Cult of Cinders - Age of Ashes #2 (Inactive)

Game Master Kittenmancer

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Administering Citadel Altaerein


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Less than two years away from celebrating the 200th year since its founding, Breachill is a relatively young settlement in Isger. Nestled in the foothills of the Five King Mountains, about 50 miles from the Druman border, a fascinating tale stands at its origins.

Veraline Rhasolde, author and first Breachill town council president wrote:

For weeks, we were disheveled and confused, shivering in the shadow of winter as it crept into the mountainous valley. We barely managed to forage for food and build rickety shelters. A few of us carried swords to fend off wild beasts, but we had no memory of how we found those measly weapons, or of who might have put them into our hands. And that was the worst of it: we knew we all had lives before this bleak state of affairs, but to a one, we barely remembered our own names. Our spirits were broken, and our hope for surviving the winter seemed slim. Then a miracle happened: a benevolent wizard stumbled across our valley. His name was Lamond Breachton, and it is with his kindness that our town’s story begins.

—Opening except from Breachill, Outpost of Liberty

Many of Breachill's 1300 mostly human residents trace their ancestry to these original 50 pioneers, leading to the townsfolk’s identity as people who persevere and are self-sufficient by birthright. As a result, the residents of Breachill are brave and community minded. Unlike the insular inhabitants of many Isgeri towns, they welcome adventurers of all stripes. After all, the townspeople owe their existence to the benevolence of that powerful wizard adventurer — Lamond Breachton — whose legacy is so beloved that it might be almost be considered a religion. Practically without exception, harsh words against Breachton here are taken as a challenge to most residents' honor.

It is in this prosperous town that sits astride the eponymous Breach Creek that our heroes-to-be find themselves, during an unusually hot and dry Arodus, in the year 4719 AR.

Beatrix:
Early in the afternoon there aren't many people in the Pickled Ear, as the lunch crowd has thinned and the evening crowd is yet to arrive - which is just as well for Beatrix, who's been working hard since mid-morning. Her sisters are nowhere in sight, and Roxie is in the back room, by the sound of things scolding one of her teenage daughters. Once again, the gnome marvels at what the people of Breachill call "rough-and-tumble"; there are several nicer taverns in town, to be sure, but the Pickled Ear would not look out of place in Jarvis End or Villegre. Built entirely of wood, it has a rather rustic charm to it, and Roxie is meticulous about its maintenance and cleanliness.

The few customers currently present, most of them farmers, trappers and hunters spending a couple of days in town in preparation for market day tomorrow, seem content to nurse their drinks and shelter from the heat in the cool, shadowy interior. The only unfamiliar faces are those of a party of five currently seated in the corner, all of them human although one has clearly an orc or half-orc among his ancestors, and one of the two women shows clear signs of elven blood in her elongated, pointed ears. They are dressed mostly in leathers, their dusty cloaks hanging off the backs of the chairs and their packs pushed under the table. Clearly adventurers, although they don't have that many weapons among themselves - the half-orc has a great axe, one of the women has a sword and shield and one of the human men a crossbow. They came in around lunch, ordered the cheapest ale and the cheapest meal and since then they've been sitting there, barely exchanging a word.

Gofran:
This morning there had been a flurry of new orders, mostly repair work as yesterday's small earthquake had caused some minor damage to several buildings. Rorsk had been busy looking after customers well into the afternoon, and now he finally had a chance to draw his breath. Even so, he stayed on his feet as he surveyed the buzz of activity in the workshop, drinking deep from a waterskin offered by an apprentice. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, smearing stone dust through his beard as he scowls and sighs. "Ach, coz, 'tis the worst time for that stone shipment tae go missin'. I 'ave 'alf a mind tae go tae the Call for 'eroes on Oathday and ask fer some strappin' lads tae go lookin' fer it, aye." He takes another long pull from the waterskin, and scowls harder, something which Gofran would not have thought possible. "Only trouble is, Posandi's on the council, see. 'e'll refuse my ask, I jus' ken it." Rorsk didn't speak Dwarven with him unless it was just the two of them, and his Taldane was so heavily accented that even Gofran had trouble understanding him sometimes. His cousin sighs again, passing the empty waterskin back to the apprentice and adjusting his thick leather belt, the tools hanging from it clinking together softly. "Aight, back tae work."

Kyrie:
This close to the river, there is a blessed coolness in the air, soothing the sting of the relentless sun on the skin. A song drifts through the open window as Kyrie sits in the shade of the building's west wing, a book in her lap. Tarindlara had been busy all morning, all sorts of people coming to ask for artisans to perform repairs after yesterday's earthquake had caused some minor damage, but she was now sipping iced berry juice on a bench across from Kyrie, resplendent as usual in her elegant, perfectly-fitted silk dress. The smooth, cool material must have felt nice on the skin. The elven woman smiles as she nods towards the book. "Something more to your tastes than poetry?"

She had been very kind, to let Kyrie stay at the temple. Not asking for money, not asking questions beyond what she had needed to know in order to make the Iomedaean feel comfortable. The room was small, but the furniture was well-crafted and beautiful, although sparse. The long wall opposite the bed was entirely covered in a mural of the town, as seen from a tall hill, with the river shining like molten gold in the light of the sunset, pink and violet clouds scattered across the sky. If she hadn't seen Breachill herself, she would have said it was an idealized depiction of the town - all the buildings neat, the streets wide and clean, troughs and pots with flowers lining every windowsill. But no, this is really how Breachill was, the neatest, prettiest, most orderly town she had ever seen. And the people here were so friendly, curious but not nosy, empathetic and kind, welcoming and warm. Within a few days of her arrival they had lined up at the temple's door with gift baskets that contained everything from local delicacies to items of basic necessity to gifts that were well-intended, but perhaps lacking in practicality - such as the knitted woolen shawl that was now hanging in her room.

Karana:
The bell above the door of the bookstore tinkles softly as Karana and Father Padilla enter. As their eyes adjust to the dim light of the interior, a half-elven woman with auburn hair gathered in a high ponytail looks up from behind the counter at the front of the room. Aside from the paladin, a halfling man is also present, seated in front of a crate full of books and carefully noting their details in a large ledger open on his lap. Most of the space in the shop is filled with shelves upon shelves of books, most of them looking quite old and more than a few seemingly written in languages that Karana has never encountered.

"A good afternoon to you, how can I help you?" The half-elven woman comes from behind the counter to greet them. "Are you looking for something in particular? If not, feel free to browse, we recently got a new shipment from Oppara." At the mention of a Goblin-Taldane dictionary, she nods, disappearing among the stacks for what feels like quite a long time before returning triumphantly with a thin volume, cheaply bound and almost falling apart. "This is quite a rare edition, it went out of print rather quickly, for lack of demand. A collaboration between famous Absalom linguist Tabia Balewa and a hobgoblin tribe from Arthfell Forest." She nudges her spectacles up her nose a little as she offers the dictionary for inspection.

