The Ruins of Myvolia

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The jungle beast of the Mudrunners has been defeated. But not easily. Men were lost and wounds were inflicted. Simbe was sent ahead to gather the horses and garner help for the wounded. It was a slow trek back to the town of Doubt with the niggling worry of an encounter with a rogue squad of lizardfolk. A perilous chance for an injured party.

Upon entering the outskirts of Doubt there started a strange event: Cheers. Warriors and villagers alike seemed to recognize the party. Simbe was beaming with a knowing smile. Everyone the party greeted congratulated the party enthusiastically…

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Everyone the party greeted congratulated the party enthusiastically…

Beer, ale, sly looks and overt accosts are openly shared as you enter the town of doubt.
*
*While you were away, scouts had confirmed the entire main force of the Mudrunner army had retreated back over the Iqu’tarbelle Mountains leaving the ruins of Sol and Kembe unoccupied and razed. Somehow, the entire populous of the Doubt encampment had discovered your unusual quest and the significance of the beast to the Mudrunners.

*
*Rumor spread like wildfire swept across a tinder-dry field with a strong desert wind. The natives, foot soldiers, and immigrants of Doubt connected your great victory over the jungle beast to the almost mystical retreat of the Lizardfolk. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that you are solely responsible for routing the Mudrunner army.

*
*It is hard to hear, and hard to move, as well wishers and revelers crowd to cheer and congratulate the heroes of The Route of Que’Sambo. Even with military discipline it is difficult to get back to the headquarters of the Lantern Knights with the throng of citizens and warriors toasting to your success and the end to a terrible conflict.

*
*Many spur you to give them lurid details of the encounter and ask probing questions regarding the pursuit of the devilish fork-tongues (a newly minted derogatory term) as they run back home into the shadows of the jungle. Whether you engage the throng or not, it takes quite a while to get back to the headquarters to report to Vander.

*
*Upon entrance to the Lantern Knight’s command quarters Prelate Vander immediately ushers you to a private chamber so that you may converse without the excitement of the masses.

**
Congratulations. You have done a very good job. I was very leery of the assignment I gave you…it was based on some speculative intelligence, and some…imaginative …assessment of priority. Primate Cardel seemed to think it was of utmost importance.
Let me be frank. Killing the beast was very good for us: but had nothing to do with the retreat of the Mudrunners. The timing is off and the coordination would be far too complex. I think it is good for the men to have these heroes and stories so I don’t want you to dissuade any of the attention except for a show of pragmatic modesty. Is that clear?
__
I will be organizing a force for the pursuit of the Lizardfolk and for the reoccupation of Sol. But there is some loose ends I need tied up that I need you to investigate.
__
First: Sir Lucius Vandrail of Vintara I bestow upon you the rank of sergeant. With this new rank you have access to the holdings of a full unit—to be disseminated as you see fit. As I am not assigning you a contingent of men— I expect you to keep the expenditure within reason and use the funds to further any assignments I give you in the future. Please see quartermaster Renly after this brief.
__
Second: The dwarf Septum escaped. He and his mercenaries killed several men: including Lantern Knights of St Clevoy. I want him brought to justice.
Third: During his escape Septum stole the Serpent Idol. I want the idol recovered and brought back to the Cathedral of Clevoy in Respite. Hopefully this can be completed within 30 days as Primate Joseph Cardel will be receiving the Arch Bishop of the High North, Santiago Dominicus who it is rumored to be bestowing a cardinal-ate from the Patriarch. The Primate was adamant that we recover this occult relic as a show of our success here in Centara.
__
One other thing. I want to make sure you know where your allegiance is Sergeant Vandrail, this Septum has some sort of friendship with you. I want to make sure that you are on the side of Pelor in this matter. This dwarven swindler is a sorcerer with words…even I start to doubt my position after only a few minutes of discourse: steel yourself to his rhetoric. You must capture the dwarf, recover the idol, and then return the dwarf to me and the idol to the Primate in Respite. Is that clear?
__
Good.
__
Here is the letter Septum left for me…pinned to my door. The audacity of the rogue is infuriating.
__
Any questions? If not, go with Pelor.

Map of Doubt
Septum’s Letter

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Looking extremely uncomfortable and altogether out of place with the praise from the throng of people, Sunbow makes a note that he must set to work on totems for these folks who show him such gratitude for simply doing what he sees as is best for all. Perhaps they will bring them some clarity and calm.

He thinks about leaving his companions and heading for his recently found sanctuary by the lake, where he can mourn the loss of his friend, but instead stoically goes along, head lowered in remembrance (which has been his regular pose of late) knowing in his heart that his duty to the people of the land has not been completed yet.

He sits through the briefing from the knights about knights business, and politely excuses himself afterward, noting that if his help is needed he will can be found by the giant oak just south of town that reaches out over the lake.

There he will pray to the spirits to keep him strong, and help him to help those who need it.

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Looking extremely comfortable and altogether in his element, Sir Lucius nods and waives to the thronged masses with an air of confidence that has been bred into him through his noble upbringing. He trades jokes with Sir Dayton Grey as they make their way through the crowd and hear rumours of the lizardfolk retreat. He revels in the apparent victory and is easily convinced that the demise of the Enn’Venook played a critical part in the route.

Despite his desire to remain with the revellers and bask in the glory of their praise, duty draws him to the Lantern Knight’s command quarters with only a minimum of dawdling.

When he is greeted by Prelate Vander, Sir Lucius presents him with the sword of the fallen Master of Arms, Sir Samuel. He praises the skill of his companions and speaks to the heroic actions of the deceased militiamen.

When Prelate Vander dismisses the destruction of the Enn’Venook as the cause of the lizardfolk retreat, Lucius frowns but remains silent. His annoyance is utterly erased however when he is given the rank of sergeant. “I shall strive to do you proud, Sir,” he says.

The news of Septum’s escape is a hard blow, however. The knowledge that the dwarf killed many Lantern Knights and took the hard won idol cause Lucius to spring from his seat and bang the table angrily. “You need not question my loyalties, Sir,” Lucius vows, “Septum’s betrayal shall not go unpunished. It would be my honour to bring him to you for justice. As for the idol, tell the Primate that I shall bring it to Respite as soon as I may.”

Lucius resumes his seat before asking, “If I may ask, Sir, is there any indication which direction Septum may have gone? Or who this mysterious employer is? Have any of our scouts learned the location of the Snakepeople?”

When he has learned what he can from the Prelate, Lucius leaves the meeting and thanks Jabilo and Sunbow for their invaluable aid and promises to be in touch soon. He asks Sir Dayton to walk with him a moment while he heads off to see the quartermaster about his new command and about lodgings. Lucius tells Sir Dayton how impressed he is with his skills. “I would be in the belly of that beast now if it were not for your skill with that sword,” Lucius confides.

“I would like to make you my second in command, if Quartermaster Renly can spare you. I need someone that I can trust.”

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Sunbow, if you have no questions to ask Vander or dealings with the party you may find a quiet spot to mourn and work on your totems. It isn’t easy to avoid the crowd but you do escape and you find your resting spot blissfully unoccupied.

After working most of the day in quiet contemplation creating your totems, a sharp screech pierces the small cove. You look up to see a large bird circling overhead. Drifting out of a strong up-current the bird slowly starts circling down toward the shore of the lake. As it gets closer, you see that it is a rare Harpy Eagle! The magnificent bird’s wings spread out at least 8 feet long and its ivory-white and steel grey crown ruffles majestically in the draft.

The eagle lands on the beach with a flourish. Tucking it’s wings back, it steps forward slightly and releases a small gnarled branch onto the red sand. It stares hard into your eyes, as if taking your measure, and then with an explosion of force takes to the air whipping past your head to perch in a large tree just below the canopy of the copse of trees. It looks down at you with curiosity.

Upon further inspection, the gnarled branch, twisted and shaped by the water, is in the shape of a man. It looks like the man is holding a spear and there is a single woven feather sewn into the rib-cage.

While you don’t have to, the ceremony to bond with another animal takes a full 24 hours. You know, from the bottom of your soul, this harpy eagle will accept the offer.

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Lucius: Vander confers all info he has about the dwarf and his men but concedes most of the information he has came from you.

I believe he was from Able. I know he mentioned Able more than once. And it is easily the biggest market in the area. He letter seemed to indicate his house is stationed in New Luxor…which is quite a bit further east.

