh, cold water.

The soldiers are talking energetically amongst themselves.

Notice, with a +2:

You can collect that they managed to find all the dead, but some of the townsfolk and soldiers were actually badly wounded but stable. They have been taken to the healers to be looked at, but the fact that they still draw breath and were conscious was a great raise to morale around the barracks.

Yeah, in the fort's courtyard.

In addition, everyone please make me a vigor check at -2. Not related to the dinner, but it will come into play before the next day.

-Posted with Wayfinder

Im going to rule that everyone gets their wounds healed.

-Posted with Wayfinder

"A very good idea." the Catarina knight replies to Alder's offer. "Let us depart."

The group, including your new rescues, return to the front gate of the fortress. Lord Hiram appears up on the walls a few minutes later, noting one of you are carrying the channeler's trident (which was too big to keep concealed).

"By the sun, you've done it!" he shouts down at them. "Men! They've slain the monster!"

He looks down at you. "Come in. Our healer is overworked, but he will tend your wounds!"

The portcullis rises, and you are escorted into the fort. They lower the portcullis again, just as a precaution. You are brought into the fort proper, where Lord Hiram greets you briefly before you are escorted to some spare rooms to rest in. He informs you to meet him at the dining hall within the hour, and then takes his leave.

Those of you who choose to show up in an hour will find that he has had his men set a banquet fit for noble knights and their retainers. He sits down at the head of the table as you enter in, smiling gladly. The man had even changed out of his armor and into a fine set of clothing that looks sturdy but simple.

"Please, by all means, eat!" he exclaims. "I have to thank our saviors!" he gestures, and a serving girl comes around with a carafe of wine to pour drinks.

"Do tell, how did you manage to slay such a brute!" he asks, seeming positively pleased that you've managed to break what must have been a very stressful period of time.

Will post later today. :)

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"Ah, you're the lapdogs that Prince Ricard sent to escort us." The Carim knight says grouchily. "However abysmal your timing was, you still showed up before it was too late. I suppose I can extend you my gratitude."

The woman turns to him. "Marius, do not be rude, they saved our lives."

"Joan..." he grumbles. "Fine. Thank you for coming to our aid."

Joan steps forward. "Have you seen Patches?" she asks. "He was one of the first ones that the monster attacked."

"That wasn't a monster." Marius says, putting Joan onto her feet. She wobbles, but remains standing.

Marius continues. "That was not a man, but one of the beings of Anor Londo. At least, one of the smaller ones." He taps the helm with a foot, dislodging it. Ashes drift from the open neck of the helm as it rattles away. "The six eyed helm means it worshipped, or maybe even worked for, the Scaleless one."

"Hmmm..." Your Catarina knight hums. "Have you seen another wearing my kind of armor?"

Marius turns to the knight, looking a little stunned. "By the gods there are more than one of you." he retorts. "I thought you had seen the attack and returned, but you're a woman."

"The man would have been my father." she says in response.

Marius shakes his head. "Nay, I don't know where he went after he stormed off. He had been offended when I referred his helm to that of a common vegetable." he shrugs, his armor creaking. "Seems that I saved his ass, if he got out of town before the attack."

Okay thanks. I get confused by the penalties sometimes.

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I dont think he can soak that... Last bennie anyways...

vigor: 1d8 ⇒ 41d6 ⇒ 5
Kearan's attack leaves an opening that Ordric exploits. The channeler drops to its knees, an unearthly cry erupting from his helm as it tips over. To your surprise, the body shimmers with a white bubbling light before seeming to deflate. Moments pass, and nothing remains of the six-eyed sorcerer but it's trident and some robes way too big for any normal man to wear.

Ding! Everyone goes up to 6 xp, gaining 1 advance!

The knight in steel drops his axe and rushes to the altar. "Are you intact?" the man asks gruffly, but his actions are anything if not gentle as he delicately scoops up the lady.

"I am alive. What was that thing?" she asks, rubbing at her wrists. She turns to face the group. "Thank you, my rescuers. I fear for my fate should that monster have succeeded."

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Unless I messed up again, channeler's wound penalty also lowers his parry so yeah, you do get a raise.