Karana does not have much in the way of money, and her heart sinks at the sight of the price tag carefully inscribed on the back of the book, but Father Padilla is already reaching into his purse and counting out the coins. "Thank you, miss, a most fortunate find." The librarian seems almost sad to be parting with the book, but sweeps the coins into the till nonetheless as Father Padilla offers Karana the little tattered dictionary.

Amaya:
The Great Dreamhouse's interior garden is a welcome relief from the early afternoon heat, the air somewhat cooled by the trees and the running water of the central fountain. Several acolytes are dozing off in the shade of a large magnolia tree, while several more are sitting or laying on the wide stone rim of the fountain, letting the faint spray fall on them as they look at the curious traveler who has been staying in the temple for the last few days. Kellen, the head priest, had been shooing them off and scolding them for bothering their guest, but he was nowhere in sight now, so they had flocked to Amaya full of curiosity.

"Are all the people like you where you come from?" Carli is probably no older than eight, a freckled girl with dark eyes like liquid shadow. "That's rude, Carli!" admonishes Kip, from the towering height of his authority as a ten year old. "Mom says it's rude to point out people's appearance. Mama says so too." He turns to Amaya, bowing solemnly. "Please excuse her, she is not very well behaved. And I think that people of all shapes and colours are beloved by the Song of the Spheres." Nodding sagely, a third acolyte chimes in, "That is very wise, cousin. Besides, I think we would have heard if there was a country of blue people somewhere." Ziggy is not Kip's cousin, but then again, Ziggy calls everyone 'cousin'. Kip groans and smacks his own face in a demonstrative display of despair at the bad manners of his colleagues.

The date is Moonday, 3 of Arodus. The Call for Heroes is on the first Oathday of every month. You have a few days to explore the town, if you like. I'll add a vignette for Estian once I get their background.


CG | female gnome sorcerer 5 | HP: 43/43 | AC: 19 | F: +10; R: +9; W: +11 | Perception +9 (low-light vision) | spell dc: 21 | spells: 1st 4/4 | 2nd 4/4 | 3rd 3/3 |focus: 1/1

The morning was spent cleaning so the afternoon is more about waiting until she is needed. Waiting for a raised hand, an empty glass, or at worst a grumble of irritation. Until then the gnome waitress climbs to a stool behind the bar, where she can see the dinners, and plays her flute to pass the time and hopefully entertain.

performance: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
A passable melodious tune of wind through the leaves of an old tree that grows older and older until it is a withered stump.

She does, very much so WANT to talk to the adventurers, since it is the occupation she is hoping to become a part of. Though HERO is what she’d rather call it. That label doesn’t seem to fit the tired nonverbal crew though.

Next time she delivers the most watered-down ale in the place, she tries to start a conversation. "Would you like for me to recommend a place to stay or a bathhouse, not that you need it, the aesthetic of dust for a group of experienced explorers such as yourself, works very well.” she bobs from heel to toe as she talks, a combination of energy and nerves.


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana crawls up a gigantic trunk, zigzagging her way up the rigid crevasses as fast as her six little legs could carry her. If only my wings would work, she griped before chiding herself. How she loved her dreams of being a ladybug! She’s had them every night since boarding at the Great Dreamhouse.

But this was the first dream that did not allow her to fly. At least a bird did not eat me this time, she says as she crawls out on a leaf to bask in the sun…

Nine and a half minutes later…
Karana suddenly awakens and finds the leaf is bending from her weight! The tree is shrinking! The whole world is—no! My hands!

Athletics: 1d20 + 2 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 2 + 2 + 1 = 14

Karana uses those calloused hands to grab onto the branch! She wraps her legs around, then dares to tip her head back, upside down, to see how far the fall is.

“Oh.”

Three feet.

Karana stops clinging to the branch. Her bare toes feel the morning dew on the grass. Karana is surprised to feel the warmth of her sleeping fur. In her dreams, her ladybug form just flew out of her clothing as it crumpled to a heap. Somehow when using such magic for real—Yes! This is real! I finally…—her clothing becomes part of her tiny body. Or maybe the magic…

Karana stops thinking about what she cannot control. She has successfully changed her body. She should celebrate.

“Ahh… oh. Heh.”

The morning chill suggests she should fasten the sash of her robe before somebody sees her. Like Voz, who is on her way to open the bookstore. Karana waves to her. <Good morning, Miss Lirayne!> she calls in the Goblin tongue.


Male LN dwarf fighter 1 | HP: 13/13 | AC: 18, F: +4, R: +2, W: +1 | Perc: +5, darkvision | Speed 20 ft. | Active conditions: none.

Gofran drinks from his own waterskin, sitting on a bench to rest. He had been helping his cousin with the work since the earthquake, specially since he had found nothing so far during his investigations. Rorsk had asked him to investigate, and he did, but he was not going to charge Rorsk for anything as he was family... that being said, Gofran was feeling restless these last couple days, longing to leave Breachill and take a more interesting job (one that would bring some gold to his pockets).

As Rorsk mentions the Call for Heroes, Gofran sees an opportunity. "I can cerrtainly go in yerr place, cousin, as this vill gimme anotherr opporrtunity to vatch Posandi... I do not believe I vill have a betterr chance in askin' about the missin' shipment, as he knows I'm yerr kin, but if the Council vants people to do some job, I can volunteerr myself!" Gofrom offers. "This vill make me look good in theirr eyes and perrhaps ve can then use this in yerr favorr."


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)

Enjoying the lovely display of water coming from the fountain brought a sense of calm to Amaya. When she first set out from home, she grew more and more anxious as she traveled farther from the ocean. The only respite she got was during the spring rains, or the occasional body of water than she came across. Ever since that day, she's always felt a tie to water that was only superficial before. Now, it seemed to almost feel like all forms of water were a part of her.

Of course, the same can be said when the storms come...

Amaya shakes away the thought and looks on little Carli, a smile appearing unbidden to her face. "It is alright," she responds to the others. And it was true. She had long gotten used to the looks that people gave her. She knew that there were others like her, but few and far between. She had heard that there was a larger population far to the south, but had never had the opportunity to go there. "The truth is, where I came from, there was no one like me. Just like there is no one like you, either." She gently places her hand on the little girls head in affection. "We are all unique, shaped as much by our circumstances as by our blood, like water when it's poured into a new vessel. It never stays the same." She turns her attention to Kip. "You are wise for your age. I must admit that I'm still learning about Desna, as well as the other gods. She seems like someone I can respect greatly. I follow the Empress of the Torrent, Lysianassa. She isn't well known, I've come to understand, but she speaks to me. She promotes life and growth of all living things, as well as the change that happens during the cycle of life. It's not quite as caring as Desna seems, but there is a love there that encompasses all, so I am satisfied with that."


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana giddily makes her way back—two blocks south, and into the back entrance of the Great Dreamhouse.

