Paranormal Protection Agency - Night Shift
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  1. #1

    Paranormal Protection Agency - Night Shift

    Magistratus Lucious was an exhausted invididual. Since the inception of the Agency, the Chief Justice had battled against his fellow Magister-naysayers. Vigilatiism wasn't tolerated within Waterdeep and there had been a number of crimes the Agency had committed to achieve their mission-goals. The results were undeniable despite the recriminations Luscious had incured. Politics played an important role to the Black Robed of the Court of Waterdeep. In that game, Luscious had allies which saw to his success and grant for continued services.

    The past week had been spent busily recruiting more Agents. Some were interviewed directly, having had appointments set with a long discussion over supper. Others had found their way to the Agency of their own accord, having heard of a lucrative opportunity. The pick of the litter at his fingertips, Magistratus Luscious made contracts of service which were quite long and in depth.

    All manner of minutia were covered in excruciating and exacting detail: The Good; lodgings, per-diem allowance, weekly pay-rate, and even shares on recovered valuables. The Bad; a listing of all the laws of Waterdeep and a writ awaiting signature to uphold such laws, defend the city, and on it went in an endless flurry of flowery phrases all meant to ellicit obedience to the city, people, magisters, lords, and such but in truth doing little more than causing a headache. And - The Ugly; Terms regarding compensation for death or dismemberment.

    Those that spoke with the Magistratus at any length quickly learned that his operation had been over worked of late. Tasked with assisting the Watchful Order of Mages and Protectors, the City Guard and the City Watch, as well as the two dozen or so Magisters dispensing justice for the Lords of Waterdeep. The Agency was given details only begrudgingly, having been viewed as little more than another nobleman's Flight of Fancy. Several months of success had cemented respect and warranted a bolstering of the ranks.

    The position wasn't the best to be had: The Night Shift. It would mean either long and dreary nights waiting for something - anything of interest of stave off boredom inspire sleep or; pitched situations with the oppressing darkness of night closing in on all sides. Protests were met with minimal disdain from the Magistratus, an understanding person apparently. These were quelled with a shrug to indicate there was no other option. Whitled down to a suitable roster of names, Luscious arranged another meeting at the onset of the first night on the job.

    That afternoon, rooms were assigned on one of the upper two floors of the estate. The structure, though not massive, was sizeable enough for well over a dozen apartments. Each had it's own door to the interior courtyard and exterior windows giving a view of the nearby palace and Mount Waterdeep. The courtyard itself had long-since been transformed into a staging area to one side. The whole of the courtyard was paved with large bricks, retaining a neat and tidy look.

    The bottom floor comprised the primary entry, a stout door of hardend oak bound in thick iron complete with bindings for a thick oaken stave to bar the passage. No kitchens nor anything to cook would be found at the Estate - most meals taking place at the nearby Dragon's Head Tavern. Rather, the remainder of the rooms were lent to storage space or a large meeting room. The cellars on the other hand, had been converted rather completely. The entire space had been filled with a number of cages of varying sizes.

    Details dealt with, Luscious bade the Night Shift an excellent first night before heading for the stairs to his own apartment. All that remained was for boredom to set in. The Touts would come running, Luscious had said. The Touts would have with them messages and requests. That first night, there hadn't been a single solitary Tout nor anything that was remotely paranormal let alone needed any semblance of protection. Luscious had admonished against boredom and assured that there would be work soon enough. The second night; more of the same! No Touts and yet more reassurances. Come the third night would things be different or would the doom to those of this new job be to die of sheer boredom?...

    OOC: We begin on Night #3 - Dusk.

  2. #2
    'Well' thought Helena, 'whatever have you got yourself into?'

    Yolanda's condition had been occupying the majority of her waking hours over the past few weeks. A momentary pang of guilt gripped her that while she searched for something that might help her unravel the hellish nightmares the young elven girl was plagued with, the other children who were giving her concern - Rax, the most recent, found wandering naked and bleeding along the dockside three nights past, Horactus the crippled dwarf boy sent to her by the priests of Gond, and poor Lalana, whose childhood illness left her permanently weak and short of breath - were not receiving the attention they deserved.

    'So many' she thought, 'why do the gods punish the innocent so?'. At least Rax was responding to proper food, and had been found to have no serious injuries, Horactus' spirits were good, and the new poultices the nurses were trying on Lalana appeared to be easing the congestion enough that at least she could walk for a while in the yard with some of the other children.

    When Helena's own considerable knowledge of remedies had failed to produce any noticeable change in Yolanda, her journey to reach the heart of the malady infesting the girl had taken her first to the great library. Once there she found that so many of the texts had contained descriptions in such archaic tongues that her head had swum trying to make sense of them. A rueful smile crossed her lips when she thought back to the days when she might have been learning her letters, as the children at the orphanage now did under Master Darixes. She had learned all right, learned things she had long since wished she had never been capable of. She still lit her 3 candles each morning, watching them burn low as she prayed for the souls of those sent to the afterlife before their full measure had been used.

