Pale Stranger

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Three of the men behind Killian will charge foward to attack with their swords. One will slice the air a split-second too late to catch Mila's shoulder, and the other will thrust his sword only to find no purchase on Mila's armor.
The third of the group underestimates Shiruba's speed and is left fencing with shadows,
Of the three remaining Knights; two will drop swords, draw bows and take aim at Radin and the last will begin chanting.
one of the arrows will strike true inflicting 4 points of damage.
The chant is one that Mihai knows well; it is known among the Calivan as the benediction of bones, a way of absolving a Sarat inquisitor from the blood he is about to spill as it serves the will of the purifier. Sometime the ill spirits must be purged by the cleansing flow of blood so that the faithful may swim in purity.

sorry not that familiar with combat maps. I will try to figure something out so that it will enable better tactical combat.
The spiritual ally attack will strike true causing Killian to grunt in pain and lurch forward, out of the range of Shiruba's grab. Just as he is straightening up to prepare to counteract, the full power of Mihai's mind will come crashing into his weary psyche.

both the smite and the arrow will miss.
Killian growls and the gauntlet of his armor flash with white hot energy. A glowing Aegis emits from his body almost too bright to look at directly.

Mihai Bo, Radin, Lambri, Killian, Mila, Shiruba, and then the others at the end of the turn
Killian seems as surprised as anyone by the youth's actions but quickly moves to capitalize on the distraction.
The servants themselves seem to have come apart at the sight of blood, and their eyes search Killian for signs of a solution.
Aurum has retreated from the conflict entirely

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Mila Ekanheart wrote:
Only one tip, since you said you are new to the Online GM business: It is faster when you roll our Initiative checks... this way, when we post we already know what to do and just a 'check'. This generally will save us a day each combat.

Good to know. I shall endeavor to keep that in mind.

I know that the real world intrudes often and I want to reach a pace that is comfortable to everyone, while also progressing the story. If you have any thoughts/criticisms don't hesitate to let me know.

I have been slowing down posting schedule to account for the differing schedules. However, I feel things have ground to a near halt. I am new to the online GM thing; is there something I'm doing wrong?

iniative checks
The blonde shakes himself as if coming out of a trance but still he fights the hands that grasp him. "You...saw the disc...he meant to summon....."
The other servants seem as surprised as everyone else by his actions. The blonde just reflexifly strokes his wrist as if he is surprised it's still attached. His words are mumbled nonsense that reach no eat but his.
Killian does not waste time in capitilizing on the current state of confusion. Now that the lord of the manor is neutralized his forces move forward.

"No, there is a nearby town I trade with for necessary supplies. These men originated from Garren's Grave. It's known for little save the superstitious and phobic nature of its people. Killian has found easy purchase for his words in such a people, not to mention the naive and scared youths that were brought here before you." Tyrus will brandish a rune scarred disc from his robes, and an almost palpable energy will begin to radiate from him as he adopts the assurance of a younger man. Not just any younger man; an Alvanen binder!
His focus is forward and he pays no attention to the servants behind him. This makes it easy for the blonde to move silently up behind him, and to sink the knife between his ribs. Tyrus turns to face the boy in silent surprise, his fingers grasping the boys shirt as he struggles to remain standing. The boy looks back with grim determination as he plunges the dagger again and again into the old man's side.
there are about 5 servants outside with the group

The men draw draw their swords, and Killian steps back to join their ranks." I was going to give you the chance to submit to the truth that burns and have you scream your secrets all the way to Sarat's ears, so that you may be judged. Clearly you wish to have Sarat perform his arbitration in person."
Tyrus whispers to those close by, "the lake won't save you a second time. I appreciate your willingness to defend my home, but your fate lies elsewhere."

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Uret Jet wrote:
The Metara is an enigmatic amorphic mass that vaguely resembles a quadrupedal creature, and likely has fur. This is how I picture it.

For some reason this made me picture slimer from ghost busters in a fur jacket

For the record: Metera appear similar to a large reindeer or caribou. They are naturally more intelligent and isiosyncratic than most other beasts, and legend has it that the first Metara manifested from the spirit world to allow the Tonah faithful to survive in the harsh climate. While horses have been adopted due to being less choosy; many Luthanders view horses riders as weak willed.

Reath looks up, a look of excitement on his face. "He is here and he brought the whole order. He must have taken our warnings seriously. He will have brought the burning truth to deal with the heretics."