The first this she does is find a private place. She slips off her sleeping robe, and dons her yucca fiber skirt decorated with cormorant feathers, and her otter hide armor. She is a walking arsenal with her hunting bow, javelins, spear and shield. She expects no trouble, but understands there is an event coming.

She is more huntress than heroine, she thinks, but eighteen years away from society means you do not miss a festival.

When she goes to the lounge, she overhears people speaking Desna’s name—a woman surrounded by children. She smiles at them, but does not interrupt.

First, I must meditate… what blessings shall I ask of Desna on this sun?


F Exploration Activity: Defend | Conditions: HP 218/218| Focus 1/1| 37 (39 w/shield)| Fort +27; Ref +19(+22 vs AoE); Will +22| Perc: +19 | Speed 30 | Hero Points: 1 |

Kyrie glances up to her host, but does not meet her eyes. Eye contact is hard for her to begin with, but it is especially difficult with someone as pretty as Tarindlara. Bereivelle had told her that most people mean something else that what they say when they talk. She is not sure what else Tarindlara could mean, so she answers her question directly. ”I like sonnets. I like that they have rules and there is meaning in how they are applied. I still like prose best.” She closes the book and holds it up so Tal can see the cover. In gold leaf lettering on the leather cover, it reads: A Kyonin Elf in Jatembe’s Court by Ursala Starwink. ”I have only just started it. I like it so far. I understand the humor and satire better than I would have. I think all the reading is working.” She sets the boom on her lap and folds her hands on top of it. ”I would like to know how you are doing. I think your outfit looks nice.” Kyrie likes to be honest and direct most of all, but she has a growing skill at also meaning something other than she says. Whereas someone else might compliment an outfit entirely out of trying to express mild affection, she would only say that if it was also true that she liked the outfit in and of itself. She means what she says, but does not always say all that she means.


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)

Amaya sees the elf enter the garden, wearing skins and bristling with weapons, turn in their direction and give a smile. Amaya lifts her hand to return the greeting, but the girl turns away to her own devices without seeing it.

Instead of waving, she absently brushes at a strand of hair that blew into her face, even though there is no wind on this hot summer day. She also fidgets a bit with her clothing, which sticks damply to her skin, despite the fact that she was plenty far away from the fountain for it to be splashing her.

Rather than dwelling on what she can not control, She returns to her conversation with the children, putting on her best smile and enjoying the company. The Tides know when she'll have the opportunity for such interactions again.


Roll 20 Link

Beatrix:
Approaching the dusty-looking travelers, a curious sight meets the gnome: a large crow, or perhaps a raven, is on the table, busy pecking at a modest pile of copper coins and the odd tarnished silver piece. It seems to be moving some of the coin into a smaller pile, and when Beatrix approaches it stops to tilt its head at her and observe her with a beady eye. At her suggestion of a bathhouse, the half-orc frowns and makes as if to sniff his own armpit, but the short-haired woman next to him elbows him sharply in the ribs. Some of the others look wistful at the idea, but the one who responds is one of the human males. He looks to be Kellid, with long dark hair twisted in locs, wearing a layered robe cinched with a broad leather belt from which hang numerous pouches and twine-and-bone fetishes. He leans back in his chair, extending his long legs under the table and smiling at Beatrix. "Thank you for the offer, we'll be staying at the Dreamhouse." He shrugs, half-apologetic. "It's free. As for bathing, the river's right there, no?" He nods his head at her. "I'm Kalikki, of the Bloody Blades." A lazy hand motion indicates the rag-tag group. "What's your name?"

Karana:
The half-elf starts as Karana calls to her, then waves back. "Ah, was that the Goblin tongue? You are a fast learner! I do not speak it myself, although perhaps I should learn, what with our new neighbours." She trails off a little awkwardly. "Anyway, good to see you again, come by if you want more books. Have to work now, take care!"

Gofran:
Gorsk nods approvingly at his cousin's proposal. "Aye, a good thought, canny. Get ye one of them medallions they give tae proven 'eroes." He slaps Gofran on the back with a force that sends up a small puff of stone dust, then starts shouting directions at his employees over the din of the workshop.

Amaya, Karana:
At the revelation that Amaya was the only one of her kind in her home makes all the kids' jaws drop in open displays of amazement. Carli preens a little under the personal attention, and when she thinks Amaya isn't looking pokes out the tip of her tongue in Kip's direction. "Ly-si-a-na... -a-na-na-ssa?" Kip is sounding out the unfamiliar name, frowning in concentration. "No, that's not right, say it again?" His eyes glaze over a little at Amaya's explanation of the Empress of the Torent's doctrine, but gladly hooks on to the one familiar thing - the mention of Desna. "Yes, Desna is very loving, Desna is the best. I will study really hard and become Her priest. Travel aaaalll over the world and help people and tell stories."

Ziggy chimes in. "Are you coming to the Call? We'll be performing there, you know!" He jumps to his feet on the fountain's rim, little fists on his hips and chest pushed out in what he imagines is a heroic pose. "I'll be playing Lamond himself!" He tries to make his voice deeper, sweeping an arm in a declamatory gesture. "Lo! a band of weary travelers!" It is a marvelous performance, but all the other kids are distracted at the sight of the strangely-dressed newcomer bristling with weapons. "I bet she's going to the Call..." whispers Carli in awe.

Kyrie:
Tarindlara seems thoughtful for a moment. "That is a very good description of a sonnet." She nods at the book. "Is that historical, or fiction? Although, with the passage of so much time who can tell truth from legend? But I am glad that you are enjoying it. After all, that is one of the purposes of art." She smiles at the remark about her outfit. "Thank you. I am grateful every day that Shelyn has blessed me with the wisdom to both perceive beauty and to bring it forth for others. As for your, um, question, I am well. Today is a little busy, but being able to help people is fulfilling, so I do not mind." The elf leans forward a little, putting her palms together between her knees. "And you? How do you find it here? Is there anything you need?"


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Voz Lirayne:
Karana replies to Miss Lirayne, “Yes, I was wishing you good morning. I do not know if I have the intonations right, but maybe a neighbor can speak this language with me.”

She gladly lets Miss Lirayne get to her work day and hurries back before someone else sees her on the streets in her robe!

______________________________________________________

Much time passes before Karana seeks the undine woman, thought it is still morning. This time, Karana introduces herself.

“Good Morning. I am Karana Wonapalei. I heard mention of Desna when I entered, on my way to pray to Her. I was already late… I normally pray at dawn.”

There is a Goblin-Taldane dictionary in Karana’s hand. Aside from that, she is armed to the teeth with wooden shield, bow, and pointy sticks.

“I… usually keep to myself. I am not a snob. Just… still getting used to people.”

She doesn’t explain herself, but she seems cheerful, eager, and is kind of holding the book because she doesn’t know what to do with her hands.


CG | female gnome sorcerer 5 | HP: 43/43 | AC: 19 | F: +10; R: +9; W: +11 | Perception +9 (low-light vision) | spell dc: 21 | spells: 1st 4/4 | 2nd 4/4 | 3rd 3/3 |focus: 1/1

Her violet eyes gleam in curiosity at the raven but she answers the question instead, instead of peppering them with the two hundred and twenty-three that have popped in her head to ask.