    As her wages were sent, anonymously, back to the orphanage to buy more toys for the younger children, the majority of her modest savings were used to hire a translator to glean nuggets from the repository of elven herb lore which the junior librarian had helpfully suggested. But while the man was good, his hourly charge, plus the cost of the herbal concoctions, had threatened to send her to the poorhouse; and none appeared to be of any greater value than her own infusions.

    The inspiration, when it had come, was from a most unlikely source. One of the older boys, Rayben if she remembered correctly, had used his allowance to buy a book of his own. When he proudly showed it to her she had chuckled at the thought of him reading lurid tales of ghosts and spirits; and yet, the germ of an idea began to form in her mind. Could the girl be possessed? There was certainly no taint of evil about her, but discussions with some of the priests of Lathander had confirmed there existed creatures for whom the 'possession' was as unnatural as the unfortunate host whose body they found themselves temporarily sharing.

    With no more hope of comprehending texts on demonology and the like than those on anatomy, she had been forced to consider alternative methods of information gathering. That's when the notice which had been nailed to the tree she passed every day on her way to and from her lodgings, which fluttered so eye-catchingly in the stiff westerly breeze, was torn from its fixing to be plastered to the front of the cloak she pulled tightly round herself. Grasping it as if to throw if to the side, her eyes had alighted on the word 'Paranormal'...

    Two days later she was sitting in the office of the Magistrate where she was assuring him that, yes, she did have a job, but that if the hours of the 'position' he had just offered her after nearly forty minutes worth of explanation were mostly after the hours of darkness then she should (somehow!) be able to juggle both. The conditions appeared acceptable - after all, what right thinking citizen of Waterdeep would contemplate breaking the string of laws she had been obliged to read through? The extra money would doubtless be welcome, but what had caused her heart to run faster was that not only had Master Lucious recruited a group of 'experts' to which she would be attached - among them wielders of magic both arcane and divine - but that she may witness the very phenomena she hoped to learn more about at first hand. And hopefully, find a way of translating the knowledge she might gain into a cure for her charge.

    And two days after that she was being shown to a room in this converted townhouse, and given a tour of the building in which she and her new colleagues would wait for the call to say their skills were needed.

    If the days of her youth were a lifetime away, so were the years she had spent in contemplation and service to Ilmater. The passage of time had been relatively kind to her; she was no longer a young woman, and had lost a little of the grace long hours at the monestary had instilled in her movements. More than few strands of grey were now shot through her hair, but her mind was as sharp as ever, and she felt secure in the knowledge that the little time she had spent each day maintaining the skills which she had depended on in that previous life had been a worthwile investment.

    Another smile flickered across her lips, as she set the tray on the large beech wood table which dominated what had been set out as the group's meeting room. While there was no kitchen in the building, it hadn't taken much to set up a small fire to heat water, and a trip to the market after the first night of inactivity had yielded a kettle, cups and decent supply of brewing leaves.

    She recalled the faces of her companions - stout Galivan, wise old Mardan, her dear friend Druthos who had made the ultimate sacrifice - then scanned those of the gathered assembly. Bonds would be forged, friendships made anew in the way they always were among their kind; the kind who sought out adventure. Straightening up she began to set the cups out.

    'Tea, anyone?'
    Last edited by grufflehead; Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 02:14 AM.

  3. #3
    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)

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    Velastri found himself waiting again... It seemed to be what happened most of the time. He waited on hunts. He waited on pay. He waited on job offers. And now he was waiting as part of his job. At least now he was getting paid for something that seemed to happen to him more than a fair share of the time.

    For a half-elf, he had a more human sense of the passage of time, always wanting to use each mintue to its best purpose. Hence him fingering his bow and running over incantantions under his breath. It helped him pass the time, remember his abilities and be less bored.

    He looks at the somewhat matronly human woman as she offers tea. He shrugs. "Why not? Something warm to drink will at least alleviate some mental strain... Through distraction, of course."

  4. #4
    "I'd love a cup! Thank you Helena."

    The youthful halfling leans forward in his chair and reaches up to accept the steaming cup from the kindly woman. He takes a drink and leans back with a sigh, placing the cup on the table in front of him and running his fingers through shoulder length black hair.

    Gods, it's good to be out of the church and away from my students for a while. ┴ine especially; she's been far too flirty recently. Probably a good idea for me to get into the field for awhile . . .

    Don't have my history written up yet, but I'm thinking along the lines of an Indiana Jones type (complete with using his spiked chain to aid his acrobatics - swinging across pits, etc). He teaches linguistics, paranormal and abberant studies at a church (not sure which deity) but really prefers to spend his time in the field.