I’m unsure who his employer is beyond the merchant house he works for. There should be guild halls for many major dwarven merchant houses in Able…I’m really not an expert int he area…and have little understanding on how the dwarven hierarchy works. You did, at one time, mention a dwarf named Grambian from your report about Kembe. What is the relation there?

As for the Snakepeople…we have been gathering a fair amount of intelligence. We think there is still at least one major community deep into the jungle, far past the mountains, deep into the jungle basin. The story seems to go that, at one time, the Snakepeople traded freely with the natives of the land and, for a time, with the dwarves. It is said that the Snakepeople once ruled over all of the lizardfolk as masters, enslaving them, sacrificing them, and building their empire on the shoulders of the Riverfolk and the Mudrunners.

A little over one hundred years ago all trade halted with the Snakepeople. They closed themselves off from the rest of the world. Many of the dwarves were furious—as they built their empire off of the rare spices and drugs that came from that jungle basin. You must understand, while to us six generations have passed, to a dwarven house, it has only been but a single season of trade. So, short of tromping into the jungle en mass, the dwarves must rely on diplomacy…not their strongest suit.

Sir Dayton seems very willing to be party to a commander who just received a field promotion. He seems quite overjoyed in fact…and thanks you profusely for the honour.

You find Sir Renly a midst a gaggle of town administrators, pages, squires, and knights. He doesn’t seem happy about talking to any of them. When he sees you he curtly nods and says to meet him at the back of the main stable of the church in half an hour to review the assignment. He then continues to deal with the rest of the people hounding him for attention.

You wind up waiting a little over an hour for the knight to finally arrive. He takes you to a small room at the back of the stable overrun with stacks of paper and several stout looking chests lined up the far wall.

Alright Vandrail. Vander says you are to get the requisitions of a unit. seems bloody stupid to me, but what do I know…just the entire budget.

Anyways. Its not like you struck out and gots piles of gold now. Most of the supplies are in commodity and resource form. So I got a lot of rations, and armour, swords, and horses…I got quite a lot of arrows seeming how we had such a small amount of engagements. I can dispense the wages of ten men to you each month assuming you are here to collect and sign for it. We will not give battle wages just because you are oft on some such mission…so forget about it. And as a holy knight you are still responsible for reporting your spoils and the appropriate tithe.

So, if you needs some money, that’s more than I requisition, your gonna hafta sell the armour and weapons. I do have ten horses, but, I would seriously appreciate it if you didn’t take those as they are needed for the up coming offense. So if you come here asking…I’ll just clear it with Vander before hand.

As for Dayton, I don’t give to shits…ask Vander.

Now, what do you need? And make it quick I’ve got a lot on my plate.

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Sunbow thanks the spirits for sending him a new friend, and pledges that they will protect each other for about a day as they bond. His totems begin to take the new form (perhaps subconsciously) of that which his new friend has delivered him, though he knows not yet what it means. It is a mystery which he will surely pursue and study.(knowledge-nature or craft-totem, I assume)

His spirits lifted like a great bird in an updraft, he strips down to cleanse himself in the lake, feeling reborn and ready to find out more about this wonderful world in which he finds himself.

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Sunbow: Roll Knowledge Religion

Here is what a harpy eagle looks like in case you didn’t know.
Eagle
Harpy eagle found in panama
Images caxgea32

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Jabilo will set up camp near by Saboon. he will alternate spending time gathering what information he can about the snake people and fashioning an elaborate and fearsome necklace from harvested bits of Enn’Venook.

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Lucius thanks the Quartermaster and informs him that he will be back soon with a list of requisitions. He and Dayton leave the stable and stop by the church to offer a heartfelt prayer for the fallen.

Once his soul is sated, Lucius begins looking for a local guide. He is hoping to recruit a few warriors who have spent a great deal of time in the jungle and know their way around. He hopes that the promise of justice, coin and a hot meal will allow him his pick of the locals. Lucius will be extremely discriminating. He will demand a test of prowess from anyone who seeks employ. Lucius or Sir Dayton will face off against them in mock combat. Both knights will be careful not to injure anyone but will press them, looking for anything that can be worked with.

If fortunate enough to gather eight or nine recruits, Lucius will ask them to meet him on the morrow at dawn for further training.

He and Dayton will then seek out Jabilo and Sunbow. He greets them and fills them in on what he knows. He asks whether they think they ought to strike out for Able, return to Kembai to search for Grambian or try to get a clue as to where the Riverfolk village is.

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Jabilo: The fame and notoriety does not come as strong from the populous. Your strange appearance and distant attitude have now become well know; but, the calls for drink and meals seem to fall short. The exception to this is when you wander into the camp of Sabuun. Like his home, people wander in an out without airs. The elders seem to be congregated together in the biggest tent sitting around an overly large fire. People here greet you quite friendly, offer you gifts and tokens, and make mention to the great ceremony the will happen tonight. People offer their thanks for the defeat of the dreaded Enn’Venook and clamber around to view and touch the trophies you have.

Many a young man seem inclined to ask if they could buy the trophies but stop short knowing how inappropriate it would be to wear another man’s pride. Several stare and then blush before turning away. Offers to sit at many fires are made and you have a very difficult time finding a quiet place to work.

When Sabuun notices you are in his camp he heads over toward you.

Jabilo, so good of you! You make us all very proud. I would have you sit with the elders tonight around the fire. We are planning to entreat the ancestors and would love to have you by the fire. I myself, am very proud that one so small, without the full blood of the Rappid River, could topple a jungle creature so big, so fierce, and so hated by the spirits.

My grandfather told me a story once of an encounter with a jungle beast: he said the
spirits wept at its maw and the insects retreated from its step like the coming of the floods. Such a mountainous foe: the ancestors must surround you with their strength.

Please you must sit with us tonight…for being favored by our ancestors will bring us better luck and a more productive ceremony. I can’t wait to head back to the village so that we can share our success with the others! You now have a full herd of cattle and the land to tend. 14 animals to make your house strong, two herders tend the land: Tem and his wife Selna. You will find the land to the west of Sun right off of the far shore of the Simaline. The house of Zo will always have a seat in the Rappid Water Tribe.

Please roll a gather information check and a craft check. Add a +4 circumstance bonus to both rolls.

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Hey guys. Could you make an effort to get your character sheets up to date on the site using the 3.5 Takisiss character sheet (or something comparable) so I can make quick checks that I would like to keep hidden. Thanks.

I will make an effort to flush out the NPCs and get them up on the site so that we can all keep track of things.

Thanks.

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Hey Trev, I forget, did you take leadership?

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Sunbow is updated. Did you want me to put down his regular batch of spells, too? They don’t tend to change much from day-to-day. (also not sure if he still has his spear…)

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Thanks Mike! Yes, so far usual spells would be helpful. And, yes, I believe you have your spear.

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Yep to leadership. That’s why Dayton Grey is with me. My henchman.

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Sorry, I can’t find his stats.

Do you have all of the info?

If not, it will only take me a second.

Could you please track your Leadership Score (just put an extra spot on your character sheet) right now it is currently 12 (6th lvl, +2 Cha, +2 reputation, +2 rank and order).

So this gives you the ability of having a cohort of 4th lvl (lvl-2 max) so if Dayton isn’t 4th lvl lets make him 4th lvl and up to 8 1st lvl followers: there is no limit to hirelings (and I will not be bound by these numbers…I will just reduce your efficiency based on the number of extra followers you might have.

I will stick closely to the cohort rules though as that will play similar to animal companions and familiars.

Does that sound fair?

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Sandy.

If you would like a background for your pbp just cut and paste the code from

this page.

Mike.

Same goes for you here.

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Spells are listed (obviously they change slightly based on circumstances, but I’ll try to note those changes when they happen, I didn’t want to keep putting “unless we’re traveling in which case it’s ____”)

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Lucius: It is very easy to find people ready and willing to fight by your side, quest deep into the jungle, and be happy for the opportunity. What becomes increasingly rare is an aptitude for battle: all the knights have orders, all the militia is still on standing orders, many of the native warriors are waiting for the chance to chase the lizardfolk. You can definitely find a guide, or mercenaries, or even tradesman…but you will have to pay them.

After what seems like hours of looking you find approximately 30 young men who you decide to test on the field in the morning: you really aren’t expecting much…but it is a good start.

Please roll a Diplomacy and Gather Information check

You don’t manage to find Sunbow; but, if you look hard enough you find Jabilo in the camp of Sabuun.