One of which is answered without Asking! Their adventuring name.

"Beatrix Mortimire-EbonGray, sir" Bae gives a quick curtsey, one-handed since she has a tray that she carried the drinks over on in her other. "The 'Bloody Blades' is both a dangerous and very apt name. Says you are experienced, since any blade used is a blade bloodied, and that you are not to be trifled with, cause well... um... the used blades bit." she gives a slightly embarrassed smile at her mouth wandering away on her "Are you here for the Call?"


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)
Kip wrote:
"Ly-si-a-na... -a-na-na-ssa?" Kip is sounding out the unfamiliar name, frowning in concentration. "No, that's not right, say it again?"

Amaya smiles at the eager young boy's attempt. "Lys-ian-assa," she pronounces slowly, but doesn't press the point when he loses focus. She can't be surprised that few people know of someone who has technically been missing for some time.

Kip wrote:
"Yes, Desna is very loving, Desna is the best. I will study really hard and become Her priest. Travel aaaalll over the world and help people and tell stories."

"You must go where the river carries you," she responds graciously. If you remain steadfast in your determination, your current will be strong, and you will carve a path where ever you go."[/b]

Ziggy wrote:
Ziggy chimes in. "Are you coming to the Call? We'll be performing there, you know!" He jumps to his feet on the fountain's rim, little fists on his hips and chest pushed out in what he imagines is a heroic pose. "I'll be playing Lamond himself!" He tries to make his voice deeper, sweeping an arm in a declamatory gesture. "Lo! a band of weary travelers!"

"I've heard of this 'Call'," she replies. "It seems to be the talk of the town. An event that nearly everyone in town seems to look forward to. I don't know much about it, but how can I fight against the current that seems to pull me towards it. Sounds like it would be something worth seeing."

Karana Wonapalei wrote:

Much time passes before Karana seeks the undine woman, thought it is still morning. This time, Karana introduces herself.

“Good Morning. I am Karana Wonapalei. I heard mention of Desna when I entered, on my way to pray to Her. I was already late… I normally pray at dawn.”

There is a Goblin-Taldane dictionary in Karana’s hand. Aside from that, she is armed to the teeth with wooden shield, bow, and pointy sticks.

“I… usually keep to myself. I am not a snob. Just… still getting used to people.”

She doesn’t explain herself, but she seems cheerful, eager, and is kind of holding the book because she doesn’t know what to do with her hands.

Amaya is caught off-guard slightly, but her smile returns easily to her face. "Good morning," she replies. "I am Amaya Abendego, a visitor here." At the mention of Desna, she adds, "The children and I have been talking about Desna, and other things. You are welcome to join us, if you like. There is no need to worry about appearances. As we've been discussing, everyone is different and special in their own way, and there is no judgement here." She notes the book in Karana's hand, [b]"I see that you've found yourself a treasure."


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

“Appearances?” Karana blushes. “Do you think… some people will find my taste in clothing odd? I actually stopped killing animals long ago, but when I was a teenager, I made this yucca fiber and cormorant feather skirt. And my otter hide was of course made while I was still a huntress, but before I befriended an otter whom I named Won-a-nee.

“Oh, the Iomedaen priests tried making me clothing of fabric like most people wear. They made me a dress of two men’s trousers. I told them, in Elven, it was pretty. But that was a polite lie. How could I tell the tailor the dress was itchy and of shoddy craftsmanship? So I wore it until Father Padilla encouraged me to wear the clothing I made myself. He says it is good-different.”

She holds up the dictionary proudly. “Father Padilla bought me this book. I am practicing the Goblin tongue. It will be my fourth language.” She remembers some advice Father Padilla gave her. “Miss Lirayne, who sold this book at the store north-by-northwest of here, does not speak the Goblin tongue. She apparently did not read this, likely because she owns more books than one could read in three lifetimes.

“Oh, but speaking of tongues, do you speak a tongue that most do not?”


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)
Karana Wonapalei wrote:

“Appearances?” Karana blushes. “Do you think… some people will find my taste in clothing odd? I actually stopped killing animals long ago, but when I was a teenager, I made this yucca fiber and cormorant feather skirt. And my otter hide was of course made while I was still a huntress, but before I befriended an otter whom I named Won-a-nee.

“Oh, the Iomedaen priests tried making me clothing of fabric like most people wear. They made me a dress of two men’s trousers. I told them, in Elven, it was pretty. But that was a polite lie. How could I tell the tailor the dress was itchy and of shoddy craftsmanship? So I wore it until Father Padilla encouraged me to wear the clothing I made myself. He says it is good-different.”

"Apologies," Amaya responds. "I only meant appearances in the general term. Including mannerisms, such as keeping to one's self. While it is something that I have not seen much of, I appreciate your attire, truly."

Karana Wonapalei wrote:
She holds up the dictionary proudly. “Father Padilla bought me this book. I am practicing the Goblin tongue. It will be my fourth language.” She remembers some advice Father Padilla gave her. “Miss Lirayne, who sold this book at the store north-by-northwest of here, does not speak the Goblin tongue. She apparently did not read this, likely because she owns more books than one could read in three lifetimes."

Amaya tries keeping up with the elven woman's story, and politely tries to insert an appropriate comment. "This Father Padilla sounds like a generous man. I can't say that I know much about books, or book stores. I've never had much opportunity for reading. Books were a luxury that most couldn't afford, in my village."

Karana Wonapalei wrote:
“Oh, but speaking of tongues, do you speak a tongue that most do not?”

She thinks a moment before answering. "Honestly, I'm not sure. I've not had the chance to speak to many others since leaving my home. I, of course, speak the common Taldan tongue, as well as that of the Keleshites, which some of my village derive from, including my mother. But I can also speak to the creatures of the waves, those that have the ability to speak, that is. I believe that I have heard this speak referred to as 'Aquan' once." She shrugs her shoulders, causing the fabric of her clothes to flutter in an unseen breeze. "I just know that I can speak it. It seems to have come naturally to me."


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

“You have done no wrong,” Karana replies. “Keeping to myself comes naturally. Until the Iomedaens discovered me two moons ago, I only had animals to keep me company for the past eighteen summers and winters, with one exception during my seventh…” Karana trails off, reminding herself, I am oversharing. Again.

“Oh, but anyway, this Aquan sounds beautiful—an underwater tongue. I wonder if books in Aquan would use a waterproof parchment of some kind.”

Noting the interest in books, Karana says, “Miss Lirayne had opened her bookstore already, and she does not seem to mind me ‘browsing.’ That means you stare at the shelves, pick up a book, read, and then put it back. If everybody browsed, the store would be out of business, but some people browse and also buy. Miss Lirayne knows I have not even a moth in my purse, but I have never been ‘asked to leave.’

“Are you interested in taking a walk to the bookstore? It would be my pleasure to accompany you.”