The channeler looks like his movements have gotten less energetic, though he still seems to be quite dangerous. Kearan's attack cuts into it past it's armor.

vigor: 1d8 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 61d6 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
Kearan's attack, alongside the rest of the group's efforts, have whittled it down, but not enough to finish it off yet.

Initiative Order
Kearan (Joker), Ordric, Allies, Alder, Channeler, Annalise, Drystan!


Ordric, Count Ethelred (Q S)
Kearan the Short (B Joker)
Alder Claybourne (J D)
Drystan Kressothe (5 H)
Annalise of Astora (6 S)
The Channeler (9 H)
Allied Aid (J H)

Allies Actions
Your Catarina Knight rises to her feet, picking up her weapon and rushing closer, her armor clanking and squeaking. A still-smoking burn on the breastplate of her armor is easily visible. (Rise up and run-split actions. Alder, is that correct?)

The knight in the Steel Set rises and picks up his greataxe. He, unlike the Catarina knight, has practically no distance to move to attack.
Fighting: 1d12 - 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 = 8
Weapon: 1d10 ⇒ 1Str: 1d12 ⇒ 8
Thankfully greataxes have AP 1...[/dice]
His axe cuts into the thing's back. [ooc]Depending on other hits, either shaking him or actually inflicting wounds!

Up next is Kearan, Ordric, and Alder!

Thank you. I have anxiety and I know its a bother. I appreciate you working with me.

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Alder Claybourne wrote:

8 and 10 points of damage only made him Shaken?!?! Good lord, what have we gotten ourselves into...

Um...wait a minute, Alder damaged him with three lightning bolts before, doing 8, 10, and 15 points of damage. You never said anything about him Soaking or spending Bennies to immediately un-Shake, so if 8 points Shakens him, 10 should too (Wound), and even if 15 doesn't inflict a Wound, he's still Shaken again (Wound). So he should have 2 Wounds before Ordric and Drystan's attack, yes?

Actually they both did 10. Drystan keeps forgetting his +2 from joker, which is what I adjusted on my end. Your 8 did nothing and I do apologize for forgetting about the 15 hit. We'll push his health down to 1 wound then.

Sorry, I remember now why I didn't explain anything earlier in the fight. I would appreciate it if you didn't nitpick the rules with me on the campaign thread. Please move it to the discussion thread. I don't want to keep clogging this up gameplay with it. I'm doing what I can to run this game and constantly complaining about my math (or inability to do it right) is making doing so less appealing to me.

Ordric's sword manages to bite deep enough to evoke a hiss from the channeler, and Drystan's arrow shatters against the thing's head. He can't see it, but Ordric and Kearan can see a spatter of dark blood escape from the vents in the channeler's helm.

Two results of shaken, means he's finally gotten his first wound! Buuut... spending a bennie!

Vigor: 1d8 ⇒ 5wild: 1d6 ⇒ 2
And he soaks the first wound! Just waiting for Kearan and we can continue.

You're fine! Isn't your wild die supposed to be a d6? Please re-roll.


The group continues to struggle against the Channeler. Ordric's and Kearan's attacks just seem to knick and scratch the foe, while Drystan's arrow goes wide as the sharp blue lights play tricks on his depth perception.

Alder staggers under the power of the Channeler's spell, but manages to hunker down and recover some of the damage with his faith. Similarly, Annalise's timely intervention brings focus to the man in black armor. His armor is smooth and rounded in the shoulders and chest, a heavy blackened steel shell that must require absurd strength to wear properly. Steel Set from DS 1. Near him is a large two handed axe made of dull steel. The man stirs, but isn't yet healed enough to take part in battle yet.

Card Draw:

Ordric, Count Ethelred (A C)
Kearan the Short (Q H)
Alder Claybourne (4 H)
Drystan Kressothe (Joker)
Annalise of Astora (6 H)
The Channeler (Q C)

Initiative: Drystan (Joker), Ordric, Kearan, Channeler, Annalise, Alder.

Drystan, Ordric and Kearan are up! Next round, your NPC support will be able to join.

I'll have round 3 set up tomorrow. I'm bushed.

The blue light seems painfully bright for just a moment, but you adjust to it quickly enough. Something feels... different inside you. Wrong, even.

All resisted, no immediate effects.