By all means, please discuss your ideas on this thread, even out of character, because there is no immediate threat to seriously hinder your communication—and we can assume you discussed it before you parted.

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Sunbow: The Harpy Eagle (or the jungle eagle as it is better known) is one of the rarest birds in the jungle. It is the most powerful, and quickest of all the raptors, feeding off of monkeys, sloths and even other birds.

It is intensely territorial and has been known to attack creatures, even men, with its huge 6 inch talons…just as big as a bear claw.

The eagle that gifted the totem to you is a fully mature female standing a little over 3 feet all. Her head can swivel quickly and when she ruffles her crown feathers her face concaves like a giant long-necked owl.

The jungle eagle is always a good omen. The simple sighting of it will bless you hunting party for well over a week. For she hunts in the trees, under the canopy, like a winged beast of death.

The spirit of a jungle eagle, as a totem, gives one strength and agility. But, one must be wary as the spirit lacks compassion and will pursue its goal until dead or sated.

You have never had an animal give you a token. You are honored, troubled, and mystified. The actual totem itself would normal signify an alliance of two hunters out to find a rare and precious prey. Though, the branches look naturally formed as opposed to carved and knotted, and a feather could have wound its way into the item.

If this gift hold true for animals as it holds true for men: you have a staunch ally.

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Lucius and Dayton make their way through the jubilant celebrations of Doubt towards the encampment of Saboon. The sun is setting and both knights have refreshed themselves at the barracks, leaving behind their arms and armour and instead dressed in simple jerkins and light breeches.

At Saboons they speak brusquely with anyone who talks to them, but move quickly to find Jabilo Zo. Lucius is in a hurry. Every hour that goes by is another mile away that Septum may be. Too much has been suffered already without this latest injury to the pride of the Lantern Knights. The loss of the idol is galling, as is the manner of its abduction.

When Lucius finds Jabilo Zo, he greets him warmly and asks him if he would be willing to join him in seeking out Sunbow. In a quiet voice he confides to Jablio, “I fear that much darkness has taken place on behalf of that idol. I believe that the entire thrust of the lizard men was somehow manipulated as a means of freeing it from the Riverfolk. If I am correct than Septum or his employer have much to answer for.”

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At some point over the bonding period I’d like to have prayed for Speak With Animals and asked my new friend her name, and why she has come to me. I attempt to express to her my sorrow at losing my last companion, but make my dedication to her clear, as well. I don’t know how much emotion different animals feel or comprehend, but my goal (as it was with Sht-fake) is to have an open and honest relationship built on mutual respect and trust.

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Sunbow:

Lagniappe (lan-yup)

MY NAME IS LAGNIAPPE

MY MATE IS NO LONGER…I TOO KNOW WHAT EMPTINESS MEANS

WE WILL HUNT TOGETHER NOW

NOT ONLY AS ANIMALS BUT AS MAN

I BELIEVE IT IS MY LOT TO HUNT AS A MAN BEFORE I AM GONE

YOU WILL BE MY EYE ON THE EARTH AND I WILL BE YOUR EYE IN THE HEAVEN

THESE THOUGHTS WE SPILL INTO THE AIR MEAN NOTHING

WHEN WE TASTE BLOOD TOGETHER, WHEN WE FEEL THE HARSH WIND TOGETHER, WHEN WE MAKE OUR MARK TOGETHERTHAT IS LIFE

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Lucius and Dayton updated. Do you want to make Gather info for me, or should I roll it myself. If so I got a 20…

….er, I mean 6. (4+2 for skill)

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If you would rather I just roll these I have no problem doing that. I just didn’t want to short-change anybody in case I didn’t have accurate info. But if all is up on the interwebs I’ll just stop asking.

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Looks like this should work now. I changed it in the maintenance wiki as well. I’ll work on Trevor’s next.

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Oohhh, fancy character sheet Sandy!

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Jabilo spends a few hours carving runes into some tree bark… after a while he examines his work, casts it aside and starts again with a new piece. finally somewhat satisfied he places the result in the characters section.


Gather Information 9+2+4=15
Craft 15+5+4=24


When the appointed time rolls around Jabilo heads off to sit with Sabuun.

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I think this should work for Trev.

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well I did actually do one up from scratch first. because foolishly I didn’t try editing what was there first. so I have a painstakingly colour matched html character sheet with just a couple of lingering formatting problems sitting here in notepad. then I found out I just needed to fill the info into the sheet that was provided… bother. the tables don’t work on the site anyhow…
also thanks for the fancy background I was trying to figure out how to do just that yesterday.

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they keep getting narrower as the posts go on… what is happening?

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or not; now you have it going all over the place.

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I’m playing with things. And yes…I think I cut and paste from a single source when I was making the maintenance page…so that each of the previous log page settings were changed. I have the ratio figured out now. So all that photoshop work I did earlier was really just a waste of time…er…more of a waste of time.

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Sandy. I fixed the maintenance wiki. So if you cut and paste from there you should get the right aspect ratio now.

Sorry for the mess guys. Mike and Trev: if you like one over the other let me know…I can make the original backgrounds fit if you like.

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Ahem…
h1. STINKING CLOUD1!**
that is all

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better but still not the same as the post above..

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Whosthewhatnow?

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Are you turning a perfectly good party into a barf-fest?

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Regardless of the circumstance tonight, all of you will be able to find each other by tomorrow. Lucius will find Jabilo tonight…but it sounds like Jabilo is commited to the gathering of the elders

This would be a good time to discuss thinks (regardless of where your character currently is). What supplies do you need, what information do you need, what direction should you head, what about the actual incident do you need to know, who was at the jail break. If any of this is important: please let me know.

Jabilo: before the ceremonies begin you sit down beside an elder who seems quite close to death. He is stick thin and has long white hair that seems as fragile as crate paper. After telling him why you have been honoured tonight he begins to talk about a story his Grandfather told him about the mighty Sun Warriors of Toltec.

Oh, yes, they did use the jungle beasts! It was said that they held the gates open for visitors as they let people in and out of the grand city of Toltec

They were the strongest and the fastest warriors in all the land. you would quake in fear if you had to battle over a hunting ground with the mighty Sun Warriors.

And they knew it. As time went on, they started trading with all the peoples of the world, brown men from across the sea, pasty white men from far in the cold, and even the dwarves sprung from the ground to trade the spices with the Sun Warriors.

They would boast and short trade: taking the most for the least. They would build tall towers reaching over the jungle canopy…and soon the warriors became wealthy minstrels of commerce. They stopped being proud of what they had and started being proud of what they wanted: and they wanted everything

Well, you know the Sun is a boastful creature, full of energy and spirit; but, he became weary of the Warriors new idol. The warriors stopped running, and hunting, stopped testing the limits of there mettle. They stayed in their great towers and only came into the sun to watch the sport of other dying…including those jungle creatures.

So it was that the sun didn’t care for his people herding jungle beasts into cages for amusement, and he didn’t care for them worshiping gold, and he certainly didn’t care for those tall bulbous buildings that stretched from the earth. So, he brightened his must and banished them to the earth…the farthest they could be without being underground—they would have to crawl everywhere. There nobility would be tarnished and strength diminished.

But, as it was the Mother Jungle enjoyed seeing her children prosper. She liked seeing there seeds spread throughout the world like an exploding seed pod. Didn’t didn’t hold to the sun’s arrogance and sneaked behind him just as he was blasting his warriors below.

So, with the two mighty sides struggling: the sun Warriors took shape…drifted between man and snake unable to stay one way other the other until the Mother Jungle and the Father Sun both subsided leaving the once proud warriors as half snake and half man.

Tired and angry, and a little ashamed the Sun and the Jungle looked at each other and realized how foolish they had been. They put there heads together under one task presented the Snakepeople a gift. It was a small serpent wrapped in crystallized sunlight.

The Jungle said: as long as you have our gift you will have dominion over my jungle creatures—keep it safe and remember how pride can hinder reason

The sun said: as long as you have our gift you will gain strength from the sun and it will feed you spears—keep it safe and remember how enterprise conquers complacency.

And with that the Snakepeople were born and up to this very day they deal with the creatures of the jungle as we deal with the cattle and fish.

But I don’t think they eat them

Wow, that is a great necklace you made!

You crafted a very fine necklace out the the jungle beast’s parts

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When Lucius realizes that Jabilo is not prepared to leave the meeting of the elders, Lucius and Dayton return to barracks. Frustrated and eager to make plans, Lucius begins questioning anyone who was at the jail on the night of Septum’s escape. He is specifically looking for information concerning:

-The timing of Septum’s escape (especially in relation to the timing of the lizardman withdrawal)
-Whether there was any outside help.
-What direction he may have travelled in.
-What else he might have taken.
-The names of any witnesses.