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)

Amaya is not sure what to make of Karana, though she doesn't dis-sway her from continuing. Instead she finds her to be an interesting opposition to herself, in some ways. Once more, she feels that subtle tug. Not physically, but something deeper, and she finds herself standing and being swept along in Karana's wake. "I'm not sure if interest is quite the right word, but perhaps I could have a look." She turns back to the others in the garden. "Please let Kellen know that I have stepped out and that I will return later... Sometime."

Once outside, Amaya basks in the sunlight, hoping for a bit of reprieve from her constant companion, but knowing that it will never come. She walks down the road with Karana towards this bookstore, and suddenly starts to speak, though not very loudly. "I know a bit about what you said earlier. About having little for company. I grew up in a little fishing village along the coast of Andor. But ever since my.... calling, I've been on my own. I was a bit of an outsider before, due to my heritage, but it's been more so since that day."


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana exclaims, “Oh, I love fish! Even when I stoped killing animals, I could not give up abalone! The little silver fish were bland, but useful. I hung them from my house, for protection. Their reflective scales are very annoying to woodpeckers!

“Maybe the smell of them attracted that stupid fox, however. I am a genius in hindsight.”

The walk from the Dreamhouse to Reliant Book Co. is only five hundred feet. Karana does not want to talk much. She would rather listen. For eighteen summers and winters, she had only herself to listen to, except for the last summer of her teens. She touches her stone necklace, and seems lost in thought.

But she is much too interested in Amaya’s story—the one she didn’t tell. “When you say ‘calling,’ it somehow sounds different than the talk of the town. Maybe because you say this calling came before your arrival.

“If it is a secret, this calling, I will not pry. But if it is not, I am very curious! Do you mind telling me what your calling is?”


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)

Amaya looks at Karana oddly, trying to puzzle together her question. "Talk of the..." finally it hits her and she bursts out laughing. "Nonono... I'm sorry." She takes a moment to catch her breath before continuing. "When I said 'calling', I was being literal."

Again, she goes silent, debating her thoughts back and forth. Finally, she continues. "I was literally called by a group of Elemental Lords into the the middle of a giant storm in the middle of the ocean. Have you ever heard of the Eye of Abendego? In the middle of the night, they led me out to it and made me their speaker; their oracle. To this day, I don't know what the purpose of it was, but I've been walking my path - their path - ever since. Recently, it led me here." She stops abruptly, leaving the rest to the imagination.


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana says, “Yes, literal. I was, too, being literal when I said I was alone for eighteen summers and winters. Not one person…” She touches her stone necklace. “…except one.” It is an awkward self-correction, but Karana moves on.

“The eye! Yes! The swirly part southwest of this continent. I saw it on a map, and was fascinated by it. But you were literally there!” Karana tries to imagine what it would be like to be in the eye.

(I don’t know about Karana, but I’m picturing a bug being flushed down a toilet.)

Her mental image is unpleasant. “The Elemental Lords surely guided you.

“Oh, I do not doubt. You could fill a thousand bookstores with what I do not know. But I do know that the touch of a higher power can lead a person to a strange place inaccessible to most. I will not ask what you have done to earn your place as Oracle. I do not know what I have done to earn Desna’s blessing, but this morning, I woke up there—”

Karana points to the tree across the street from the bookstore.

“—in that tree!” Thinking a bit, she admits, “It is… no Eye of Abendego. Oh, but I am not comparing.”


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F Exploration Activity: Defend | Conditions: HP 218/218| Focus 1/1| 37 (39 w/shield)| Fort +27; Ref +19(+22 vs AoE); Will +22| Perc: +19 | Speed 30 | Hero Points: 1 |

Kyrie nods along as Tarindlara speaks. ”The book is fiction. It is specifically a satire. The author was a Kyonin elf herself who wanted to deconstruct what she saw as the chauvinism of Kyonin elves using a time travel plot device to put a proud elf in the company of Jatembe and his Magic Warriors. The characters are exaggerated to facilitate the comedy, but the dramatic weight of the plot keeps them from turning into caricatures. The overall tone is playful, sardonic, and energetic, in keeping with the author’s typical style.” The book had a foreword that talked about the book’s historical context and significance, and she has found its description of the book quite clear and correct, so she repeated it.

She shakes her head and opens her backpack to show several more books. ”I like this place. Shelyn reminds me of Beirevelle. She is my first friend.” She pauses to indicate changing topics. ”I do not require anything. I have four more books to read after this one.” She puts her current one away. She never uses a bookmark and balks at the very idea of folding page corners, so she just memorizes which page she was on. ”I heard you say you are busy. I would like to help. I would like to feel useful.” The Lictor simultaneously told her that she was set aside for a special purpose and that she was worthless and replaceable and thus needed to constantly meet his demands. Her time away from him has helped, but such beaten-in habits die hard.


Roll 20 Link

The elf leans forward further, placing her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands as Krie describes her book, her interest obvious. "Fiction with social commentary, then. That is very interesting, and puts me in mind of the age-old debates within the Eternal Rose's church: does art have a purpose, beyond being aesthetically pleasing, or not? Many great minds have argued for both sides of that debate. I would be curious to know what you think."

She smiles as Kyrie offers her help. "That is very good to hear, but don't feel like you have to, we are freely offering shelter to a friend of a follower of our goddess. But if you want to..." She straightens her back, looking into the distance for a moment. "I am quite particular about how I conduct my work, something that I think you can understand. But since you like books, I believe that Archivist Blacktusk could always use some help with the town archives. The Reliant Book Company might be a better fit for you, but Voz already has an assistant." She tilts her head slightly to one side. "Or do you perhaps have other skills or talents?"


F Exploration Activity: Defend | Conditions: HP 218/218| Focus 1/1| 37 (39 w/shield)| Fort +27; Ref +19(+22 vs AoE); Will +22| Perc: +19 | Speed 30 | Hero Points: 1 |

"I think art can have a purpose. I do not think it needs to have one. I think it is like people in that way."

The thought of working in a bookstore or a library does appeal to Kyrie, but she wants to make use of the talents she has so dearly paid for. Kyrie places a gentle hand on the shield resting near her. "I am a paladin of Iomedae. I protect people. I fight. I taught myself a new style." The Lictor's style had been all about domination and aggression and she takes great satisfaction in taking that training and turning it towards protection and defense of others. It was Klarenthe who had suggested that she take that strategy. "Stick it to the a~##!+%," she had--in her typically acerbic tone--told Kyrie.


Roll 20 Link

"There is an art to fighting, too, I suppose," replies Tarindlara. "Do you know of our tradition, the Call for Heroes? On the first Oathday of every month we gather in the town hall, where residents can raise issues or make requests that fall outside the scope of the town guard's duties. If the council deems that dealing with these would benefit the community, they approve the use of municipal funds for hiring adventurers - local or otherwise - to investigate and resolve these matters." She nods to Kyrie. "A paladin of Iomedae would be more than qualified to apply for such jobs."

