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5E [IC] Adventures in Ashwell: The Edge of Dispater


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Creamsteak

First Post
"Look, I don't know what's going on... but if you're looking to have questions answered... perhaps you should see the Oracle? She's supposed to have lived in Ashwell since before the ground broke open. They say she was just a little girl then, but she's been here since this all started. The town has strange effects on people, lots of 'full moons' if you know what I mean. If it's not the place for you, go home. But if you intend to say, maybe she can help you right your mind. I hear even the inquisitor at the keep takes advice from her from time to time..."

The "Oracle" resides in a hovel in the slums of Ashwell near where the ground broke. The tenements are of poor quality, and it looks like many numerous peasants here have injuries or illnesses.

Outside the mud-walled hut you see two emaciated women in clothes made of cheep linen standing guard.

[sblock=religion_10]The women are garbed as priestesses of Yatwer the fertility goddess. They claim to be able to live on only water and air, as the "earth" and "light" sustain the rest of them.[/sblock]
 

industrygothica

Adventurer


Kilvo pretends that he doesn't understand these priestesses, and begins to dig in his pack for some scraps of food for the women. He pulls out a half-eaten hunk of stale bread and holds it out as an offering, smiling. Those nearby likely can't tell if he's being sincere, or just being an ass.
 

Creamsteak

First Post
The closer woman pauses, but the further woman moves over to slap said hunk of bread out of your hand and into the dirt. She curses something.

[sblock=Low Sheyic]"Enwah! Pig! Man! Dogshit!"[/sblock]

The other woman looks on slightly dazed before falling backwards towards the hovel wall.

The aggressive woman draws a curved blade and points it towards you while standing between you and the downed woman.
 
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Azurewraith

Explorer
Raghnall eyes the woman was she mad? He steps forward his shield raised however he keeps his axe by his side, he was not in the business of killing senile old women.
 

industrygothica

Adventurer
Kilvo has no idea what the crazy woman just said, but he's certain he got the gist. "Well if ye didn't want it, all ye had to do was say so." He bends down and picks up the bread and dusts if off before tearing out a bite and tossing it back into his pack.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
At the tavern:
Erserkess smiles at his cousin. "Yes, I learned how to drink better. That said, there are minor signs of the jester all over the place. And we're the only ones remembering things."

As the barkeep offers the drink from marked glasses, Ersarkess drinks, raising the glass toasting to the barkeep and the group.


At the oracles:
Ersarkess stands between Kilvo and the woman holding his arms empty and open. His dark features are serious, this is no laughing matter, attacking one of his own.

"Easy, good lady. We're here to see the oracle. Not all know your mores and rituals and you shouldn't punish him for it."

Religion: 1D20+3 = [9]+3 = 12
Persuasion: 1D20+4 = [10]+4 = 14

OOC: For some reason, I lost subscription to the thread so I didn't get any notifications. I realized from OOC banter I'm missing something :)
 

Creamsteak

First Post
The angry woman hisses and clicks and kicks the wall behind her saying something like "Pashma". She then pulls aside the curtain as if to let you inside.

On the other side of the curtain, the place seems much bigger on the inside than the outside. This is quite real, actually, as the hovel seems to be built up out of a sinkhole, with tunnels exiting to the north and south.

Artwork is painted onto the muddy walls depicting the "belly and scythe" of Yatwer. A lone woman, perhaps in her mid thirties, wears garb similar to the "crones" outside, but with a bit of bronze jewelry. She looks far less thin.

She speaks in the common tongue of the region, "Foreigners. What brings you here on this blessed day?"
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"Good day and blessings to you, oracle of Yatwer" the bard bows slightly as he studies the hut and the woman.

"I am Ersarkess Masheken, explorer of ruins, collector of stories and scholar of the ancient mysteries. These are my companions." he straightens, motioning to the group.

