3.5 Kingdoms of Kalamar; Rancor of the Unholy - Act 1: Scene 1

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Crazy Will Somberthaine: In the tower of uncertainty.

Crazy Will's Inner Thoughts said:
"...What if this item holds great power? Will he try to take it from me? No, no, no. Telerai is my friend. He knew my father. He helped stop the coup against the queen all those years ago. He is a man of honor. I doubt a simple item such as this could corrupt him enough to turn on me. Still... maybe I'd better not let on about it just yet."
Will says, "Destiny? What is this destiny you speak of? Why haven't you told me any of this before, master? What is it that I carry? And why are ancient spirits whispering my name to you? And why didn't you tell me of this earlier? You're acting very strange, master. I'll be honest, you're making me quite nervous. Please explain yourself."

Will waits for his master's explanation, all the while, keeping one eye on the door, ready to flee at a moment's notice.
 

97mg

Villager
Quarzi



The icy coolness of a morning's air may have been inhaled deeply by the little halfling's lips, but it was the chill in Quarzi's spine that really screamed for attention. For a moment she lay there, perfectly still, almost paralyzed with surprise and fear. Hare's didn't appreciate being snuck up on or stalked. Territorial and ever-alert, the general idea was to make oneself "unavailable" should invisible borders be crossed by predatory kinds.

It was the thing's scalps that really turned the golden's stomach. Proudly displayed like grizzly mementos of a hunters aptitude. Humanoid skins from once sentient heads. For Quarzi, first impressions mattered, and bashfully presenting yourself as a killer wasn't going to go a long way to win her confidence.

Sure, the use of animal remains for furs and warmth was a necessity at times. Quarzi preferred hers to be sourced from beasts that died of natural causes of course. Even her leather, enchanted and hidden deep within the layers of winter garb, hadn't been acquired by some insensitive and wasteful kill. But that was another story... Right now, the attention was on Mister Noggins, as she fittingly decided to name him.

Was she safe here? Undetected and out of sight? It seemed that way. She had confidence in her ability to hide, and blowing her cover too soon seemed like an all too risky move. This was a time to wait, and watch, a feeling obviously shared by Noggins too. But maybe there was someone who could help.

During her time living within the surrounding wilderness, foraging and subsisting at her rabbit's side, she'd made quite a variety of friends. She could calm, charm, heal and even speak with nature's beasts when she put half a mind to it. Such things required preparation of course, a shaman's ways to access the gifts of spirits and an invisible supernatural world. But there were other creatures too. Magical beings who collectively protected the most important places and things, out there in the most unlikely of places. Fae. Some were friendly and sweet. Some were mischievous. Some were very hard to get along with. In fact, they weren't that much different from hares.

One individual, a pixie by the name of Tinglemist, had found himself quite taken by Quarzi and her furry friend. In fact, they had something of an ongoing deal. She had helped him find something of importance, a personal little artifact quite some time ago. In exchange, he had promised her to always be available... ready to pop in at the blink of an eye. Now, Tinglemist was a rather annoying character at times with all his pixie-style dances and sharp-witted methods of mockery, but he was also a rather excellent negotiator and judge of character.

"Quarzibee, don't think two shakes of a cottontail about it. You got a problem, need a little errand done, seen a nasty or just want to chat... speak the tiny poem. I'll be there, a tiny man for a tiny miss ahha!"

Quarzi's past was flooding back at the sight of Noggins. Something was off, and far more rotten than some slowly air-drying headskin. She needed a distraction. A helping hand. Someone to pry some truth out of this trespasser.

She whispered under her breath.

"Mists that wriggles fog that tickles. Friend... a hunter follows, see what words he may just swallow."

She made a few motions with her hands, tracing the outline of a rabbit in the air.

Twenty-five feet away, hopefully off to Noggins's side or behind him, the sprite would appear.

"Hey, Crabface, what you doing sniffing around ere? Not getting enough head?" Tinglemist said to Noggins as he popped into the scene.