Lucius will also visit Quartermaster Renly to ask whether any of Septum’s goods are still in warehouse. He would like to investigate them for clues as to the dwarf’s destination.

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Sunbow has made it clear that he agrees that the mystery of the idol is the most important thing to figure out for the good of the land and its people, and will accompany him when he departs, but that he has no interest in their politics.

Out of character, I think your course of gathering info is likely best, but we may not want to let him get too far ahead. We should depart tomorrow at the latest, whch by my calculation gives him a minimum of three days lead on us anyway. If no other information points differently, I would say a straight-line journey back to Kembai, as it seemed to be central to the idol dispute.

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I know that Kembai is a likely spot, but it is not necessarily the only one. Remember the city is now a ruin. It was also the place that the idol was from and Septum has been trying to recover it for someone else. I think it likely that he is either taking it directly to the Snakepeople or to an employer (possibly the dwarf Grambian) at another location. What we desperately need is info and I think that we should all be out canvasing Doubt, using what contacts we may have to discern a location. We also have a shaman in our party who has located the object in the past, come to think of it.

Jabilo?

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This is why I suggested it as a starting point UNLESS other information comes to light. You and your metal-encased people should try to find this information, but I must see my grief and rebirth through to fruition.

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It takes very little time to find out that Sergeant Larnst of the Lantern Knights was responsible for detainment of all prisoners in Doubt: he has also been in charge of the city’s civil security and policing. Sir Larnst commandeered the entire town guard and the head of the guard, Captain Selford. The town council has pretty much been dissolved while the Lantern Knights have been occupying the town.

You find Sir Larnst outside of the guardhouse on the north-east side of town. He is a tall, upright, knight who speaks clearly and with a staccato cadence. His armour is polished to a fine shine and his left hand is always casually placed on the pommel of his longsword.

Sir Larnst gives you as much time as he is able to considering that the Lantern Knights and a fair number of militia are mobilizing. He goes over some of the figures with you that encompass the short report he gave Prelate Vander shortly before you arrived; but, his outline has the detail of an administrator—not a participant. He then introduces you to Captain Selford and instructs him to bide your instruction and give you the full report. He then says to the Captain to consider you to be his direct commander for the next couple of days and to keep him abreast of the whole situation.

Jailbreak

The captain is an average sized man with a slight stoop, as if he were looking for something on the ground and was just looking up to talk with you. He is wearing simple commoners garb with well worn leather armour overtop. His only weapon appears to be a small cudgel that dangles from a baldric at his side.
The captain nods curtly and then looks you square in the eye and says:

We’ll get the devil. Let me tell you what I know.

It happened last night. At least one of the prisoners escaped his cell and freed the others. There were no signs of forced entry. So they probably had an accomplice or they conducted a ruse to fool the guard. They did not release any other prisoners except for the Dwarf Septum, and his bodyguards Cale, Lenit, Justan, Komry, Finn, and Varn.

A single town guard was knocked unconscious inside of the cells, two were killed within the prison, and three guards and one knight were killed outside of the guardhouse. The guard doesn’t remember a thing. Only two swords were reported as missing; but, the prisoner inventory wasn’t up-to-date so they might have retrieved all of the possessions they were brought in with: hasn’t been confirmed yet. Sir Renly has begun an investigation and has tasked three men to find out exactly what was taken: he promises a full report by the end of tomorrow.

From there the escapees headed straight through town toward the church. Twice they were accosted by Lantern Knights on patrol. All four knights were killed during the two encounters. We have witnesses to both accounts that confirm the two encounters. One witness said he counted seven criminals and another that counted eight…so there might be an accomplice. It is hard to say…both men had been drinking and it was night time with only lantern-light. Nothing was taken from the fallen knights.
This is where it gets curious. The idol was being kept in the crypt under the church. Very few people knew the location of the idol, I certainly didn’t. There were four warriors from the Rappid River Tribe and four Lantern Knights guarding the idol. There is only one entrance to the crypt. None of the guards reported any problems that night. The only reason we know the idol was missing, to the embarrassment of us all, was the letter Prelate Vander has given you—that was pinned to his door …past at least a score of armed knights.
Letting that sink in. He continues again.

So, before (or after) the idol was stolen, the party stormed two of the stables in the churchyard taking seven horses, an undetermined amount of gold, two barrels of Saffron, two kegs of ale, and at least three weeks of rations (again, I will have the report by tomorrow). Most of the stables are being used as warehouses. Four stable-hands were trussed up three were killed, four militia were killed, and two knights slaughtered. I have two witnesses who I consider significant, only one could say he really saw that much. Basically they entered with military precision, if there was any resistance they all fell on the threat immediately. The dwarf himself was only spotted in town—not on the churchyard. All of the witnesses confirm from the churchyard that the six warriors didn’t speak a word the entire time: they were methodical and determined.

All of the bodyguards are described as tall with dark hair and are very proficient warriors. My last witness, a child of about seven, saw them heading for Westbridge riding horses at a slow walk. He said two of the large men looked to be severely wounded and one of them seemed to be holding a fat child. He said he didn’t count how many horses there were; but, if you count seven horses and the fat child as the dwarf that puts us at eight men…something to think about.

I have put the word out to see if there were any mysterious departures last night. Usually the busybodies at the markets give me some good info before a week is out. Tomorrow morning I will do the rounds to see if there are any fresh leads. It not really that big of a town that people leave without others noticing; but, there are a lot of extra faces now-a-days.

I currently have four men working on this case: which is a real stretch considering the situation currently. They are all good lads and have been on the watch for over five years each. All of the witnesses are still available if you would like to talk to them.

I have a few pots on the fire already. What is it you would like from me? Is there any info you might have that would help us catch this scum?

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If the major features of your Centara map are not common knowledge to me I will ask the location of the city of Toltek.
Otherwise I will thank the elder for the story, and ask who his grandfather was. perhaps I met him? on that off chance I would share a story or what I knew of his grandfather.
otherwise I’ll attend the ceremony and keep my ears open for more information. I am curious what this ceremony is intended to produce.
after which I will insure my equipment is packed up for travel before turning in till morning.

as a side note I intent to eventually craft the necklace into a wondrous object. I was thinking of a “necklace of adaptation” being that that sort of strikes me as a transmuter thing, unless I can think of something more specifically enn’venook themed… suggestions?

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Toltec? Oh that city, if she is still there, would be deep, deep, into the Que’Sambo Basin. If you use the maps of the dwarves, she would probably be halfway to the Kaelshroud Mountains…well into the Sandorian Empire

He takes time to spit on the ground.

As for my grandfather…he squints his eyes over you…your eyes seem older than your form…but I still bet he left the world before you came into it.

The ceremony is one of celebration which will honor the people deserving of the accolades. There will be nothing unusual beside that…it is a great honor though. I assume you discussed a time and place to meet with Lucius. These ceremonies quite often end with copious amounts of narcotics…but you figure you will able to pull though for a morning outing if pressed.

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I can skip ahead to day two if you guys want to? I don’t know if Trev has anymore plans regarding the investigation though. Anybody…anybody…anybody…

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Lucius listens intently to bot Sir Larnst and Captain Selford, taking careful account of the information that they offer. “They had an accomplice with them the whole time,” he mutters to himself, considering the care with which the dwarf and his minions orchestrated their escape.
“Captain Selford, I would be grateful if you could assemble the eye-witnesses so that I may ask them a few more questions. I would also like a copy of Sir Renly’s report when it is made to you.”
Turning to Sir Dayton, Lucius says, *"Go to the quartermaster and secure us four fast horses. Tell him that I want them ready to go at a moment’s notice. Sir Renly may be resistant, but impress upon him the urgency of our cause. Have the saddle bags filled with rations, water skins, oats, torches and tinder. I would also like at least three sets of quality manacles, I intend to bring Septum back alive.

Meet me back here once you are done."*

After Sir Dayton leaves, Lucius himself heads for the church. He will attempt to find a priest who can direct him to where he might get some healing potions and a few potions of detect invisibility. Once more, Lucius will negotiate as best he can, offering what resources are available to him and insisting on the immediacy of his cause to get what help he can from the church.

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Are these posts getting skinnier?