"Recently, we were lead to buried Ashwell by a child, a boy of scrubby looks who asked us to help his sister who was left buried in some mudslide below. After some adventures while we followed the boy, what we found was much more than we bargained for. Going without expected payment, just to help the children, we were confronted by a creature of immense power."

As he talks, minor illusion follows the speech, showing Sorwheel, then in quick succession centipede, dead body in the pool, manor, sister and the artifact, sorcerer and the devils. Finally, it shows the jester as seen on the glasses back at the inn (Ersarkess knows better than to try and reproduce its likeness)

"We would like your help in interpreting what happened after that. Or before that. Or what is actually our destiny."

OOC: persuasion +4 if needed; no lies, Insight +2 if needed
 

Creamsteak

First Post
The woman seems a bit caught off guard. "This child... these children... I have seen them before. They once played on these hills. They lived here, among the poor and the destitute... before the sundering..."

She clears her through. "They fell into the abyss."

Regarding the face of the jester as depicted, "One of the hundred, like the earthmother. The traitor god Ajokli. Called the jester, the laughing god, Cegorach. He alone walks the mortal world, cast down by the others of the hundred, for he attempted to overthrow the balance. You should deny your souls to him so that he may starve. Do not play his games, throw your lives to one among the hundred and so be spared the laughing gods torture."
 



Steve Gorak

Explorer
Intrigued by the woman's knowledge, Thael asks: "Can you tell us why the Jester god was cast out? and wy do we see signs of him throughout the city?"
 

Creamsteak

First Post
"A god cannot kill another god, nor bring one into being. That task belongs only to mortal hands. Ajokli tried to break that rule by sharing himself entirely to a mortal, a king. The jester and the king became one and the same, and those two souls in one body killed all who were not pledged to him. They wished to deny the other gods worship, and in so doing starve them from the cycle."

"The Mummers Merchant guild claims the jester god as their symbol. They are... invested... very heavily in this city and its endeavors. Trade goods from the mainland, exported artifacts from the depths, they even mint their own currency."
 

Steve Gorak

Explorer
"Thank you, this is fascinating." Thael gets some sheets out and scribbles some notes "Can you tell us what the jester god promises? Does his gifts come with consequences? And what is the link with the other underground cities" Thael knows that this last question may be a stretch, but he ventures anyways.
 



Steve Gorak

Explorer
The woman doesn't know any answers to those questions.

"well, thank you for the information. Oh, one last question, where can we find the headquarters of this Mummers Merchant guild?".

Thael then proposes to go and meet said merchants. The group has met their god after all, perhaps they'd be welcoming and give them more information. Thinking to himself, Thael would be eager to learn about the items they are retreiving from the dephts.
 

Creamsteak

First Post
"The new quarter, where the wall begins."

OOC: World of exposition-craft. Presuming you all do have an interest in visiting there...


A mile wide twenty-foot tall stone wall seems to be under construction here to wrap around the city. The design, however, raises some obvious questions. Arrow slits seem to exist both facing the interior and exterior of the structure, an ominous overlooking cage of sorts. The wall is only a third complete, primarily watching over the northern edge of the city proper.

A relatively well constructed and engineered city-in-miniature seems to be built up to support the wall efforts. Numerous trade caravans have space in various stalls. The port is not too far to the north-east, which seems to bring in a great deal of food and supplies to the civilization near Ashwell.

The "steam quarter" is a part of this area from which billows of smoke can be seen at all hours. Forges run hot most hours of the day, as well as alchemical laboratories and even shops dedicated to the repair of certain artifacts found in Ashwell. One such invention seems to be used to light this part of the city day or night, the streetlamps. Little bars of glowing light make an interconnected net of illumination in the part of the city patrolled by merchant-guards at almost all hours.

The Mummer's base of operations is built right up against a part of the wall. It seems they have a money-changer for various nations, and their "guards" wear the costumes of mimes... whether to entertain or intimidate is not certain. The Guild-Hall looks like it has a barracks for at least a hundred adjoined to it.
 


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