The scarred blonde will flick his knife towards the door. "It is time for you to meet Killian. It is best if you are completely honest, I know from experience that lies bring pain."

The Knights will pull up short. You can see the misting breath of the horses, and can almost hear the hearts hammering in their chests after the hard ride. The man in the front will lift up the face of his helmet revealing a worn looking Alvanen man. His hair is streaked with gray, his face pockmarked and winkled, and his eyes are small black orbs hidden within his flattened features.

"Tyrus, I knew you would bring the sky down upon our heads." The man laughs, a gurgling sickening thing that reveals the plague in his lungs. "At least two northerners in this batch. Did your kept man need the company? I can't say I have the same tolerance for their smell."

The man dismounts and approaches Tyrus, Radin, Lambri, and Aurum. The men behind him dismount as well but stay by their horses.

"Killian," Tyrus nods, "no matter how many times you are drowned, your bigotry remains quite untouched. To what do we owe the pleasure?"

"You know why I am here. You have played the roll of caretaker too long as the six thrones spit upon our world. I know you have no love for Sarat but you have done your part, delivering into my hands the foesworn. If you turn your back now, you have my word that not a single drop of blood will fall upon your precious paintings, but if you stand by your charges, I will see to it that you will burn along with your house."

Mystery appears by Radin's side, her nerve returned by the virtue of necessity. Despite Aurum's derogatory marks concerning his heritage, there is a pain inside him when he looks at the metara. Like she is a reminder of a piece of him that now is lost.

Aurum growls, rising to his full impressive height. "I will not be scolded like a child! You come here with your words and your invocations, like they mean more than piss in the wind when the dark comes knocking. There was none more devoted to the balance than I, a warrior who held the moon-line against anything that could be belched forth from under the mounds. I bled for the cursed balance, and more was asked from me than you will ever know. So, save your empty signs for those who still care." As he finished: the stars could be seen glowing hot against his iris. A sure sign to any Luthander that this man had been past Warden's Rock and has the seen the path where earth gives way to darkness.

As Aurum continues to seethe with anger, Tyrus exists Winter's Mourning dragging his useless leg behind him. One look at the aged Alvanen stops Aurum dead. Aurum mumbles under his breath, "cursed be my name, for I shall never know sleep in this world or the next."

At this point the knights are almost upon you. At this range, it becomes obvious that their armor is dented and rusted, an artifact of a brighter past.

all characters are considered fatigued
The youngest member of the group will seem emboldened by your statements, and the look of a paralyzed rabbit falls from his eyes. The brawnier youth releases him with a hard pat on the back but a grim caste to his features. "They are as distraught as we were when we were first pulled from the waters. Sarat has yet to reveal his designs for them. If they truly are defilers or beastkin, Killian will surely see through their lies."

The blonde is the last to lower his weapon, and you notice a circular scar completely surrounding his left wrist. He will regard Mila with no small amount of respect. "You are either the bravest sword maiden south of warden's rock or the most curved of raked-tongued succubin. We do not know the origin of those drums. They make the air shimmer. Last time we heard their call, Meliscind, a young girl barely older than Reath, was taken from us."

In answer to the question about Luthander martial traditions: traditional Luthander Knights don't really exist and similar mounted warriors are usually isolated products of cultural mingling. Metara do not often accept riders on their back, so a formal Calvary is kind of out of the question. Even a large tribe can only boast a handful of riders. Most of these riders are armored in furs and plate armors are very rare to come by.

Sorry about disappearing for a couple of days. I was trying to give everyone a chance to post in on the gameplay forum before continuing to race ahead.

The men are completely taken aback by Mila's actions. They look for a moment like they are about to drop their knives, but a swell of determination will tighten their grips. The blonde haired Alvanen, whose bookish looks seem more suited to a library than a battlefield, will speak up. "It will soon be out of our hands. Killian did not trust us to face such darkness along and certainly rides here as we speak. You can make your pleas to his ears, but know that he is a high seraphyte and has undergone the drowning three times. You may lie to us....but you cannot lie to him."

"The drums again, brothers, it's the work of the gwyllion pounding upon their kettles or the hags upon their drums made of human flesh. Maybe this is all a trap. They wish to dance upon the bones of good seraphytes while they beseech the powers of the greater dark." The youngest looks around as he speaks, his eyes virtually bugging out of his head. "We have heard those drums before when they took Meliscind. I can still hear her scream in the night. I will not be the pork on a demons table nor the blood in Hob's goblet."