The trident-wielding foe's blast is met with a flurry of divine bolts, though not nearly damaging enough to cause it to miss Kearan and Ordric's charge. Though they were able to get up to the large man, the channeler was able to deflect Kearan's attack. Ordric's sword sinks into the creature's thick robes, but not nearly deep enough to cause it any harm, from what you can tell.

Even though multiple attackers effectively allowed Ordric's attack to hit, it wasn't enough to get past his toughness+armor.

The Channeler attempts to skewer Kearan with his huge trident, since he came close first.
Trident: 1d8 ⇒ 4;Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 1
As a boss, he's automatically a wild card and can also spend bennies. Spending one now.
Trident: 1d8 ⇒ 3;Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Wild Ace: 1d6 ⇒ 3
His trident is surprisingly swift and sure, slamming into Kearan's armored body.
Weapon: 1d8 ⇒ 8 Strength: 1d12 ⇒ 2
Weapon ace: 1d8 ⇒ 3
That's over your toughness so shaken and a wound unless you want to spend a bennie to soak.

Drystan's arrow goes wide, but Annalise casts warmth upon the Catarina knight. She is rewarded with the sudden sound of her taking a ragged, rattling breath.

Drystan definitely misses, and Annalise is healing your knight ally.

card draw:

Ordric, Count Ethelred (9 C)
Kearan the Short (3 H)
Alder Claybourne (5 D)
Drystan Kressothe (6 H)
Annalise of Astora (6 C)
The Channeler (J C)

The Channeler, Ordric, Drystan, Annalise, Alder, Kearan.

The Channeler follows up its jab at Kearan by raising the trident and slamming the butt spike into the ground. A brilliant ball of blue light appears on the center point. The beam of light blasts out faster than the eye can track, striking the one who actually managed to injure it so far. Targeting Alder
Sorcery: 1d12 ⇒ 8;Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 3

damage: 2d8 ⇒ (8, 5) = 13
damage ace: 1d8 ⇒ 7
Okay that's... 20 damage. Alder would take shaken and 3 wounds from that. Recommend spending bennies there! :)
The ray of sorcerous magic drills into him, spraying refracted mini-beams of light out from where it hit the cleric.

Okay, everyone is up! If you wanted to soak, please put that in the beginning of your post!

Drystan? Anyone seen them?

Yes. This is a boss fight. I was going to do a fog wall, but that won't come into play until after you're hollowed. Also, Kearan you get a +2 to all actions you take, which includes your running, attack and damage rolls. (Then again, maybe I'm wrong? I've made lots of mistakes before.)

Nice strength check, Kearan.

Kearan throws the door open. His great strength pushes the iron doors open despite their loud, groaning protests. As the door opens a pulsing, pale blue light pours into the hallway, drowning out the yellow flames of the torches. At the sound of the door opening, the sobbing and shouting both stop.

Within is a large chapel-like chamber, sixty feet deep from the door and thirty wide (about 15 on each side upon entering). the room is bisected by a red carpet that rolls from the door you opened straight through. On either side of the carpet are several stone pews, many of them crumbling or overturned. A grand chandelier of tarnished gold and melted wax candles lies in the center of the room, the chain slack.

Several smaller chandeliers provide the light to the room, but at second glance you see that they aren't chandeliers, but rather, hanging cages with bodies stuffed inside them. Bodies that are a pallid blue color, and seem to be bristling with glowing shards of crystal growing out of their flesh. The shards gleam with a brilliant blue light.

Several more villagers and a few of the soldiers from the keep are here, their still-clothed bodies sitting askew in the pews.

You find yourselves being drawn into the room despite any sense of self-preservation. As you do so, you feel a shiver run down your spine as something entirely unnatural shudders through you. Something writhes within you, a feeling that is old, and familiar, yet something you've never felt before.

Vigor check, please.

As the last of you walks into the chamber, the doors swing shut behind you.

The room rumbles, and the chain to the chandelier's chain slowly loses slack, tightening until it starts to drag the chandelier into the air again. As it does so, it rocks, crushing several pews and sending bodies flying.

Behind the chandelier is a peculiar sight. A stone altar is flanked on either side by two figures. One is a man in dark black molded plate armor, who is slumped to the ground leaning against the altar. His armor and flesh are rent by numerous wounds. He's been injured so bad that he should be unconscious, but has stayed awake by force of will. He won't be able to help in the coming fight.