That’s all I had to say, Sunbow is finding himself with his new friend. He’s decided to attempt to teach her shapechanging. First he sets to learning Bird-of-Prey as a language? Or do I need to declare the specific one?

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Jabilo hopes you do not intend to continue practising that while we are travelling. If there is anything more painful to listen to than a beginner violin player it would have to be a druid learning to speak bird of prey… :P
Moving along, In the morning I will awake and memorize spells. After this I will set about purchasing last minute supplies for travelling, some rations, a rope, & perhaps some torches if they can be found without trouble. After some breakfast he will head over to the lantern knight barracks to see if he can find Lucius and Dayton, unless I happen to know where Sunbow is and it’s closer I may stop there first, so long as there is no bird phonics happening… ooc if there is however Jabilo will begin formulating arcane youtube.

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Captain Selford seems almost grateful that you are taking command of the investigation, like a great weight was taken off his shoulders, he snaps to and lets you know he can have all of the witnesses at the guardhouse in less than two hours.

Sir Dayton has no problem securing four horses, and the saddlebags each packed with water, rations, oats, torches, tinder, blankets, a lantern, ale, manacles, spare clothes, and empty sacks. Renly only stated that these animals and supplies still belong to the chapter and they are not to be sold for gold. He seemed very worried that we were taking these items directly to the market…he is a strange fellow.

You are able to acquire 8 healing potions (2d8+7) from an old campaigner you find catering to some young acolytes at the church. He seems unsure about a potion for detecting invisible. Well, back in my day, if we knew we were chasing a sorcerer, we would each pack around a bag of flour so that we could flush the devil out…and he could feel the justice of Clevoy’s blades. As for a more divine or arcane solution…it is beyond my capability: you might look for a man by the name of Solundra. I know its frowned on by the church he gives a sly wink but those of us who have served the church on the front lines know you can use all the allies you can get. I’m not sure if he will have a potion that will detect invisibility; but he might have something that could help. As I understand it he lives just north of town…if you ask around the markets I’m sure somebody could help you find him. And don’t worry about the cost Sergeant, I’ll let Renly know what you took and he can tally the cost He gives you another sideways wink and then turns back to instruct one of the acolytes how to properly dress a wound.

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Mike: If you have a language slot free you can pick up Sylvan which will cover woodland creatures, otherwise you will have to use speak with animals. You have very little luck teaching the bird how to shapechange. While you, on the other hand, seem quite good at it. A harpy eagle is considered size small.

Alex: I will wait until Trevor finishes with his supply gathering and investigating before going into day two.

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After expressing his gratitude for the information, Lucius leaves the church and makes his way through Doubt to rendevous with Captain Selford and the gathered witnesses. The young Lantern Knight is weary and sore but after stopping at a well to splash some water on his face he continues on, eager for a clue as to Septum’s goal.

Once the witnesses are assembled, Lucius will patiently ask each to repeat their stories, paying particular attention to the details concerning the mysterious eight bandit. “Were there any distinguishing marks, or odd bits of garment that you remember?” he asks each in turn.

“Did you overhear anything that may be of importance? The name of a town or a road perhaps?”

Once he is satisfied that there is no further information to be had, Lucius will thank the eyewitnesses and send them off, “in Pelor’s light”.

If Sir Renly’s report is handy, he will peruse it as well with an eye for any goods that may indicate a destination or an advantage in tracking his opponents.

Once that is done he and Sir Dayton will turn back towards the barracks with intention of eating and fitfully resting, to awaken at dawn and try to connect with the rest of the party.

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Only two of the gathered witnesses show an aptitude at giving a coherent statement.

One, a stableman named Lild describes in detail the six bodyguards—including that one took a significant belly wound from a tussle with one of the knights. He didn’t see a dwarf or another accomplice. Each of the men wore similar clothing and had similar cropped hair. The most striking thing about them is their similarity. They worked very well as a unit and met force with extreme aggression. While they were binding one of the other stablemen two of the knights entered—they instructed the unbound man to stay still or he would be killed with the knights. After they finished off the knights, true to their word, they bound him up with the others while the rest guarded the entrances. He didn’t notice any distinguishing characteristics or equipment…but says that he could pick them out of a crowd if asked.

Two, a young boy named Hamnet. Though it was dark he was quite intrigued by the riders on the road looking outside his window. After some specific questioning he says that one of the riders was a lot skinnier and seemed to be wearing a red or purple cloak over robes. That rider didn’t seem to have any weapons with him. There was a crest on the back of the cloak of three stars in a line on a field of either black or blue. Again, it was dark and hard to see…only when they passed under a lit torch did he really manage to see colour. He does admit it could have been a dwarf instead of a child and that they definitely were crossing the Westbridge which means they were either heading north or west.

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Does Lucius recognize the three stars on a field? He has Knowledge: Nobility.

After awakening and quickly eating, Lucius will seek out first Jabilo and then suggest rendezvousing with Sunbow to formulate a plan.

“Assuming that they did not double back it would seem that Septum was either heading north or west. If so they could be on the way to Respite or Haven. Without more information we will simply be guessing if we head out now. Our main advantage is that they have some seriously wounded men with them, so unless they have healed them or abandoned them their pace may not have made their head start insurmountable.”

“Jabilo, you used witchcraft to find the idol before,” Lucius says, looking a bit uncomfortable with the overt mentioning of magic, “Can you determine its location now?”

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Rolled a 6+3 for your knowledge check: while you recognize the symbolism you don’t know the family. You would guess that the actually family would be from either Dewthrainia or Bellweather if you had to guess.

The next day dawns bright with blue skies.

There is a business to the early morn as the Lantern Knights and the Militia are debarking: following the path of the lizardfolk’s retreat. Prelate Vander is staying in Doubt for the forseeable future and has entrusted a Captain Bellona to lead the expedition into the jungle.

Lucius: Sir Dayton and Captain Selford meet you at your door before you are able to get to mess. Dayton says that there are already several young men milling in the courtyard waiting for the selection of applicants for our party. In fact, there seem to be far more than we hand picked. I would guess there are just about fifty men…I’m hoping none of them have deserted the militia…I’m a little afraid some of them have.

Captain Selford is standing in front of three nondescript men who are carefully eyeing the floor. Good morning Sergeant. I have Sir Renly’s Report (a quick glance shows you that Septum has seemingly retaken his gold, several barrels of spice, ale, and personal effects…nothing that alludes to a direction) and I have my agents with me for debriefing. I think we have a solid lead on the accomplice. The boys have been scouring the town looking for any information they could acquire. It seems that there has been a regular in the markets that has seemingly disappeared. A slip of a man named Kaymar Solundra…he dealt in the occult mostly; but, was never any trouble. He would set up shop in the market but never bring any of his witchery…only salves and oils for fishwives and herbs for medicine women. But, if you needed something otherworldly is was said he would bring you to his house just north of town were he would work his witchcraft. He never ran afoul of us before, we thought he was harmless. I guess we won’t make that mistake again: I’ll mention to the lads to nip the next one we get in the bud.

Anyway. This Sulndra, he would wear a cloak sometimes with a crest that was three gold stars in a field of blue. That’s our man!

What should we do?

Jabilo: You awake early in the morning…and surprisingly not in too bad of shape. It was a great honor to be a part of the ceremony; but, there were a lot of people to contend with…something you tend to avoid.

You wander over to the markets and easily find supplies: 6 torches, 50’ of silk rope, and 1 week of rations are yours for 13gp. There seems to be a very great selection at this open market, in fact, you would guess there is probably a temporary influx of merchants here due to the gathering of the Lantern Knights. Whereas normally it would be difficult to find some items in this small town you think you could find many things only a port city would normally offer. Through your shopping you notice a young lady selling fruit; but, just to the side of the fruit there is an odd pairing of spell components that no sane merchant would put out together: a sure sign that this young fruit merchant sells more than what is on the table.

Sunbow: Having completed the ritual, and getting to know your new companion, you are struck by the heavy need for food and realize that the serpent idol has once again fallen into untrustworthy hands. If you are to find the idol’s captor you should seek your companions and develop a plan of action.

Lagniappe screeches and takes to the air in search of food and rest. Without any direct communication you know she will find you later in the day when you have dealt with the ‘people of the town’ and she has filled her belly.

The ritual is draining but not so draining that you are unable to make your way back to town to discover what is happening.

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Oops, guess I got a little ahead of myself!