The more he speaks the more the terror grips him. The third member of the party, a brawny youth with close cropped hair who has so far maintained his silence, reaches to restrain the young one.

Meanwhile outside:

Seven on horseback can be seen riding over the snow. They are clearly armed and armored in the style of knights of the old world, relics now in the age of black powder. The armor will catch the light and turn them into glowing harbingers of Sarat's fury.

Radin feels iron hard fingers curl around his shoulder, turning he sees Aurum, his face a grim totem of determination. "Now is the time to ride fast, warrior. If we are lucky they will kill the wolf before she has a change to feast on our bones. Save yourself, the Tonah abandoned this place a long time ago."

"Killian spoke of you as he stared into the fire. Told us that the reason we were returned was to stop you. The Dead-Hand was merely an instrument for darker powers." The youngest will straighten himself as he speaks but he has yet to draw a weapon.

Mila's words have caused a flicker of doubt to creep into the eyes of the other two and their weapons will lower somewhat. "Sarat tells us that sometimes the innocent are the greatest tools for the wrathful powers. With their hearts unshaped on the forge of pain, their minds are blind to the strings that guide them. Know that we will pray for Sarat to wash away your sins when your ship departs."

At this point everyone can hear those inside can hear the sounds of drums

The youngest of the three servants will fall to his knees. "Fountain of light, hear my plea. I, who have washed myself in the waters of truth and wandered far from the failings of man, beg you to spare us from the coming night. Tell me what is to be to done, so as to stop these harbingers of sin from walking is all into clutch of Devils. Holy waters, Saint above Saints.." the man's sobs begin to drown out his words as he raises his hands above his head in fervent worship.

The other two draw their blades. "We didn't think you were real. We prayed every night to Sarat that you were ravings of a mad man, but here you all stand. If you knew what we know, you would bury these blades into your stomachs and save yourselves."

The rest of the meal will pass in relative silence for those in the house. Tyrus appears to be in a retiring mood and will excuse himself before the meal finishes. The servants themselves will wait through the entire meal. The three Alvanen men wait at the end of the table. Their clothes are similar to the house; once elegant, now dated and worn.

It's fairly obvious that they are armed and....are they shaking? Yes, they appear to be shaking silently and you can see a tear roll down the face of the one on the front right, as his shudders become more pronounced.

Just as their behavior becomes more alarming; you can hear muffled voices from the other room.
perception checks

Aurum will grunt derisively. "He knows the head count. Just don't talk long enough to try the man's patience. You know those Alvanen, they are all about their proper etiquette."

Aurum will wave Lambri off to go about her business. As she walks off, Lambri catches him looking after her in a forlorn manner. Although his eyes are trained on her back, his mind is somewhere else entirely.

Lambri is not far from the house when she hears the drums...

"Monisha is a very talented healer. She is the one who put me back together after..." Tyrus gestures at the left half of his face. "It's mostly the feeling of warmth after nearly freezing to death. I apologize for my outburst earlier. All Monisha seems to do these days is sing old songs from her caravan days and I'm afraid I have some bad memories attached to that one in particular."

He bids everyone eat and begins greedily biting at a leg of bird. After Mihai speaks, he slows down, chewing his food deliberately and staring fit to burn a hole through flesh.

I'm going to need a caster level check for Detect Thoughts

"I used to be somebody but I'm afraid that the world outside these walls is quite done with me. It chewed me up and spat me out; obviously not liking the way I tasted. Now this house is all I have left. I try to find other castaways and give them some measure of comfort. I admit it's not much, and you all seem the type to take the good fight right to hell's door. I just try to do what little I can with what little I have."

When Radin places his hands upon mystery he notices that she is shaking. She is used to colder climbs and usually bears its touch with stoic indifference. As Radin looks up, he sees her eyes are wide and panicked.
As Radin finishes speaking, she will gently bite the side of his armor and begin tugging indicating a desire to leave. Now he feels it, out here he can still feel the comforting background presence of the Tonah but inside Winter's Mourning....there is nothing.

Aurum will shrug at Mihai. "Winter's Mourning is a place to stretch your legs and ease your burden, but apart from that; your fate is your own." With that the large man will walk back outside.