    He started as a linguistics teacher, but discovered/was given Achrann, who's special purpose is the destruction of undead and aberrations. The weapon led him into his current branch of study.

    I'm struggling to get it into words, but I think that'll be the gist of it.
    Last edited by Maidhc O Casain; Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 04:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Helena carefully removed a small muslin bag of leaves from one of the pouches about her waist, dropped it into one of the clay cups and filled it to the brim with boiling water. Handing it to the half-elf she said:

    'Here you go Master Velastri. I find Twillroot tea to be most soothing without causing drowsiness'.

    Her first impression of the young hunter was that, like her, something beyond money had brought him to the group. His slightly abrupt introduction had spoken of a man more used to his own company than that of a large crowd, and she knew from experience how the confines of a city could slowly, yet inexorably, dampen the joy that seemed to permeate those in whose veins fey blood flowed. Perhaps his bond with nature was somehow maintained through the presence of the raven which she had seen alight on his arm when he had taken a stroll through the courtyard on the first day

    But beyond the brusque outer shell there were deeper emotions, and she had yet to learn what it was that drove him to be here, made him check and re-check the magnificent bow that was never more than an arm-length from him, his eyes almost catlike as he reacted to the scrape of a chair, a soft cough or a footfall. Was that a prayer he recited softly, or a dedication to a loved one far away?

    'Or perhaps' she thought 'he's as nervous as you are, which given how young he looks would be understandable'.

    Resolving to try and draw him closer to the heart of the group, she first served tea to Airard. Now *there* was an interesting one. Where the half-elf was stiff and a little distant, the halfling was urbane and mixed easily with the others. Despite his diminutive stature he bore himself confidently and it had been no surprise to learn that he was a teacher (of what he hadn't been overly specific!); he had already proved himself to be a pleasant and courteous companion these last two nights, but Helena didn't doubt that there was also much more to him than outward appearances suggested. The only obvious trait the two shared was the fluidity of their movement, a pair of dancers among some of their more heavy footed companions!

    Once she had attended to the others who requested it, Helena drew a chair from the side of the room and brought it beside the archer. From what little she had ascertained of the capabilities of some of the other members of the band, several of them could help her with a task she had in mind for the evening. With the small advance she had been given by the Magistrate, she had had the scholar make copies of a text detailing instances of the apparent creation of spectres at the site of the graves of those who had suffered sudden, violent deaths. A passage had caught her eye on a cursory reading, but the text quoted a source in Elvish, which had left her temporarily at a loss. Who better to help her unravel its mysteries?

    Taking a sip from her own comfrey and burdock brew, she removed several sheets of parchment from the satchel she had brought with her and unrolled them on the table.

    'If we are to have another night like the last two, I wonder if I might beg your indulgence, young sir? I'm afraid I have, sadly, never grasped the tongue of your forebears; could you explain a little about the writings in these notes?'
    Last edited by grufflehead; Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 04:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)

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    Velastri nods, with another shrug as he accepts the cup and paper from Helena. He chuckles as she calls him young. While he appeared young, thanks to his elven heritage, he had still seen a decent share of years.

    "By all means," he says as he takes the paper and drinks a small bit of the boiling brew. He looked at the tea again, saying quietly, "Nice blend of the leaves. Good flavor to it."

    He takes a look at the paper after setting his cup down. He quickly reads it over and his lip visibly curls into a small snarl at the mention of undead within the passage. He shortly covers it up with a sigh, asking calmly, "If it's not too rude, might I ask as to why you want this translated? While undead can be troublesome, especially the incorporeal kind, what business could you have had with them? If I'm not mistaken, you are also a rather new member of this agency, along with the rest of us. Though, again if I'm not mistaken, your reasons are probably far different from mine. Naturally, I cannot speak as to anyone else's purpose in joining..."
    Last edited by Dragonwriter; Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 07:13 AM. Reason: fixed color

  7. #7
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    Korva rejects the offer of the Twillroot tea with a murmured, "No, thank you." She sits somewhat primly in a chair pulled over to one corner of the meeting room with a snarl of yarn on her lap and a pair of knitting needles in her overlarge hands. She spends a large amount of her time staring at the mess, sometimes attempting to unravel particularly knotted bits, mostly avoiding looking at the young halfling, and occasionally actually using the needles to add some knots to what she previously had claimed to be the beginnings of a sweater.