She rises, glancing up at the sun. "I must return to work. I will pray to Shelyn to bless you in your endeavours."


F Exploration Activity: Defend | Conditions: HP 218/218| Focus 1/1| 37 (39 w/shield)| Fort +27; Ref +19(+22 vs AoE); Will +22| Perc: +19 | Speed 30 | Hero Points: 1 |

Kyrie rises as well and curtsies. "I thank you again. I thank you for your kindness and also for this information. I think I will go to the Call for Heroes." She had heard the name in passing in the couple of weeks she has been in town, but she has not sought out details on it yet. Just getting her bearings out in the world, especially someplace new, can be overwhelming, and she did not want to overtax herself.

She looks out the window at the sun as well. If she is going to the town hall on Oathday, she should walk there ahead of time so she knows the way. The more variables she knows ahead of time, the less anxious she will be. "I think I will head out for a while myself."

Cool, that gets her out of the temple and gives her a chance to run into someone!


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)

Amaya looks at the tree that Karana points out, but she doesn't respond outright, instead taking in the simple object as something more.

"The currents lead us where they will," she says softly.

Shaking herself from her thoughts, she turns back to Karana,"You said that this store was nearby?"


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana replies, “Yes. Across the street from the tree.”

She opens the door, as if this very public doorway is the portal to a place as magical as the First World. She gestures to imply she is allowing Amaya to enter first.

I wonder if Kyrie will be here.

Should Amaya enter, Karana will make introductions.


CG | female gnome sorcerer 5 | HP: 43/43 | AC: 19 | F: +10; R: +9; W: +11 | Perception +9 (low-light vision) | spell dc: 21 | spells: 1st 4/4 | 2nd 4/4 | 3rd 3/3 |focus: 1/1

Bae blinks and blinks again to the silent response to her question. "Forgive me please, prying is far from polite. and Of course, spewing out your plans to just any tavern worker doesn't sound like a good tactic. Who knows I could be some kind of..." she raises her hand to wiggle her fingers like little tentacles, then stops quickly deciding that isn't really a good idea "Enjoy your drinks"


Roll 20 Link

Kalikki had tilted his head as if listening to something, or someone, unseen, and at Bae's words his attention seems to snap back. "I'm sorry, Beatrix. We are here to make coin, we heard that this Call sometimes hires people to take care of problems." Judging by their ragged clothing and the pitiful size of their communal coin pile, they are in dire need of funds. "Have you been here long, yourself? Anything we should know about this Call?"


CG | female gnome sorcerer 5 | HP: 43/43 | AC: 19 | F: +10; R: +9; W: +11 | Perception +9 (low-light vision) | spell dc: 21 | spells: 1st 4/4 | 2nd 4/4 | 3rd 3/3 |focus: 1/1

Bae's forward momentum sways back again, followed by a light twirl back to her customers. "Not long, sorry. From what I've heard there are typically plenty to choose from at every Call. Varying in difficulty and reward, from bandits and lost shipments to horrid giant centipedes eating the local chickens. Even once a rich traveler hired a band to hunt down her lost doggy who happened to jump out of her carriage the day before a Call. Sadly enough all the heroes ended up being butchered by some unknown beast and the gore covered puppy pranced back into town with its tail wagging away." she's frowning a bit at the end there "I don't know if any of that is true, of course."


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)
Karana Wonapalei wrote:
]Should Amaya enter, Karana will make introductions. She will put a lot of effort into keeping her voice down when she introduces Amaya as Miss Abendego, to the staff, whom she will refer to as Miss Lirayne and Cal.

Amaya raises a hand in mild protest at being so formally addressed. "Please. It's just Amaya." She feels a little overwhelmed by the rush of new people, but she flows through the conversations as quickly as possible as she makes her way towards the shelves, somewhat stunned at the number of books in one room.


Roll 20 Link

The Pickled Ear

The tall Kellid burst out laughing at Bae's story, although the rest of his companions seem less amused. "We'll be wary of puppies, then." He picks up his mug, peering into its depths and tilting it back to drain its contents down his throat before putting it back on the table and rising to his feet. "Well, time for us to be on our way." He snaps his fingers, and the raven on the table starts picking up coins from the pile and setting them aside until the exact price for their meals and drinks is reached. Kalikki scoops the rest into his pouch, raising two fingers to his forehead in a casual salute. "Thank you for your hospitality. Sorry for the lack of a tip, but you can have this." He pulls sharply on a small bundle of feathers hanging at his belt, causing the thin leather cord to snap, and hands it to Bae as the others climb to their feet, gathering their packs and heading out into the afternoon heat and glare.

==================

The Reliant Book Company

Voz Lirayne is nowhere in sight as Amaya and Karana enter. The shop assistant, the halfling that Karana heard called "Calmont" is sitting behind the counter with his bare feet up, leafing through a thin book. He straightens his posture and take his feet off the counter as the two enter, looking up at them. "Hello, can I help you?"


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana replies, “Thank you. I prefer to call you Amaya. The name is—” She says a word in the Goblin tongue. “That means ‘pretty.’” Wistfully, she caresses her stone necklace. She repeats the Goblin word.

Calmont snaps Karana back to the present. She almost seems a different person when she speaks to Calmont, as if Karana is suddenly all business. “Amaya is a newly-arrived resident of the Great Dreamhouse. I have taken it upon myself to show her around town. I thought the Reliant Book Company would be an excellent place to start.”

Karana stops talking because she has run out of things to say.


Roll 20 Link

The Reliant Book Company

The halfling looks from Karana to Amaya, and back to Karana. "Uh, alright? If you're looking for a guide to the town, the Archives are probably a better place. Or if you're looking to buy something specific..." He trails off, looking expectant.


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana starts to blush. “I… uhhhh, ha-ha?—am also new to Breachill. So because this store is one of the two places I actually go, and is a shorter walk than Shelyn’s Smile, I am hoping Amaya finds books suitably entertaining. But…” Karana looks concerned. “…what if books are not her ‘cup of tea.’ Then what? Where do people…… go? And what do they……… do there?”


F Exploration Activity: Defend | Conditions: HP 218/218| Focus 1/1| 37 (39 w/shield)| Fort +27; Ref +19(+22 vs AoE); Will +22| Perc: +19 | Speed 30 | Hero Points: 1 |

The walk to the town hall was as uneventful as could be expected, and Kyrie had no complaints about that. Since that trip was not particularly draining, she decides to make a stop by the bookstore to see if anything new and interesting has come in since the last time she stopped by.

As she opens the door, she spots the elf woman she met before at the counter. And the counter is where she wanted to go anyways, so it was only proper to say hello. "I would like to greet you. I believe you are named Karana. I do not know if you remember me."

Kyrie wears a black gambeson and a surcoat of dark muted blue with the slightest hint of purple. Her hair is a pale lavendar, the result of pink dye on her naturally white hair. Despite being at least 6 ft tall, she seems to take up very little space.