Monisha eyes glittering will focus up on Shiruba. She smells of a strange form of spiced smoke that is both foreign and intoxicating. She takes Shiruba's hand and immediately you begin to feel the tired ache that has acrued over the years begin to leave your bones. "Watchman, Watchman, why are you upon the shore? Watchman, Watchman, why are your arms so sore? You don't need the salt in your watcher's wounds. You don't need the air in your broken throat. Your legs are snapped and your side is bleeding. Watchman, Watchman, why are you upon the shore?"

"THAT IS ENOUGH!" Tyrus will sit bolt upright staring down the elder Calivan. Mother Monisha will release Shiruba's hand and with an adolescent look of hurt confusion will retreat back into herself. Just as Tyrus is about to say more: a bell will ring.

"That will be breakfast now. I'm sure you are all very hungry and some warm food should dispel the rest of the cold from you." He motions you all to follow him as he leads you into the adjacent room. As you enter, the servants will have just finished laying out a feast of hot cakes and some form of cooked bird.

The keen eyed among you will fallow Tyrus's glance as you leave the main room and notice that the clock's minute hand has clicked forward.

Aurum will nearly fall over in light of the transformation. Before he can stop himself: his tomahawk will virtually leap into his hand. It is a long, tense moment before he brings the axe back down to his side.

"Well, I will be damned to the pig-lords infernal mudhole, if it isn't one of you copper-ones and a lass at that. You don't have to go on about the twins, it has been some time since I danced in there graces. Still, you have nothing to fear from me...if you don't start drooling in the light of the silver." Aurum will laugh, trying to ease away his original fear.

"You are some distance from Mistcrest now, lass. It must be almost a week of long nights before you could make it to Dead-hand's lands and I can't fathom why you would want to go back there. Word on the meanders is that he has gone crazy, attacking like some rapid dog." Aurum will pause at this, his lips curling up above his teeth in a wide sneer. "It's almost like the red mist has been at him, eating what little sense he ever had. Wouldn't be too surprised if he started spending his nights naked and barking at the moon."

As you make your way into the room, you notice another individual present. An ancient Calivan woman, easily the oldest person you have ever set eyes upon. Her hair, what there is of it, is white and her skin is a mass of wrinkles. Peering up cautiously; she will smile a toothless grin at those entering the room.

"Ease yourself, warrior, we are quite safe within these walls. Just leave malice and preconception at the door." While the man speaks he looks cautiously around, declining to meet Radin's gaze."My name is Tyrus Altus and my companion is Mother Monisha....don't be too concerned by her- age has stolen her reason."

Altus will make sure that everyone has a place by the fire and ushers people forward with an impatient air. "There is dry clothes to be had, and there will be food shortly."

As he does this, his eyes will be drawn to a clock hanging in a corner. A couple of minutes of watching will reveal that the clock appears to be nonfunctional, and yet the man eye will periodically flit to it. Although the man has no weapon and shows no concern for yours, he seems to convey the commanding presence of a soldier. The woman is content to beam everyone with a childlike happiness about her that does more to lift the spirits than even the warmth of the fire.

You can hear the sounds of movement from the next room over.

Those entering the building will come face to face with a massive mastiff. The thing stands about four feet in height and is about as wide as he is tall. Covered in long gray fur; long scars decorate his throat like some something had tried its best to rip its throat out. Upon noticing you, he immediately adopts a defensive posture. A deep, primeval growl will issue forth that causes the hair to immediately go up on end.

"Easy Badwick, they mean us no harm. They are simply travelers coming in from the cold."

It's a man's voice, and it becomes clear that it belongs to a grizzled Alvaren man that is sitting by a great fire. His long black hair is receding in the front and he wears a plane leather half-mask that covers most of the left side of his face. The man is undsteady on his feet and as he rises he upsets a walking stick, causing him to break out into a fit of cursing.

As you look at the room behind the dog, you notice that, while probably once exquisite, the house is showing its age and parts have been patched back together. The chairs around the fireplace are threadbare. Many of the paintings on the wall are fading or worse, slashed and left to continue a maimed vigil. The only thing that seems to shine in the whole place is a coat of arms bearing the heraldry of two great hounds tearing into each other's necks. This piece had obviously been polished recently, and shines like a high silver moon.