[ Casting Summon Fey - 1 min duration, Pixie ] [sblock=Pixie]Pixie

Size/Type:Small Fey
Hit Dice:1d6 (3 hp)
Initiative:+4
Speed:20 ft. (4 squares), fly 60 ft. (good)
Armor Class:16 (+1 size, +4 Dex, +1 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple:+0/-6
Attack:Short sword +5 melee (1d4-2/19-20) or longbow +5 ranged (1d6-2/×3)
Full Attack:Short sword +5 melee (1d4-2/19-20) or longbow +5 ranged (1d6-2)/×3
Space/Reach:5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks:Spell-like abilities, special arrows
Special Qualities:Damage reduction 10/cold iron, greater invisibility, low-light vision, spell resistance 15
Saves:Fort +0, Ref +6, Will +4
Abilities:Str 7, Dex 18, Con 11, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 16
Skills:Bluff +7, Concentration +4, Escape Artist +8, Hide +8, Listen +10, Move Silently +8, Ride +8, Search +9, Sense Motive +6, Spot +10
Feats:Alertness, DodgeB, Weapon FinesseB
Environment:Temperate forests
Organization:Gang (2-4), band (6-11), or tribe (20-80)
Challenge Rating:4 (5 with irresistible dance)
Treasure:No coins; 50% goods; 50% items
Alignment:Always neutral good
Advancement:2-3 HD (Small)
Level Adjustment:+4 (+6 with irresistible dance)
Pixies wear bright clothing, often including a cap and shoes with curled and pointed toes.
A pixie stands about 2½ feet tall and weighs about 30 pounds.
Pixies speak Sylvan and Common, and may know other languages as well.
Combat

The normally carefree pixies ferociously attack evil creatures and unwanted intruders. They take full advantage of their invisibility and other abilities to harass and drive away opponents.
Greater Invisibility (Su)

A pixie remains invisible even when it attacks. This ability is constant, but the pixie can suppress or resume it as a free action.
Spell-Like Abilities

1/day—lesser confusion (DC 14), dancing lights, detect chaos, detect good, detect evil, detect law, detect thoughts (DC 15), dispel magic, entangle (DC 14), permanent image (DC 19; visual and auditory elements only). Caster level 8th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
One pixie in ten can use irresistible dance (caster level 8th) once per day.
Special Arrows (Ex)

Pixies sometimes employ arrows that deal no damage but can erase memory or put a creature to sleep.
Memory Loss

An opponent struck by this arrow must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or lose all memory. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus. The subject retains skills, languages, and class abilities but forgets everything else until he or she receives a heal spell or memory restoration with limited wish, wish, or miracle.
Sleep

Any opponent struck by this arrow, regardless of Hit Dice, must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or be affected as though by a sleep spell. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

[/sblock]
 
Last edited:

narayan

Villager
Thale Occius Iceforge

The Crossed Cutlass Inn is a handsome, five-story structure of brick and mortared stone. Each floor features at least a dozen fine glass windows protected behind ornamental iron bars. The roof is topped in plain wood shingles, but there are also balconies at every corner (accessible only from within) that offer guests great views of the city. Mercenaries of all sorts congregate here in good numbers, as do sailors, militia, soldiers and adventurers. Of course so many armed men in one place sharing drinks tends to start trouble so the shields keep a close eye on it.

Besides the main entrance the Inn has two side doors (one on either side). One is used to access the kitchen/storage, the other is used by the owner and staff to access the back rooms, the laundry and the baths. These doors are locked, and sometimes guarded by bouncers or hired mercenary guards if there is trouble afoot. (Presently in this wet weather, and given also that its daylight there are no guards standing by the side-doors). At night these doors are kept well lit by hanging lanterns and in day light they are difficult to approach and tamper with unseen.

Behind the inn is a large stables entered through the Inn via a back door, or off the street through a large iron side-gate (also well lit by lanterns at night). At least one bouncer stands by this gate at all hours (though which one varies, he employs at least four bouncers full time and rotates the staff regularly). Due to the prevalence of thieves and cutthroats in Zoa no one is permitted to enter through the side gate into the stables (even to retrieve their own horse) unless the owner personally makes an exception and also makes this plainly known to the staff in advance.

Besides the guard at the gate, no less than four stable-boys are busy at work in the stables, day or night, attending to the mounts and animals of the guests. Just off to either side, behind the gate, is enough room for up to four large carts, wagons, and/or carriages. There is even a blacksmith/leather-working shop attached to the stable that can handle most upkeep and repair of wheeled vehicles, saddles and tack. This shop is open to business to everyone but the shopkeeper makes it plainly known guests of the inn take priority.