CG | female gnome sorcerer 5 | HP: 43/43 | AC: 19 | F: +10; R: +9; W: +11 | Perception +9 (low-light vision) | spell dc: 21 | spells: 1st 4/4 | 2nd 4/4 | 3rd 3/3 |focus: 1/1

Tipping is not the norm at the Ear, so Bae isn't miffed at the lack of one, and the feathers are so glossy and dark, she beams her thanks back. Once she is done cleaning the table (a task made a bit worse from the discarded dust the party left), she starts weaving the feathers throughout her hair.


Roll 20 Link

The Reliant Book Company

Calmont is starting to look a little peeved at people using the bookstore as some sort of social space. "Look, if you want to buy books, then let me know."

He looks away from Karana and Amaya as the newcomer enters, half-rising and opening his mouth to say something, but then closes it with a frown as Kyrie addresses the elven woman instead. He huffs a little as he sits back on his tall stool.


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Oblivious to the grumbling, Karana smiles pleasantly—and is relieved to change the topic, which seemed to be going in the direction of my ineptitude as a tour guide.

“Yes, I do remember you Miss Breakspear… or… might I call you Kyrie, if you prefer? This is Amaya. She likes first names, and has been to an amazing place. But it is not my story to tell.

“Oh, but I do have a story for you… and possibly a gift.”


F Exploration Activity: Defend | Conditions: HP 218/218| Focus 1/1| 37 (39 w/shield)| Fort +27; Ref +19(+22 vs AoE); Will +22| Perc: +19 | Speed 30 | Hero Points: 1 |

"I am fine with either name." She curtises for Amaya. "I am pleased to meet you, Amaya. I am Kyrie." Yes, Amaya almost certainly heard Karana give Kyrie's name, but there is a proper way of greeting people and she did not want to presume upon Amaya's attention. She refocues on Karana. "I am honored. I do not know what I did to deserve a gift."


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana replies, “You are kind. Is that not enough?” Karana reaches into her pack and removes a kit. Its contents: tools for healing.

“Father Padilla gave this to me. I told him how I nursed Rontu to health—he is the wild dog that killed my brother. Oh, but it was magical healing. I cannot use these tools.

“Amaya was saying how generous Father Padilla has been. And since Father Padilla has ridden back to the Iomedaen church, I thought maybe instead of repaying him—which he has many times asked me not to—I should take his generosity as an example to follow.”

She takes the healing kit in both hands, and holds it before Kyrie. “This is for you, if you have the skill to make use of it. You owe me nothing in return.”


NG | Female Human (Undine) Oracle 2 (Tempest Mystery) | HP: 26/26; | AC: 17 | F: +5; R: +6; W: +8 | Perception +6 (Low-light Vision) | Hero Points: 2/3; Focus Points: 3/3; Curse: None | Spells: 1st - 2/3 | Exploration: Seach (+6)

Amaya stands before the tall woman attempting to do a simple version of the curtsy that she displayed. "A pleasure to meet your acquaintance, Kyrie," she responds, only barely speaking loud enough to be heard.

In comparison, Amaya is rather short, standing at only five-foot-three. She barely noticed with Karana, as she didn't stand much taller than most women she's known, but Kyrie was in a different category all together. The young undine was dressed in simple leathers accented with water-resistant cloth, made by her mother to help prevent chaffing when wet (which, of course, was always).

Her silent musings take place in the middle of the conversation of the two women, but Amaya holds off until she is sure it is alright to speak up. "What brings you to this little town, Kyrie?"


CG | female gnome sorcerer 5 | HP: 43/43 | AC: 19 | F: +10; R: +9; W: +11 | Perception +9 (low-light vision) | spell dc: 21 | spells: 1st 4/4 | 2nd 4/4 | 3rd 3/3 |focus: 1/1

Baetrix strolls happily out into the city after having been told quite firmly by the ginger-haired proprietor to take a break! and stop covering for her <insert various adjectives that were quite imaginative but not family friendly> sister.

While humming a light tune (something about a flesh-eating disease ending in zombies and devils dancing on the remains of humanity, if she remembered correctly, that had a truly playful misery in its harmony), she goes to the book shop.

"Oh my goodness" the gnome exclaimed at the crowd within. The nice thing about tall leggy people is it is easy to slip past them nice and quick. Which she does so to end up at the counter with the sullen Calmont.

"your shop has been overrun by big people, dear Clamont" she teases as she pulls out a book from her satchel and hands it to him "Whim says she loved it, and that there is a note for you stashed between the pages. She says you'll know which passage would have interested her the most and it is there. Also that she will be at the Ear tonight if you are interested in continuing your chat from yesterday." Bae says swiftly without looking at him for too long or her cheeks might turn a little to pink.

"Also did you get any more tomes in about the abysmal plane at all? That last one was pure hogwash, they had shoggoths described as 'the inverted anal region of a hairy nether toad'. What even is a hairy nether toad?" she shakes her head at the audacity of it but does add "The artist was nice, and... um... rather graphic." she shifted a little under her skin in the memory. Then waits with bated breath in hopes for a new book to buy.


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana is startled by a potent, unfamiliar scent!

(She has 30’ scent and has never really been properly introduced to alcohol.)

She knows better than to comment on another person’s scent, and she will not tell the story of exactly how she learned that five weeks ago. So she says nothing to the little newcomer, whose height she won’t comment on either. Not after that night three weeks ago!

She does, however, recognize the scent. It is the same as the monk who had ‘a love for the bottle.’

Curiosity satisfied, she decides to listen to Kyrie reply to Amaya when it suddenly occurs to her: I… can… mingle!

The excitement of the very idea renders her momentarily breathless. And finally… she musters the courage…

…and…

Breathe.

…she introduces herself. “I am Karana.” She just gives her first name. “Do you have a fascination with—” Do not say ‘bottles!’ “—animals, such as toads? And I believe you mentioned hogs, too.”


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CG | female gnome sorcerer 5 | HP: 43/43 | AC: 19 | F: +10; R: +9; W: +11 | Perception +9 (low-light vision) | spell dc: 21 | spells: 1st 4/4 | 2nd 4/4 | 3rd 3/3 |focus: 1/1

"Oh!" the gnome startles a bit being engrossed in her own eagerness for a new book. The violet-eyed woman turns toward the towering elf.

She's in a nicely tailored apron dress of dark gray over an off-white smock. Black and purple hair with raven feathers recently woven in the braid.

"Hi, um, Toads, no, not per se. I was talking about Shog-" she stops quickly remembering her sister's insistence that NORMAL people don't want to hear about vast shapeless protoplasmic bubbles that spawn nightmares with just a glance at them.

"shog... shog..." she mutters to herself trying to cover her shoggoth with another shog term, "SHOGGING! Um, it means to shake, the art of... handshaking??" inwardly she groans at her utter failure at diverting attention away for Shog(and butchering the definition of shog), but outwardly the sticks out her hand with a smile, ready to shake away.