Copper Burden:

There was a young boy named Patrin who was traveling under Mihai Bo. The boy was considered adle-brained by most of the Calivan, which was especially unfortunate because he was the only son of the last head of the caravan and was expected to be blooded. Instead, the boy barely talked and when he did it was in a sing-song slang that only he understood.
Lambri, you were kind of the best thing that ever happened to this boy. As you followed the urgings of the Tonah: you realized that Patrin simply had no ability to to extricate his consciousness from the spirit world. The experienced shaman knows how to focus their senses; so as to not be overwhelmed by the chorus of voices and be able to focus on the mortal-world when concentration is required. Patrin lacks this ability, and desperately needs to develop it or his mind may never be able to recover.

Mila: Your other knowledge skills are as normal. Note: there is a folklore: Saraten skill, which might work better for a devout Alvaren...but it is not associated with the behavior of the dead

"That is a well trained metara you have there. Most won't let a member of the tamed people astride there back." Aurum says as he touches his forehead and brings his hand down his face, a gesture of respect for someone who has earned the trust of such a magnificent animal.

He continues the rest of the walk in silence. Leading the group through an iron gate and past an old wooden sign. You can just make out the words "Winter's Mourning" beneath a caricature of a tragic looking frost-Sprite.

You can make out light coming from around the great door, and just that enough to breath new life into your aching limbs. Also, although you could be mistaken, that sounds like music. A Calivan trail song for when the night seems too deep and threatens to drown the spirit.

"You are expected, so don't feel rude barging in. Your animals will have to stay outside. They are under my protection now." Aurum finishes by gesturing towards the door. As he casts his arm wide, his coat will open revealing many charms sewn into the inside of the animal skin. On his hip is a a crude but lethal handaxe with strange markings about the head and handle.

I will need perception checks and Folklore: Tonah checks

As the creature approaches it becomes obvious that the fur comes from animal pelts. Animal pelts worn by a Luthander man, a tall Luthander man to be sure but not a giant. His extra height comes from the head of a bear-like creature that rests upon his brow. Although his features are partially obscured by a large red beard that is matted with snow; it appears as if half his face was, for lack of a better word, shatterd and then hastily reassembled.

"Well, you lot look about as good as cursed Temenbrae, famous for drowning upon his own s@~$e."

He takes a long moment to go over each of you in turn- seeming to enjoy the power of his current position. His gaze lingers longest upon the wolf, and although you can't be sure beneath the thick pelts he is wearing, you think his hand tightens around a hidden weapon.

"I guess you will be wanting to come inside. There is fire in there and at this hour there might even be some breakfast to be had. My name is Aurum."

Without bothering to wait for proper introductions: he begins to trudge off back towards the mysterious manor. Glancing back for a moment, he notices Shiruba's bare feet and grimaces in a way as to suggest pity and contempt.

"I suppose I can carry you, old one. It doesn't look like you have many winters left in you, and I haven't had one of you drifters die on me yet. That's the kind of reputation I have a mind to keep."

Shape is coming from near the house.
Mihai: I have some ideas on languages. Going to pm you when I decide how to handle it.

The snow is coming down faster now. The north wind catches it and turns it into a hardened edge against any inch of exposed flesh. Breath is grabbed fitfully between spasms as the body shakes under the onslaught.
The house behind the snow seems like an eerie mirage, as it fades to little more than silhouette amidst winter's wrath. However, as your eyes struggle to keep the house in sight and therefore a glimmer of hope, another shape is moving in the snow.
It's large. Although little more than a black mound that shambled stubbornly forward through the drifts, it appears to be covered in thick fur. It takes you less than a moment to realize that none of you are in any shape to fight.

Gameplay thread is up

I would like to submit Woraag Istuk, hobgoblin bloodrager/spiritualist.