The other is a human-like figure, easily eight feet tall. Dressed in heavy robes interwoven with links of armor, it wears a strange, six-eyed helm, and carries a large golden trident in two armored mitts. It turns to view the group, and raises its trident.

A brilliant beam of blue-white light shoots out from the trident and impacts the knight of Catarina, sending her crashing backwards to slam into the stone wall. She slumps to the ground, a rattle escaping from her lungs.

Initiative Draw


Ordric, Count Ethelred (10 S)
Kearan the Short (JOKER)
Alder Claybourne (K D)
Drystan Kressothe (6 D)
Annalise of Astora (9 C)
The Channeler (Q H)

A bit more frantic combat ensues, but the withered undead are no match for the defensive formation and martial skills of the party. Fight's over, assuming you will be able to finish them off. Everyone gains 1 xp.

The bodies lay strewn across the floor, but you're still a bit in shock over what just happened.

Notice Check:

You can see that your wounds you inflicted, while they may have drawn blood, did not draw nearly as much as it should have from their bodies.

Notice raise:

You see that these people were very much dead, yet even now as you stare at them, the wounds you inflicted are very slowly knitting themselves closed. You would estimate that they will be fully recovered within 6-12 hours at best.

"We better hurry." the Knight of Catarina says, her voice coming out of her helmet sounding tinny and a little ragged. "There are people we need to rescue."

Continuing down the hallway, the walls are carved with murals repeating the scene from the prior room. They seem to indicate a massive battle with thousands of humanoid forms among giants as they battle dragons. Bolts of lightning carve off chunks of stone from the dragon's hides.

You find signs of travel through the room, dusty footprints and several drag marks, as if quite a few people had been brought down there. Following them proves to be no trouble, and you find yourselves arriving at a large set of iron double-doors that are surprisingly shut.

notice check -2:

Through the door you hear the sounds of a woman sobbing, and a man shouting angrily while something metal clanks into the stone at a regular tempo.

Notice -2 Raise:

You can hear the man's voice distinctly. "What do you think you're bloody doing! Leave the maiden alone. Take me instead! Gods, I swear to you I will crush you!"

The metal sound seems to be an weapon of some sort that is being rhythmically tapped against the ground."

Nah it's fine. I love Necessary Evil.

Analise doesnt know much about this, but she knows one word that sends shivers down her spine.


Kearan? youre left. I will resolve this combat in the next few days.

Ordric, you always add a wild die (1d6) to skill rolls like fighting. I'll do that for you here.

Ordric Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 3

You still missed, but it does give you a better chance of landing a hit most of the time.


Round 2 order:

Onion Knight (KD)
Alder (JC)
Analise (10D)
Drystan (8H)
Kearan (8C)
Ordric (5S)

Your knight friend continues trying to destroy some of the foes before her.

Fighting: 1d10 ⇒ 9
Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 4
damage: 1d10 + 1d6 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + (4) + (6) = 14

She cuts down one of them hard.

Mob 1: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Mob 2: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Mob 3: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Mob 4: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Mob 4 damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2
Mob 5: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Mob 5 damage: 1d4 ⇒ 1

Of the remaining people attacking you, only one serves as a threat, clipping Alder and Drystan but not doing enough to cause them harm. Alder's response is more than capable of knocking one enemy off balance, and blasting two enemies down entirely. Sorry for being so slow... :/

I apologize, Anxiety and increased business has made posting regularly difficult for me to accomplish. IF you'll be patient with me, we'll trundle along, it just won't be at any regular or fast pace.

I do apologize. Like I said my book is buried and I've been busy this last weekend

I'll do a new initiative pull tonight.

-Posted with Wayfinder

Alder, I'm not sure if you needed to roll three times for miracles to activate bolt... but then again my book is buried under a pile of other things and I can't check atm so I'm going to let it go as it lays! And yeah, this is literally going to be the first time hollows have been discovered.