The owner/Inn keeper of The Crossed Cutlass is a famous half-elven sailor by the name of Holovar Crote, though most know him as 'Captain Havoc', the name he took while at sea. His exploits as an explorer and a privateer have been retold many times, often in print. Though retired going on twenty years now Holovar is still a valuable source of information. Many a wise sailor or adventurer seeks his advice before a dangerous voyage.



Holovar is a respected leader in Zoa's Marine's Guild and a good friend of Councilman Nafoor, the 'Master of the Marines'. He is also a staunch supporter of Councilman Roulain, the 'Master of the Bay', who has many forward-thinking ideas about the cities future and potential allies.

It is known to you that Holovar was once a hated adversary of the Captains Table of Thirteen. It is rumored the price on his head used to rival a king's ransom! Supposedly, however, Holovar made some sort of compromise with the pirates to keep his head so long as he never sailed again. Details of this arrangement is a popular topic of gossip and gross speculation.

Holovar himself refuses to verify any such arrangement. He claims he retired for the sake of raising a family and would never suffer to deal with pirates. Anyone rude enough to claim otherwise is usually challenged promptly to a duel. Captain Havoc relishes an opportunity to keep his legendary swordsmanship in good practice and has yet to loose such a contest.

Regardless of whatever arrangement was (or was not) made between Holovar Crote and the Thirteen, Holovar still has many enemies. Many attempts on his life have occurred in Zoa (both before and after his retirement), some within the Inn itself (though he and his family no longer reside there). As a consequence Holovar keeps at least one skilled bouncer near the door within the common room at all times to minimize the number of cutthroats that slip inside.

You've enjoyed an ale or two here before but Duskblades tend to make people nervous. No one is ever quite sure if a Duskblade is ever really 'off duty' so to speak. The current reputation of the Duskblades lends to the fear that anyone's misdeeds warrant them as a target for justice. A few known pirates and brigands have been spotted here but they are usually foolhardy indeed to be so brazen. The most common crime known to occur at the Crossed Cutlass are mercenaries offering illegal contracts removed from guild oversight.

Holovar has never claimed support for the Duskblades publicly, but neither has he discouraged it. Politically it would seem he could go either way as one of the councilman he supports encourages their use and other does not. In that regard also, you are not aware of any dealings between Holovar and your step father Aeron. although you have spotted volumes of Captain Havoc's Adventures and other published memoirs on the shelves in his personal study. High praise indeed as Aeron reads very little not worth knowing.

Keeping all that in mind, do you take any actions or make any preparations before you enter the Inn?

[Thale: What do you do?]
 
Last edited:

narayan

Villager
Saryf at The Eagle's Peak Monastery

Saryf said:
Saryf: "Prepare to run, hide here and wait." Saryf pulls himself away from the girl and starts walking toward the monastery less accessible paths. He calls upon the power of The Guardian and his steps suddenly blur as the strides get faster and longer. He pauses for few heartbeats more ensuring he doesn't freeze in the wet clothes and goes onward hoping to get to The Abbot before the caravan people do.
Saryf OOC said:
Cast domain spell Longstrider
Cast prepared spell Endure Elements (he might actually have it cast already, he was visiting the lake and he lives in the high mountain monastery)

Only comprehend languages and cantrips remain.
[sblock=DM NOTE]It is too late to claim you cast Endure Elements before you were tossed into the lake. However, as the whole story of battling the slavers and ending up in the lake was a backstory and not really a declared action in game, I have decided it would be unkind to force Fortitude Saves vs. cold damage immediately (so long as you make an effort to avoid them by dealing with the situation via spells or otherwise).[/sblock]

[sblock=Saryf Spells]Endure Elements is a somewhat poorly worded spell. I spent quite a lot of time thinking about its effects in this particular situation. I believe that spell alone will not be sufficient to avoid all ill effects of the snow and cold. However, I will allow the use of Mending (0 Level Cantrip) to dry your garments first so that the effects of Endure Elements going forward will work as they should.

Traditionally Cantrips have been used for a lot of minor effects that may not have an actual written spell for them. (in prior editions of D&D especially). Casting Cantrip first, with the added use of Endure Elements after the fact, should avoid the need for any Fortitude Saves vs. environmental conditions for the next 24 hours.
[/sblock]

Saryf OOC said:
Half-move once into the mountain pass - it is 20' not 15' - not big difference, but it accumulates.
He will risk some full moves on straight parts, but it is more important that he gets there than to try to get there faster.