"Beatrix Mortimire-EbonGray, it is very nice to meet you, Karana"


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana shakes hands. “Shogging, it is like a handshake but… exactly the same! Oh, Taldane is a synonym-rich tongue.

“I am pleased to meet you—” Oh! Amaya has taught me the value of the first name basis in the nick of time. “—Beatrix.

“Although, I am mistaken about your interest in toads and other non-shoggoth animals, I do see you wear raven feathers. I, too, share this taste in fashionable adornment.” She pats her yucca fiber skirt decorated with cormorant feathers. “Fortunately, I made this lovely skirt before I decided to stop killing animals, though even as a Huntress, I respected all life, including the creatures I hunted for food and clothing.

“So…” She crosses her legs as women of society do. “…what interests do you have besides books, Beatrix? I ask because I am new to Breachill, and so far my favorite places are The Great Dreamhouse, Shelyn’s Smile, this bookstore and—” She points out the storefront window. “—that tree.

“I cannot help but think there is an interesting place I have yet to discover.”


CG | female gnome sorcerer 5 | HP: 43/43 | AC: 19 | F: +10; R: +9; W: +11 | Perception +9 (low-light vision) | spell dc: 21 | spells: 1st 4/4 | 2nd 4/4 | 3rd 3/3 |focus: 1/1

Bea follows most of the wandering winds of the elf's mind and decides to counter with her own.

She cranes her neck to look out the window "That is a lovely tree. I particularly like that at a certain angle at a certain time the day, about now actually, move here, a little more, angle a little..." Bae directs the elf and then "There!" the shadows merge into the bark, the sunlight heighten some ridges and suddenly there is a face with a big fanged mouth. "Sometimes I feel there is a hungry spirit thirsting..." how to fit in with people Whim reminds her in her mind means none of the normal Bea talk! "Nevermind! Rampant imagination, ha ha"

"Um.. Oh, there is the Pickled Ear. I work there. It has bread and stews, mostly meatless cause that is more expensive, and a LOT of potatoes, I think Roxie buys every potato in the city at times. She says it is 'The root of a well-balanced-' OH!" she interrupts herself again "I forgot. Roxie says I should tell any new people in town..." she adopts her practiced speech voice, puffing up her chest and raising her chin "'The Pickled Ear is the social hub for the backbone of Breachill. The working people. So if you want to KNOW our city, come to the Ear!'" then she goes back to normal "She calls it marketing."


NG | ♀ Elf Druid 1 | ♥️43/38| AC:19/21 | FC16 | F:4(6vs.poison)~R:6~W:9 | Perc:+7(LL/dark/scent) | Cantrips: K.Direction, Light, P.Flame, Stabilize, Tanglefoot | 1st: Charm, Heal x2, S.Fey | Focus: Wild.Morph, Wild.Shape, Rising.Surf

Karana listens intently—then her eyes widen in horror as the tree grows a scary face!

She says to it, “Do not look at me like that, you ravenous abomination!” She clenches her fist—which is now engulfed in flame! But the tree’s face disappears.

Karana extinguishes the fire in her hand, and faces Beatrix, looking amused. “Okay… I was fooled for… pretty much the entire time my fist was coated in fire. Your magic is very entertaining, but I am glad you did not do that earlier when I was in the tree.

“This Ear. The Pickled one. Is it a place for those who love the bottle? I ask this because it is an expensive habit, so I am told. I cannot even afford an inexpensive habit. I can only afford to browse.”


F Exploration Activity: Defend | Conditions: HP 218/218| Focus 1/1| 37 (39 w/shield)| Fort +27; Ref +19(+22 vs AoE); Will +22| Perc: +19 | Speed 30 | Hero Points: 1 |

Rewinding a little

Kyrie is quite pleasantly surprised at the gift. She had expected another extraneous—if pleasant—trinket or piece of clothing, as the town collectively seems to have the gift-giving style of a faraway grandmother. This gift was something not only practical, but something she could use to help other people, and it is much easier for her to get excited about that. It’s almost not really a gift for herself at all if she looks at it that way.

She holds the tools close to her chest. ”I thank you. I think this gift is thoughtful and well-chosen. I will make good use of it. I am sure.”

She then gives Amaya her attention. ”I do not know where I am from. I am trying to find out.” She does not feel like venturing into the gritty details now, so she leaves it at that. ”i think I will go to the Call for Heroes. I would like to know what brings you here as well.”

Back to the Present

Kyrie is a bit put out of sorts by the chatty halfling. She has always had a tendency to just fade out of conversations with more than one person. She would rather not force her way into a conversation that does not include her, figuring it impolite.

She instead turns to the bookseller. Perhaps engaging him in business would keep the others free to continue socializing without being bothered. ”I would like to buy a book. I have several that I have been looking for.” She sets down a list of books, several lines already crossed out, of various pieces of fiction. ”I would especially like these Briana Wessex novels.”

Briana Wessex is on of many made-up Golarion authors I reference. She is a Five Kings Mountain dwarf who writes lesbian historical and chivalric romance. They are fun and competently written but tend towards melodrama. The White Knight and Her Bright Lady is her most successful work, but she is quite prolific and has dozens more. Queen Galfrey’s niece (another of my characters) is a big enough fan that she personally patronizes her to make sure she can keep writing unbothered


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As Beatrix greets him and returns the book, Calmont's face suddenly closely resembles a radish and he snatches the book from her hands with a fearful glance towards the back of the shop. "Shhhh! I told you to be more discreet! She can't find out I'm loaning books to people!" As the tome is safely deposited under the counter and out of sight, the halfling calms down a little, smoothing the front of his shirt. "So, your sister, she's been talking about me?"

His romantic reverie is however drowned by all the simultaneous conversations and requests. "Abyssal plane, uhh, yes, we should have something. Miss Lyraine tends to collect books on very odd topics." He looks over the list that Kyrie proffers, tugging at an earlobe. "Fiction, umm, we don't have many of those, I'll see what I can find." He slides off his tall stool, throwing anguished looks at the crowd now occupying the front of the store as he moves towards the shelves with the list in hand. Every few moments he leans from behind the stacks to keep an eye on them, as if afraid they might steal something when he's not looking.

At length, he returns with a cheaply-printed volume with a colourful cover, and a black-bound tome with dark purple lettering that can be barely distinguished. The title on the colourful book reads "She Still Haunts My Heart", and the blurb on the back cover reads: With her city besieged by orcs, Ulrud's mission is to brave the secret tunnels and bring help to the doomed city of Saggorak. But her lover, Silberin, would rather confront the attackers and die fighting. A story of bravery and heartbreak set against the backdrop of the greatest Dwarven city. The other tome has a much drier title: "From Barghest to Yethazmari: A Taxonomy of Servants of the Demon Queen". It has no blurb on the back cover.

Calmont places both on the counter, pointing to the one with the ghostly dwarven lovers on the cover: "This one is two silver," then to the creepy-looking academical work: "This one is fifteen silver."

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