Kearan impales the first hollow-faced villager to charge at the group almost on accident as she throws herself at him, watching with some horror as blood spurts from her once-beautiful body. The lance skewers her through the chest and heart hard enough that the lance is almost halfway through her, and yet she doesn't die immediately. She lasts long enough after to reach out with a withered hand, her fingertips touching the protective armor of your gauntlet before she slumps lifelessly.
Aaand dead. (for now)

Alder's bolts of holy light blast out, hitting one of the attackers and dropping them where he stood, while one seemed to be badly burned by the light. The last, unfortunately, seemed hardly inconvenienced.
First one's dead, second one's shaken, and the third didn't even get shaken.

The once-dead mob rushes forward with absolutely no concern for or even awareness of their safety.

Mob 1: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Mob 2: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Mob 3: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Mob 4: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Mob 5: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Mob 6: 1d6 ⇒ 2

Damage Str: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Damage broken sword: 1d4 ⇒ 2

The group manages to defend against the group, though 2 of them managed to slip past Kearan and Ordric. Drystan manages to draw them away from Annalise, though his armor gets scraped up in the process.

The onion knight steps forward, swinging her weapon.
Fighting: 1d10 ⇒ 4
wild: 1d6 ⇒ 5

damage str: 1d12 ⇒ 3
damage zweihander: 1d10 ⇒ 1

The close quarters and large weapon made the attack not very effective at all.

[ooc]Drystan, then everyone else gets to go again![/dice]

Your group moves carefully into the chamber, and while Annalise is examining the wall something very quiet happens.

Notice Check:

If you make the check you will hear the telltale *click* of metal tapping on stone from further down the only corridor leading out of this room. Looking to that direction you see at first only one pair of ruddy red pinpoints of light coming down the corridor before seven more appear behind it.

Eight... people spill into the room near-silently on bare feet. Their bodies withered and sallow-cheeked, they look like they've been starving and dehydrated and were barely clinging to life. Their clothes are in tatters, bearing the signs of battle or burns of spells. Of them all, they only clutch at broken farm implements or kitchen knives as weapons. Their eyes gleam with an unnatural red light.

The first one seems to set his sights on Ordric and unleashes a hellish shriek, alerting anyone who failed the above notice check that danger was upon them.


The order of actions are currently:
That's Ordric (with the joker +2 bonus)
The Hollows (8/8)
Onion Knight

So feel free to post your actions as soon as you can, and I'll work everything together.

the lord you spoke to may have assumed as much. But the lady in white is one of your guests.

I'll have a more detailed post later today! Whoo combat is coming up!

-Posted with Wayfinder

You move on, cautiously working your way through the town. It's eerie, as you don't see any sign of life, excepting for a few dogs and rats that have abandoned their homes among humans and are scavenging in the streets. They flee when approached.

You find where the 'thing' went easily enough. The town center has a fountain that trickled water at all times. Engraved with images of Gwynevere, the princess of sunlight, the white marble fountain is a beautiful centerpiece of the town. At the moment, no water pours from the beautiful goddess' carafe. A spire of crystal skewers the center of the fountain statue, ruining her curvaceous form.

The ground under the northeast quarter of the fountain has sunk, partially collapsing the fountain walls. The marble has slumped to either side of a sinkhole in the dirt, forming a white stone archway that reveals a doorway-like entrance into a subterranean cavern.

Underground, it's immediately evident that this is no natural cavern. What looks like a long-abandoned structure seems to exist barely a dozen feet underneath the town.
Anyone can make a common knowledge roll at -4, or without penalty if they have history as a knowledge


You recognize the stonework to be old, very old. It depicts ancient dragons with stone scales doing battle with numerous knights and even normal men.


You recognize this as the beginning of the age of fire, and get the feeling that this structure was constructed around that time.

The noble shakes his head. "Some of the dead... They left during the night. Dont know where."
He points to one area where a burst crystal remains. "Just dont hit them, if they break, theres this blue flash and shards go everywhere. "

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The man scowls. "The maiden in white? She was on pilgrimmage. Those crystals sometimes burst and can lacerate you worse than any sword could. Two of my men bled out before we could stop the flow."

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"I see." Lord Hiram replies. "Mission?" he asks after pondering. "I don't suppose you were here to relieve us of our Carim guests, were you?"

He sighs, shaking his head. "Afraid you're out of luck." he shouts, chuckling at last."They ran afoul of it not too long ago. Lost trusty patches too..." He points over your heads and towards the far side of the town from where you came in. "That way, you might find the lady before it's too late. Watch out for crystals, and by Gwynn, be wary the dead."