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“Good work Captain!” Lucius says enthusiastically, “Have your men ready to ride within the hour.
Sir Dayton, we should see to these potential recruits immediately. Their first trial may be more serious than initially expected.”
Lucius and Dayton will head to the parade ground, where Lucius will immediately take on the tone of command.
“Alright you louts, line up and let me take stalk of you.” Lucius will walk before them, looking for men who are healthy and well built. He sniffs derisively at those who seem most unfit and dismisses any who are obviously unqualified for combat.
“Well, lads, I had thought to start you off with a light test of skill,” Lucius growls, “but it seems that your first task will be something more demanding. We head now to bring to justice the murderers who killed many good knights and soldiers a few nights past. There is a magic user amongst them. One whose strength is unknown, but can be assumed deadly. For those who wish no part in this, you would be best to walk away. For those who stay, I can promise you warm meals, a place to lay your head and some coin. Respect and honour are yours to earn, if you have the stomach for what is to come.”

*Lucius bids those who are still willing to go to meet Sir Dayton at Westbridge in one hour. He then heads to the stables to fetch his horse and find Jabilo.

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Lets make this easy. You all run into each other just outside of the markets…closest to the church. This happens after Jabilo is done shopping (something he should acknowledge…and/or change is he wants to get other items or barter). Please discuss any plans you might have. We can work out some of the mundane actions in between.

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Jabilo will peruse these wares and casually chat with the proprietress. He will attempt to find out who she is, where she comes from and what else she may be selling. If this seems more than a passing interest, he will inquire as to how she may be contacted in the future. Unfortunately he is quite pressed for time this morning, and must meet up with his compatriots and get on with the day.

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“Jabilo, Sunbow it is good to see you. Obviously events are pressing so it is fortunate that we should meet here. I have some information concerning Septum and his possible location.”

Lucius will fill the two in on all that his investigation has uncovered. He will tell them that he has arranged for some assistance from local recruits and suggests an immediate departure.

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Sunbow will ask Lagniappe if she would like to accompany us on a quest of importance to the peoples of the land, and assuming she does, will introduce her to the others.

“We will aid you, my friend. Forgive my absence, but I needed some time. I know you understand grief.”

He presses one of his new totems on each member of the party as if to reaffirm their connections, though his demeanor suggests that they are more important than they were before.

OOC: Ready to carry on. I’ll have to go back over all the info Lucius gathered soon, but for now I trust that he knows as much as is necessary for us to depart.

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–"Alright, I have already told Captain Selford and Sir Dayton to meet us with my potential recruits by the Westbridge and time is growing short. I have taken the liberty of securing mounts for each of us. We should press on immediately."_

Unless anyone has anything else pressing to say or do, Lucius will move towards Westbridge to link up with Dayton and Selford. Once together he will ask the Captain to lead them to Kaymar Solundra’s home.

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Still well before noon, the party gathers at Westbridge. Most of the Lantern Knights have left the town in search of the lizardfolk. There is a general ‘calm before the storm’ feeling to the town that is only disturbed by the occasional hollering of a vendor from the markets behind you.

  • Lucius has gathered quite a posse for the pursuit of the dwarf Septum. One of the knights that accompanied you to the battle of the jungle creature, four town guardsmen, and a rag-tag of villagers and natives dressed in poor armor, dirty clothes and a strange miscellany of weapons.*

Lucius: Sir Dayton successfully gathered mounts and supplies for the party—including himself. Captain Selford and his men look well armed and prepared sitting upon mounts. Twenty-five of the approx fifty volunteers have gathered at the bridge. The rest had either been dismissed or changed their minds after hearing about the possibility of fighting a wizard. None of the volunteers have mounts; but, all look ready and willing to prove their mettle against whatever you may throw at them.

Sunbow: Lagniappe doesn’t seem very clear as to what entails a quest, or her part in it, but is willing to follow to see how it unfolds. She tells you it is unwise to spend time so close to the nests of man as they will quite randomly fire arrows at you. She takes to the air and climbs very high so that she may circle back to see what you are up to. You are a little disappointed that you don’t quite have enough totems to go around…and consider telling Lucious that it is a bad omen. But, everybody seems so prepared and anxious to get going that it is pretty exciting just to be a part of things again. You are sure nobody will be offended.

Jabilo: Your quick trip to the markets did gain you a contact. Lessandra is the merchant who was very circumspect about your questions and refused to talk shop in the open. She gave you an address in Haven where you can get a hold of her should you need any components, or ‘other acquisitions’. Her father’s name is Nilander and he owns the property and the business…so if she wasn’t there herself you are to deal with Nilander.

Lucius orders the departure—in a seemingly more astute manner than you recall him possessing—so Captain Selford reins his horse forward toward the northern gate, his three deputies follow behind him, Sir Dayton quickly follows prompting the 25 volunteers to follow him, and then, the rest of the party file out over the bridge…leaving Doubt in an eerie dusty silence.

Even moving at the pace of a brisk walk it only takes 15 minutes to reach the home of Kaymar Solundra. And it is easy to tell it is his place because there is a large sign proclaiming “Home and Business of Kaymar Solundra: Merchant of the Unknown and the Mysterious.”

Well, it never hurts to advertise. Says Selford as you all reach the gate to his property.

Solundrahousesmall

The property is quite strange. A mere ten feet from the northern road, the ramshackle home is surrounded by a six-foot-tall earthen wall. From a distance it blends into the grasslands like a small hill; but, up close the defensibility of the structure becomes obvious.

There is a large, solid, double-doored gate in the only gap of the earthen wall with a sign hanging on a hook saying ‘Closed. Please, for your own safety, don’t try to enter without the proprietor present.’

With the vantage of your mounts, you are able to get a good look at the property without any serious climbing or stealth. The home looks to be the wooden equivalent of a gypsy’s multicoloured tent. Many different types of wood are used in many different shapes and sizes…though oddly…they all seem to fit together perfectly. Upon closer inspection it seems that the entire place was built to exacting specs to look shabby.

Within the bailey there is a nice stone walkway to a very stout looking door, a neatly tended garden, a simple cobbled well, a small open stable, and what appears to be a gardener shed in the back.

There are no windows anywhere. There is no chimney. There are two empty torch sconces outside the door to the house. There is a fresh pile of hay neatly forked into a pile in the back. During a brief moment of silence you think you hear the faint lilt of a wood flute being played in the distance. There are no other neighbors or structures within a mile of here.

Sir Dayton pipes up Well Sir. What should we do?

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Lucius turns to Dayton and says Spread the men out around the house. Tell them to stay back and prevent anything or anyone from leaving.

Next he turns to Jabilo and Sunbow. We need to know if Septum is still in there. This place is peculiar and I have a bad feeling that it is trapped. Septum isn’t a fool and would likely know that we could follow his trail here. This Kaymar Solundra could be a formidable opponent, if things turn ugly. Lucius pats his sword And unfortunately I expect that they may get ugly. Any ideas?

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Captain Selford clears his throat, and speaks as if unsure he should make a noise

Well, we could try knocking?

I mean, he has been in business for some time.

The guardsmen seem to be clustered in a group behind Lucius, looking unsure about where they should be. Sir Dayton rides back after 2 minutes and says\

The perimeter is secured, I have every side covered and dedicated five men to be runners in case anything happens. As soon as there is any commotion there will be a call of the direction they are standing and then will run to me or Sergeant Vandrail to report. The rest will stand there ground unless ordered otherwise.

Is there anything else Sergeant?

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For lack of a better plan Jabilo takes Selford’s suggestion and briskly wraps on the gate with his club.

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So while the mounted knights and constables discuss the next appropriate action, Jabilo quickly scuttles off of his mount and strides to the door. Takes one look back, shakes his head, and then raps on the door with his club.

There is a brief pause of silence as everyone turns to look at the gnome. And then there are some stifled gasps as all watch a large smiling mouth form on the face of the door. Its lips part and begins talking in a clear pleasant voice.

Welcome dear traveler to the home of Kaymar Soluntra, merchant of the unknown and mysterious. Kaymar is currently away on business in Haven and expects to return before the weeks end. Please return then, thank-you.

After another brief pause, the mouth disappears from the door and all that can be heard is the whispered curse from one of Selford’s men

We should just burn it down Whispers another.

Captain Selford sternly quiets his men and then looks apologetically at Lucius

Well?

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OOC: Is this place surrounded by Jungle/forest, or are we still in a plain?

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Lucius has a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He considers the ramshackle buildings and the earthen wall before finally settling his gaze on the gate.