    She looks up at the halfling for a long moment. The halfling that bore an uncanny resemblance to... Quickly she looks down again at her work and tries to school her thoughts away from Pyoter but it is too late and she sees a shifting shadow beneath the table. She drops a needle with a clatter and after she retrieves it she can't seem to find the shadow again. She hopes he's returned to her room where she had ordered him to stay but he rarely obeyed her. She sighs.
    Last edited by GlassEye; Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 06:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)

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    The door to the room slammed open and a long, agonized groan followed, almost as if one of those very undead Velastri had been reading of had just come in! But the pale visage that came in was not ghostly, though it did seem sometimes lit by a soft otherworldly glow. She was a human woman of small stature, wearing a white dress that came down to her knees and over it a peculiar cloak that was more like a poncho, but made up of thin white cloth strips that constantly flowed and moved; giving the impression of fine feathers at times. Even the girl's hair was white. Her eyes on the other hand shone a sapphire blue, startling against the bleached paleness of her face and hair. No less startling was the odd gemstone, diamond by the look of it, jutting out just a bit from the center of her forehead.

    It was Shard, surprise...she was impatient.

    "Not a toot from the tout!" the sorceress complained as she stormed into the room with all the unconscious assumption of ownership that a queen might. She stopped in the center of the room and glared at the assembled company, hands on hips, mutely accusing all of them of being behind this plot.

    "I can't believe we're already on the third day and no one's come to us for help! No one! Clearly it's time to take action!"

    She raised a finger as if in sudden inspiration, though the timing of the move clearly implied that she'd had this idea for some time now.

    "We need to take our message out to the streets! The people have lost confidence in us! Who here can draw, and write in a decorative style?! We'll scribe on parchments who we are and what we do, and post them at inns and taverns! And haunted houses and houses of ill repute! And by the docks!"

    "Why should we wait for people to come to us, when we can go to them! And...ask them to come to us."

    She nodded, making this the final word in her own personal universe.

  9. #9
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    *BANG* "Ouch! The heavy door slowly opens to reveal no one is in the doorway. Slowly eyes drift downards and a small gnome wearing a awful looking robe enters the room. "I... slipped. It's ok, the door broke my fall... and maybe my arm."

    He moved sheepisly to an empty chair, he was more than clumsy sometimes. Standing under 4ft tall, at least he didn't have far to fall. As Posh approached the chair, his form shifts to that of a taller human, allowing him to easily be seated. "I suppose I did not miss anything did I?"

    Spells Prepared

    Catrips: Light x4
    1st Level: Color Spray, Magic Missile, Shield, Sleep
    2nd Level: Flaming Sphere, Hypnotic Pattern, Web
    3rd Level: Fireball, Deep Slumber, Major Image
    4th Level: Phantasmal Killer

    Spell Like Abilities:
    1/day: Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Prestidigitation, Speak with Animals
    Last edited by OnlytheStrong; Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 09:14 AM. Reason: added spells

  10. #10
    Startled as the door opened loudly for a second time, Helena had quickly risen from her seat to check that the gnome hadn't injured himself.

    Of all her new found team-mates, he was possibly the most intriguing -the appearance of the woman Shard was certainly eye-catching but while headstrong, she had not thusfar demonstrated any especially unusual traits, and Helena had felt instinctively that the two women might become friends - and during the first day Helena had not entirely set aside the notion that he was a shapeshifter of some type, so easily and fluidly did he switch between several forms. Such a power could open doors all over the city and she quailed at how easily someone of more unscrupulous morals might use it to cause mayhem and lead the city watch on a merry dance. Regardless, the magistrate would have vetted him as intensely as the others, and as the group would doubtless be called upon to carry out investigations, visitations and other activities if and when any of this alleged paranormal activity occurred, such a talent would prove immensely useful.

    Satisifed that Poshment was untroubled by the fall - if his arm had indeed been broken he surely wouldn't have sat down so calmly - Helena gestured to both him and Shard to avail themselves of the freshly brewed tea if they wished. Re-taking her own seat, she smoothed down the folds of her dress and subconsciously tucked the small, rather plain, pendant she wore - a pair of hands bound together which had been fairly crudely carved from wood and hung on a simple leather thong - back beneath her collar.

    Turning back to what the half-elf was saying, she smiled warmly at him and replied:

    'Of course your question isn't rude. My purpose in this research is two-fold: I'm seeking inspiration on a personal matter, one which is indirectly responsible for why I am here, and while this document may not lead to a solution to that issue, perhaps some of the writings may begin to help me understand the nature of our work at the Agency'.

    Touching him lightly on the forearm she continued:

    'I notice you seem familiar with the subject of the text as well as the tongue. I must confess what little I could follow about the 'spectres', 'haunts' and 'apparitions' mentioned herein made little sense to me but I hope to draw on your knowledge, the knowledge of all of you', she continued, addressing the group as a whole 'during my service as part of this institution'.

    'My experience thusfar has been only with dealing with the pain of the living; if I might learn how to alleviate the suffering of some of these wretched creatures, trapped between the physical world and their rightful resting place, then my time here will have been well served'.
    Last edited by grufflehead; Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 01:24 PM.

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