He points to the ground around you, where you see there are obvious signs that even though there are several corpses within sight, only 2/3 of them are still present. "I think Nito has forsaken some of us."

The signs of destruction and blight only get worse as the group approaches Minas Overlook. It doesn't take you long to realize that the village is the source of the damage.

The village is built on a rocky outcropping overlooking Astora's border. A valuable defensible location, a fortress was built here.
When you arrive, the sizeable town seems to have been ravaged by some kind of attacker. A few buildings burned, while most just bear blast marks from some kind of energy blast. There are bodies in strange places, all looking to have either died attempting to flee or fight the attacker. in all, around 35 dead.

The fortress, however, looks to have repelled whatever attacker it was. The fortress gates are closed, and you can see helmeted forms toting crossbows standing VERY alertly at the walls looking over the village. At least one knight comes up to the wall over the gates as you enter. Looking down at you, he lifts his visor to reveal a dark skinned and very angry man.

"I am lord Hiram." the man shouts down. "You had better identify yourselves, and quickly, before it comes back!"

"The ground... it seems blighted." The knight observes. "I fear for what may come..."

As the group continues on, ready for danger, they start to see other strange signs of something being terribly, terribly wrong. As you cut through the blighted valley, you start to see strange, sharp spines jutting out of the ground. The earth is split and cracked, like the intrusions are unnatural. Though many are still caked with dirt and muck, you know two things.
One, the spines seem to be 'singing', similarly to a tuning fork.
Two, they seem to be made of crystal.

You come across the first body as you near the far end of the valley. A villager, by the looks of their clothes. Their back seems to have been burnt or blackened somehow and they lay facedown, as if they had been cut down attempting to flee into the valley.

Notice TN 4:
This person died maybe yesterday at the latest. You might be able to catch who did this.

Notice TN 4, AB (any):

That damage was not caused by a pyromancy, or a miracle.

Annalise's understanding:
It's not happened very often in Astora, but it's rumored that a servant of Lord Gwyn himself comes to recover it. Not much is known about that servant, since no witnesses survive the encounter. At least, that's the common perception. In reality, it's a firekeeper's responsibility to recover their coiled sword and if a sworld is stolen or a firekeeper killed, the duties of the sword is passed to a new firekeeper.
At some point, you're going to need to find an unaffiliated, swordless fire keeper or a responsible pyromancer and let them know about this sword. But it's not a huge deal; it could wait a few months, since this bonfire's likely been abandoned for years.

The knight with you doesn't remove her armor, even when she rests the night. Instead of laying down she opts to sit up against a tree. She does open her helm to eat that morning, and anyone looking in sees a plain but strong-faced woman with no extraordinary features.

"Thank you again for your assistance. Shall we be off then? We mustn't dally with such a threat as a drake in the area." She concludes after you take in your breakfast.

As you set off, you can't help but feel the tension in your backs with that drake in the area. Your worries fade as the distance increases, until by late afternoon you've put quite the few miles between you and that scaly beast.

At this point you find yourselves making good time, even with an onion knight in tow. You travel for several more days before anything new happens. The earth becomes less forests and rivers and more rocky crags and valleys the closer you get to the border, and you are likely only another day's travel from Minas' overlook. I would like notice checks from everyone please.

Onion:Notice: 1d6 ⇒ 61d6 ⇒ 5
Onion Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 1

TN 4:
You notice the foliage in the valley leading to town has a darker, browner coloration than the rest of the areas you've passed.

TN 8:
You see, in addition to the above spoiler, that there's thin trails of smoke rising from one of the bluffs about a day's travel ahead of you.

"Hmmmm....." the knight says as your wagon comes to a halt.

With your firekeepers eerie guidance, you find a grove in the woods nearby with enough overhanging foliage that your bonfire would not be seen. As if planned this way, a dormant bonfire stands at the center, the coiled sword thrust within the embers here pitted and rusted. As with all bonfires sustained as such the embers are still warm and require little coaxing to get the flames going.

Your night is uneventful, save for the shriek of the drake somewhere nearby (within a few miles). The fire does well keeping hazards at bay.

The owner of this coiled sword is long lost, forgotten, or deceased.

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