Woraag was cast out of his tribe when his ancestry made itself apparent. He appeared to be one of the living dead with eyes like that of a corpse and ice cold flesh. The hobgoblins would have killed him, just to make sure, but the superstition about him made them sure he would return as a specter to avenge his death a hundred-fold.
Woraag was fortunate enough to fall in with a group of bandits where he quickly became a mascot of sorts. They gained a fearsome reputation for being led into battle by an undead, hobgoblin killing machine. At this point in his life he never wondered much about morality or really anything greater than satisfying his base impulses.
Than came the day when he ambushed a holy pilgrimage. The men were unwilling to part with their relics and it quickly devolved into a battle. The paladins were able to defend themselves against the bandits superior numbers and in the end it came down to Woraag against one last templar. The sheer strength of Woraag was able to best the man, and with powerful blow Woraag seperated the man's head from his shoulders.
It was three days later when the man found Woraag still admiring the pretty baubles he had stolen. Some strange interaction between the man's willpower and Woraag's sorcerous blood had bound them to each other. The man, Sir Cornelius Albrecht, died while on a sacred quest and now he needs the hobgoblin to help him complete it. While originally resistant, Woraag has become intrigued by the man's talk and his role in the greater world.
Woraag might still be a long way from being a hero but he has taken his first steps on a path to redemption.

Please forgive the typos. I posted it as soon as I finished writing and now I'm going back to edit.

I finally got the time to write this up. Its the fourth ethnic group native to mainland Korvare. I was hoping to have it up while recruitment was still going on but I was fleshing out the details in my head. Just some more flavor for everyone.


Taraveyn have light complexions somtimes with almost translucent skin. Their eyes are typically light colors with many possessing the red pigmentation of albinism. Their hair is typically blond or even white. They tend to be short, averging just over 5 foot with wiry frames. Fat is not tolerated amongst the Taraveyn because that means a person is taking too much food from the prescious little and is a sure fire way to find oneself rations being cut.
Their pale nature is what often leads outsiders to call them “swamp vampires” or “palewalkers”. Just another thing that sets the people of the southern swamps apart.
In order to compensate for their lack of pigmentation in their hot environment, Taraveyn cover their bodies completely. This is often accomplished by wrapping themselves tightly in clothing woven from the aolis plant. The plant has the added bonus of making them distasteful to the many predators of the swamp but longterm exposure can permantly dye the skin. This leads elder Taraveyn to have dark blue tattoo like patterns all over their skin.
A Taraveyn is almost constantly in motion. They move about and fidget whenever they are not occupied in a task, and any moment they are not sleeping they continually check behind them to make sure they are not being snuck up on. Even with all of this motion, Taraveyn make hardly a sound.

The Taraveyn are survivalists to the extreme. Products of their environment, the southern swamps of the Fallen Sword are full of savage predators, natural hazards and constant threat of disease. It’s a mark of pride among the Taraveyn that they survive all of this and they consider most outsiders to be slow and often times stupid.
Originally, the swamps of the fallen sword were a penal colony where the ancestors of the Taraveyn were sent to die. Instead: they found a way to fight back and live. Even with the constant danger they live in, a southerner would not leave the swamp as it is the only world they know. They understand the laws of the sword.
Clan is everything to a Taraveyn. The only thing that keeps you alive and worth more than any material good. They live in extended families in their pole settlements where the children are raised by the group. To prevent inbreeding; the young are traded between clans and this is also a form of currency. A child who possesses shamanic abilities can be worth a whole group of competent warriors.
When a Taraveyn first hits puberty they are left to survive one 24 hour period in the swamp. This is called, “Getting your first cut”, and allows a Taraveyn to be accepted in the tribe. Some of course do not survive this process and are not to be mourned. They were too weak and would have brought disaster to their entire clan if they would have remained. A select few are awakened by this and become Shamans. Their ability to perceive the other world considered an irreplaceable asset.
Reaching old age is rare among southerners and those that do are revered. They have earned care from the tribe and they are entrusted with the education of the youth. Every child can tell you the tales of Quick Ben where the eponymous protagonist survives danger after danger with quick wits and reflexes. These are all hidden lessons about actual life in the swamp. The most important lesson being to beware the laughing lights.
In southerner culture it is perfectly acceptable to steal from an outsider. Outsiders who have not been ‘cut’ deserve whatever happens to them. A crime against another Taraveyn, however, is punished by being branded but never killed. The brand is to let the entire clan know their crime and proper punishment, up to and including capital punishment, can be carried out at the next gathering of clans.
The Taraveyn do not worship the spirits, they fear them. The veil has always been weaker in the sword and even before the rising the spirits of the dead were more active in the swamps. These occasional poltergeists are nothing compared to the Lord of the Swamp, Laughing Will.
The origins of Laughing Will are lost to time and people speculate whether he is a phantom or a cursed Tonah damaged in the event that cursed the Fallen Sword. Whatever his origins, he now rules the swamp and seems to be able to control every hazard that the swamp can conjure. His eyes are the glowing lights that lead travelers astray but are to be greeted like an old friend should you happen upon then. Never insult Laughing Will or he will gladly make your death his next great game.
When Will manifests he often appears as a smirking youth who plays a fiddle, a habit has ensured that no Taraveyn can stand the sound of music. His other form is an amalgamation of dancing lights that can capture the mind of anyone unfortunate enough to behold it.
So, every Taraveyn knows to leave offerings to their mirthful king but they have no use for any sort of religion. Even the shamans who can sense the Tonah are taught to distrust them; for any of them could be another mask part of some complicated trick. Saraphytes are treated with nothing but content as concern should be for the world around you not for some “fountain beyond the sky.”