We must know for certain if Soluntra is in there or not.

He dismounts and draws his sword.

Sir Dayton, with me.

Lucius walks to the gate and delivers a swift, hard kick to it.

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The nearest jungle is over a mile away.

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Sunbow casts barkskin on himself, and looks for Lagniappe overhead.

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Lucius Kicks the gate…
DC 18

Roll: 1d20
17+3=20

As his boot smashes into the heavy wood of the gate you hear a splinter and crack and a pleasant voice begin Welcome dear traveler to the ho…

Suddenly! A brilliant flame bursts out of midair approx a foot away from where the broken gate now swings open
DC 15

Lucius Roll: 1d20
11+1=12
Take 13 pts of fire damage

Jabilo Roll: 1d20
16+4=20
Take 7 pts of fire damage

Dayton Roll: 1d20
5+2=7
Take 13 pts of fire damage

After the burst of flame disappears…you hear the last couple words of the same message you heard before and then it goes silent.

Captain, I don’t know if I can go in there!

Shut up Heed! You’ll do as I say or face the stockade! Now dismount and lets rid the world of this evil.

The four guardsman dismount, draw their weapons, and look to Lucius for a command.

Sunbow: you successfully cast your spell. You can see the harpy eagle circling above, watching.

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Sunbow will certainly not head through the gap in the wall, but will approach and provide spiritual assistance to his friend Lucius (in the form of a Cure Light Wounds spell), and await his instructions.

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Lucius thanks Sunbow for the healing before stepping through the ruined gate.

Captain Selford: Take your men around back to check out the stable and the shed. Dayton, we’re going for the hut. Everybody be careful and don’t bunch up.

The Lantern Knight gives a quick look to Jabilo.

Will you remain out here or enter with us?

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Captain Selford gathers his men and marshals them through the gate

Alright, quickly through the gate! Then spread out 10 paces apart: we’ll go straight to the back of the property

As Sunbow heals Lucius (12 pts) and Lucius waits for Jabilo to answer: the party observes the guardsmen enter the gate

They enter abruptly, bracing themselves for whatever wizardry might come their way. The first charges in, a veteran, quickly followed by a nervous looking young man, next Captain Selford, and finally the oldest of the bunch follows…all swords drawn.

After only a couple of seconds, the first guard’s steps begin to falter, his eyes roll into the back of his head and he does a half pirouette as he hits the ground… unconscious. Selford is next slumping to the ground, valiantly trying to stay awake…and finally the oldest guard hits the ground hard in an uncomfortable looking position.

The youngest of the guards stares at his companions surrounding him on the ground, his eyes as wide as saucers, sweat pouring off his brow…the sheer panicked look of horror contorting his face into that of a cornered animal. He bolts. Runs straight toward the party, watching in strange fascination;, his high pitched wails tapering after him like a ribbon in the wind.

You watch, as in slow motion, he runs back through the gate. As soon as he crosses the threshold of the gate, a calmness wipes his face clean, and as he staggers the next couple of steps into the midst of the party: he hits the ground, hard. After a couple of seconds the silence becomes less deafening and you can hear the quiet snoring of the boy at your feet…joining the snores of his companions

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Jabilo stands before the gate and considers its message:
-Hmm…
thinking- an interesting use of arcane power…
_ I wonder if wonder if this Kaymar would be willing to share it…_
_ so Kaymar is in Haven is he?…_
_ It would be good to meet this man… his experience and good will would be useful to my_
_ future plans._
… would he have reason to lie about his location? …it seems unlikely…
_ … What is Lucious doing?_
_ oh no!_
Jabilo attempts to dive out of the way! Then stays pinned to the ground for
a few moments until he is fairly sure the danger has passed.

-as Lucious’ men begin advancing into the yard,
Jabilo get’s back to his feet and shoots Lucious a looks of disapointment and disgust.Clearly upset about having been singed.

By what authority do you damage this mans property? what sort of civilized behaviour is this?
… I will enter. you had best keep your men in line, I will not accept further molestation of this mans property without cause.
Let us confirm that your man is not here and leave quickly.
I will ask you not to bother me while we are inside. and if I tell you not to touch something, or go somewhere. I expect you to listen.

Jabilo casts detect magic and begins into the yard carefully.

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Jabilo: You cast detect magic. You immediately detect the presence of magic, you detect every magic item that the group possesses, and one other. Focusing further one of the posts of the gate is reading of moderate enchantment and you detect the lingering aura of the spent Fire Trap spell.

dc15
Roll: 1d20
18+12=30

Based on your examination, you intuit that there is a a Symbol of Sleep inscribed just on the other side of the gate post that seems to be triggered by crossing the threshold. Because it hasn’t affected the rest of the party you can assume that the 60’ range has been modified to accommodate said trigger. You know that if you take a step further you will be forced to battle the enchantment; but, if you climb over the wall you should be safe…from this particular spell. Your best guess, if it isn’t permanent, is that the symbol will remained active for the next couple of hours. The affected guardsmen will be sleeping for at least 2 hours as well.

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the dc was actually a 25 not a 15

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Lucius curses under his breath as Selford and his men succumb to the sorcery. He turns to Jablio and flinches at the diminutive man’s berating.

Alright, Jabilo, I promise that we shall cause no further damage to this property, but I have been empowered to investigate Septum’s escape and bring those responsible to justice. If Solundra is involved then I will do my duty. Please help us avoid any more of these traps.

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Sunbow smiles at the metal-clad soldiers sleeping. The one who set these traps clearly (to him at least) prefers non-violence, a trait Sunbow sees all-too missing from most he encounters.

“Well said, Jabilo. I, too, think we should show more respect to this place and he who dwells here. He asked politely for us not to do this…and now has clearly chosen the path of non-violence where he could have easily otherwise. I am sorry, my friend,” he looks at Lucius, “but the hammer-stroke is not always the most effective way to form metal.”

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Nonviolence? Lucius says, looking at his scorched surcoat and the smudges of soot left from the fire trap, I shall remember to mention that to the widows of the NINETEEN men that were slaughtered during the escape that I suspect Solundra took part in. I suppose that he would have allowed them to live if they had had time to politely request mercy, but precious little was shown. Make no mistake: if my suspicions are proven true, Solundra will pay in kind. Now I suggest that we find what information that we can quickly so that we can pick up the trail of Septum before it grows too cold.

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This is not a man who’s enmity I should wish to draw based on mere suspicion.
in any regard…
Jabilo turns back to the issue at hand.

Hmm.. I would not suggest you waste any more men in that direction.
The curse still holds sway there; and it is powerful.

Jabilo points up the path.

you may use my rope to attempt to retrive those who have succumbed when we are ready to leave howver
if they have not managed to fight from it’s clutched on their own.

Jabilo will begin moving around the Wall anti-clockwise carefully checking for new magical emanations.
assuming he finds an apparently clear space. He will shift to gain a climb speed, and move to the top of the wall.
Once there he will begin surveying the interior of the compound.

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Jabilo: Scanning the wall shows that only the gate is magically warded. You are able to climb up the wall and view the compound easily. The only other magic you detect comes from the front door of the home and the stack of hay in the back. The home itself, while possibly assembled with magic, is mundane in nature.

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Lucius and Dayton will follow Jablio, carefully listening to his instructions as to where it is safe to stand, and what it is safe to do.

Lucius is very interested in seeing inside the hut, and urges Jabilo to either find a way around the traps, or an alternative safe way in.

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Jabilo Points out the door.
There is a further incantation on the door; most likely a final trap to finish off those lucky enough to overcome the path… But over there. Odd, the hay stack is also enchanted… what is it hiding?

Jabilo focuses on the haystack from the maximum practical distance attempting to discover the nature of the magic there…

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Focusing on the hay, you detect a minor conjuration. You have never seen this spell before; but, you surmise it is a area effect spell designed to conjure fresh hay daily for an animal. You don’t detect any other spells in the area.

Focusing on the door: you detect a moderate enchantment and a minor evocation. Though you can’t be 100% sure you think the door is guarded with another Fire Trap and another Symbol. Thought this Symbol seems different than the first. So, you think it is either a Symbol of Death or a Symbol of Pain…neither wouldn’t be a pleasant experience to walk through (failed second spellcraft check).

You are reasonably sure the Symbol is triggered the same as the gate…so one must cross the threshold of the door to trigger the spell. The Firetrap is triggered by the opening of the door.