Yes, any spell that would allow correspondence with nature.

You all rise from the water at nearly the same moment. Spitting and gasping for air as you breach the surface. The water cuts into your skin like ice daggers and robs the strength from your limbs with every moment.
As you make towards shore you can just barely make out a manor through the falling snow. Considering your desperate traits: the dark house seems like something out of a fairy tale. The thick snow obscuring it gives it a certain ethereal air.
There is no question that if you stay out in the cold, you will die.

Elcha and Emcha can sense arcane energy flows. The Tonah as spiritual beings, are invisible to them unless they also learn to commune...which is extremely rare.
Also, for a story note. The elders have been having trouble with their sight and even the old pathes seem blurry and indistinct. They are whispers among the Calivan that this is due to the "Second Advent". This is seen as heretical by most Calivan who hold that the Second Advent will only come when Alvara is born again of the blood.
Shiruba: The loss to sanity can be recovered as you're not so much paying a cost for the spirit out of your mind just a mechanical reflection of the fact that the binding process can be quite traumatic sometimes.

I like the idea of Lambri protecting someone in the caravan as her copper burden. Copper burdens are designed to keep the wolf shifter in contact with her humanity. Without carrying her weight in copper the wolf shifter may give fully into the red mist.
In addition, the paths the Calivan take are predetermined by the rituals they must perform that have been handed down through the generations. The Emcha is an interpreter because they can see the conduits of energy through the world.
Mihai Bo: Did you decide to go with the secret spirit? If so, I am going to need you to take the hit in sanity
Shiruba: water spirit?

Health, sanity, saves, daily ability uses (lay on hands, stunning fist) and spells per day.

Will Path of War be acceptable? I just discovered it and I'm excited about playing around with it.

How would you feel about a melee focused druid (feral shifter)?

I'm from Ohio myself
Going to leave this for you to decide on what you want to do. I just want to clarify a couple of things.

If any of your characters frequent the region:

This kind of random attack is very out of character for Dead-Hand. He uses violence like a precision weapon. Just enough to instill fear without needless sadism. He is almost businesslike in his pragmatic sociopathy. He exacts tribute in exchange for protection from a few small villages including Mistcrest.

If you can sense the Tonah:

You have been disquited ever since entering Mistcrest. You started by hearing its name on the wind, as you got closer you could feel the trail pulling your forward, but now everything has gone silent and muted. Even before the battle had begun your heart had begun to beat urgently like that of prey who just felt the hot breath of a predator. There was not a doubt in your mind that Mistcrest was a hunting ground.

Radin: You read my mind. I think that seems to be the most sensible way to handle mounts and companions.
Shiruba: The town had very little forewarning of the attack. Adventurers warned the townsfolk scant hours before the attack.
Mila: That is perfectly fine. Being a dyslexic; I'm the last person who can judge spelling or grammar.
Well, it looks like I'm going to push things back until Monday. That will also give me some time to get some more background lore posted.

Radin: I was thinking we were using detect balance and smite fallen?
Shiruba: Replace knowledge nature with either Folklore: Tonah or Folklore: the fey

I have posted a discussion thread so we can continue things. To clear things up: The attack on the village was sudden but not completely unexpected. The villagers were able to begin evacuation and mount a feeble defense.
Radin: Armor is any masterwork mundane armor made from common materials.
Lambri: I'm not going to be super strict about posting. I think you have some great ideas and would like to keep you in the game.
It's been a crazy week for me, so I haven't had the chance to really comb over the characters to make sure everything is in order. I'm still planning on starting things up tomorrow, if everyone is comfortable with that?

For general questions/concerns about Trail of the Curseborn.

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