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Jabilo will attempt to get everyone together for a quick conference.
_ Sunbow, are you able to take over the search for further magical surprises once we gain entry to the hut?_
Or perhaps do you have a quick non-destructive method of entry available to you that bypasses the doorway?
How about you Lucious?
Unfortunately if I cease my concentration now I will be unable to maintain the effect. As it stands I will not likely be able to maintain it long enough to complete our search entirely. I will need to rest before trying again.
I know I would like to be done with this enterprise and on our way before then. I would not want to have to explain this intrusion to Mr Soluntra if he were to return while we were in the act.

OOC: Am I able to detect further magic auras inside the hut from the exterior? is the wall all wood, more than 3 foot thick, or lined with lead foil or something? I could quickly test I am able to penetrate the the structure at all by having Lucius or Sunbow stand around one of the corners and see if I can detect their items through the wall… to differentiate between simple blocking and absence of magical auras…

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You are unable to detect anything inside…you would guess due to construction.

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There must be a smoke hole on the roof, Lucius says, stepping back to peer at the roof.

If there is another potential entry point, Lucius will look to Sunbow to help them gain entry. If not, he will suggest using an axe or other weapons to smash through the walls.

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No other points of entry. No windows, no smoke hole, no mouse hole. The exterior seems completely mundane though…except for the strange construction.

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“I may be able to “adjust” the wall magically to gain us passage, but there is definitely strange work here, and I somehow doubt it will work," Sunbow says before casting Warp Wood on one of the panels in an attempt to gain entry.

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Did you all climb over the earthen wall?

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I am not sure how much I should assume here. If you have all climbed over the wall, please tell me where you are standing…and Sunbow, I need to know what section of the wall you are targeting. I will post a map with grid-ed references.

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Or just use this system with the map already posted: Left side axis is A, B, C starting at the top going down and the right axis is 1, 2, 3 starting at the left and moving right. So that the well is in square (M, 16). Thanks.

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Jabilo was at (C,17) attempting to probe the interior of the structure when he called the conference.

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Thanks! I was also unclear about whether Sunbow was casting the spell or simply waiting for the conversation to stop before casting.

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I assumed he was casting…but I need to know where you are targeting.

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Lucius is in C18 and Dayton is in B18 waiting for someone magic-ey to fix this mess.

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Okay, please keep in mind line-of-sight. It is easy to peer over the wall when mounted, but difficult when walking. And, Sunbow, Wood Shape is a touch spell so you would need to be in the compound. (ps I’m assuming wood shape because that is what you have memorized and it would work better than warp wood).

Dear magic users: lets form a plan and make it happen!

Sunbow, by a mere touch, you are sure you can create a perfectly functioning door on any side of the building.

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Lucius points to the wall at D16. Just here should do, Sunbow. He then tries to wave Dayton discretely around the edge of the building (to space B15) and takes up position at space B16, in a defensive posture, ready for what may come.

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I have “read it” and am waiting for the result of Sunbow’s spell before acting again.

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Jabilo: Since you haven’t cast any other spells or done anything else strenuous you can continue to concentrate on the detect magic spell

As Dayton and Lucius take up flanking positions, Sunbow walks up to the odd structure, looks up to his companion in the air for reassurance, and quietly mumbles the strange foreign words of his spell. He slowly raises his hand as if to gently feel the wood of the structure, and before everyone’s eyes, the large plank of wood reshapes itself into a small doorway…complete with frame and threshold.

Untitled

As you peer into the new opening a gentle light pours forth from glowing motes on the ceiling. Directly in front of you are several brooms and mops piled into a corner with buckets on the floor. Several cabinets and shelves jut into the corner where the new door is ending at odd angles. There is a distinct smell of lime and mildew coupled with a strong odor what can only be compared to a tanning mill. The small room appears to quite clean and used as a larder…or laboratory. It is hard to tell as beakers and spices intermix on the counter and open shelves.

The room continues around a corner and you can see an end table and the corner of a green sofa.

Sunbow: You hear what sounded an awful lot like a piece of metal being dragged across stone coming from somewhere around the corner.

Insideblocked

Jabilo: You detect a minor abjuration on the floor and a minor evocation from the motes on the ceiling. You still can’t seem to scan through the walls though, so you have no idea about what is in the next room.

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Sunbow will describe (in a whisper so everyone knows they should shut the … up) the sound he hears coming from the other room, looking at faces as he describes it to see if anyone else hears activity, and looks to Lucius and Jabilo for direction. “What do you see, friend Jabilo? Do you feel it safe to proceed?”

OOC: I getcha, Dave. I will be sure to post something that acknowledges my attendance, or a heads-up if I won’t be around for whatever reason. For the record, I think what’s happening here is just fine, but agree that we should probably plan occasional Skype chats (or whatever) if we’re approaching serious conflicts or discussions that should move along more quickly. Maybe a once a week check-in type skype room? I’m good for any night after about 6:00, as long as I know ahead of time and it’s not for an extended period.

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Jabilo: with another round of concentration and with your knowledge of spells you feel fairly sure that the abjuration is an alarm spell and the ceiling motes are a form of dancing lights. You know that an alarm spell is activated by touching the warded surface and that the dancing lights are harmless. If there is no audible alarm after someone touches the floor that means that it is silently relayed to somebody via the alarm spell. The entire floor seems to be enchanted with the alarm.

Sunbow: the noise only lasted for a brief moment…nobody else heard it. If you had to guess, it sounded a lot like somebody slowly sharpening a blade with a whetstone.

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Jabilo will frown at the floor… mumbling to self; the aura’s in the ceiling are almost certainly continual flame spells… but the floor? a ward perhaps? an alarm doesn’t make sense… why lie about travelling to Haven only to wait nearby and not move to defend your residence personally before this point…
Jabilo whispers something is not right about the floor here. I cannot discern what but we should proceed with extreme caution.
Be prepared to retreat to this opening quickly at the first sign of resistance. it most likely our most defensible position should violence ensue.

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Sir Dayton and I shall lead the way. Stay behind us and be ready for anything.
Lucius mutters a quick prayer to Saint Clevoy, his heart pounding while a cold sweat runs down his back. He looks at Sir Dayton, nods, and the two Lantern Knights rush through the opening, making for the unseen areas of the shack.

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Steeling themselves from the unknown the two knights charge for the next room.

Your nostrils flare with a heady thickness of putrification as you round the corner.

It is a good sized room (approx 15’ x 40’) filled with a neat and tidy collection of books and scrolls on long shelves attached to the walls. There is a large ornate bed at the end of the room and in the center, adjacent a closed door, is a comfortable sofa and table set accented with a tasteful throw-rug.

But all of this is hyperbolically peripheral as all of your senses scream in unison demanding your attention toward the large beast standing twelve feet away from you.

Beardeddevil

Everything seems to go into slow motion.

It is horrific. The devil slouches to 6’with spiked armour and spines radiating from its torso. Large horns protrude from a menacing brow hovering over a maw of vile dripping daggers for teeth. The air shimmers around the beast and the temperature seems to rise as it takes a small step forward. It levels out in front of it a grotesque looking glaive that drips with red bile.

The creature’s brow raises and a slight grin splits his face. Where there would be a beard on a man tentacles writhe with long barbed tips lashing out in seeming frustration. Strangely, there are shackles with glowing golden ruins chained to its legs

You all hear, echoing deep in your skulls:

INTRUDERS. FINALLY. WELCOME.

Battle

Lucius: you can’t help but think, back to meadows in the vineyards of your youth, of Pastor Donello’s voice saying:

And there it stood asunder, below the broken gates of creation, the horned beast of Hextor. Barbed and hoary with trapped writhing lives beneath its forsaken flesh. And thus did Heironeous, with his sword of light and lightning, purge the beast from the steps of the faithful: Cursed to dwell in the underneath amongst the forgotten, reviled, tortured, and damned. And then he mourned.

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This seems like a good place to start the Skype tonight, but I’d like to add, “fuck off Dave.” hahaha. Since I assume coming face-to-face with a demon equates to “roll initiative” I won’t try to pop a spell off before that happens, since you probably won’t let me. See above statement.

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Well, since you don’t see the creature yet…I think it would be fair to let you have an action…and Jabilo too.

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Bull’s Strength Please

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I think we should start a new thread here, because this one’s over 100 posts long.

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If you use your profile link it will go to the last post. I never scroll through unless I’m looking for something. But, I could. I don’t think it will really hurt anything.

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Wild_Gazebo Wild_Gazebo

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