If there is some extra bad place where free movement would help him pass long slog in one quick run - use Travel domain power of free movement for 1 round (that's 80' move through deep snow drifts or some other similar obstacle)
With the aid of your spells (and your familiarity with the trails hereabouts) you manage to reach the monastery with unnatural haste despite the snows and other obstacles in the rough terrain. You cover the distance in about an hour (as close as you can estimate). It is now mid-afternoon, cold and grey. A chill wind blows as low laying clouds are moving in. Likely another storm will be breaking tonight, carrying with it more snow.

As you approach the monastery from the rear stepping alongside a stony slope you catch a glimpse of the courtyard from above. The slavers caravan is still there. Several of the men are standing near or leaning against their carts. Though it's too far to really make out individuals, you can at least gauge their general bearing. Those men look impatient, clearly still waiting for the other four men they dispatched to capture Anoria to return. You're in luck, the last survivor of those four slavers obviously hasn't made it back yet either.

[Saryf: What do you do?]
 
Last edited:

narayan

Villager
Willambervale Somberthaine, Telerai Ghostcloak

Will says, "Destiny? What is this destiny you speak of? Why haven't you told me any of this before, master? What is it that I carry? And why are ancient spirits whispering my name to you? And why didn't you tell me of this earlier? You're acting very strange, master. I'll be honest, you're making me quite nervous. Please explain yourself."

Will waits for his master's explanation, all the while, keeping one eye on the door, ready to flee at a moment's notice.
An expression of sympathy and pity sets into Telerai's familiar features as he steps closer.

Telerai: "I understand your confusion. Believe me I am just as shocked and disturbed by the behavior of these spirits. I did not think they were capable of that much aggression. They are normally docile, benign and incoherent. Most of what they whisper is nonsensical, irrelevant and mystifying."

"They are older than we can comprehend. What's left of their psyche, their essence, hardly qualifies as consciousness. You know this Willambervale! You lived and slept inside these walls. You made your feelings plain just as you do now."

-Sighs- "I never meant to hide anything from you, but you lacked discipline! You were not ready for this. Your mind takes after your heart. Always restless or resentful about things beyond your understanding and control. I am not your father Willambervale. I was woefully unprepared to look after you when he died. Neither of us asked for that!"

Moments like this remind you why you left this tower as often as you could. Telerai's harshness could be cruel. This time however, something was different. There was a frown and genuine emotion behind his words. He was almost pleading with you to listen.

"My failings as your teacher are my own regrets to bear. You deserved better guidance than I provided." -He swallows- "Do you remember what I told you when you decided to study the arcane as my apprentice? I told you with great power comes great responsibility. This is the moment you must resolve to be the master of your own fate. Your destiny is yours to choose, I only wish to help you."

"Give me the egg and I will do my best to answer all your questions." He states reaching out for you.

[Willambervale: What do you do? If you like, you can roll a Sense Motive check. Otherwise, if you wish to take any sort of drastic action (such as fleeing or casting a spell), please roll initiative first.]
 
Last edited:

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
OOC: Will is watching Telerai very closely; he will not allow him to get close to him. If he advances, Will will back up. If he advances at a hurried pace or becomes aggressive, Will will flee. He has no desire to face down a powerful Master Wizard.

Sense Motive: Base roll (18) + Wisdom (2) = Total Result of 20
 

Aust Thale

Explorer
Thale Occius Iceforge

The Crossed Cutlass Inn is a handsome, five-story structure of brick and mortared stone. Each floor features at least a dozen fine glass windows protected behind ornamental iron bars. The roof is topped in plain wood shingles, but there are also balconies at every corner (accessible only from within) that offer guests great views of the city. Mercenaries of all sorts congregate here in good numbers, as do sailors, militia, soldiers and adventurers. Of course so many armed men in one place sharing drinks tends to start trouble so the shields keep a close eye on it.

Besides the main entrance the Inn has two side doors (one on either side). One is used to access the kitchen/storage, the other is used by the owner and staff to access the back rooms, the laundry and the baths. These doors are locked, and sometimes guarded by bouncers or hired mercenary guards if there is trouble afoot. (Presently in this wet weather, and given also that its daylight there are no guards standing by the side-doors). At night these doors are kept well lit by hanging lanterns and in day light they are difficult to approach and tamper with unseen.

Behind the inn is a large stables entered through the Inn via a back door, or off the street through a large iron side-gate (also well lit by lanterns at night). At least one bouncer stands by this gate at all hours (though which one varies, he employs at least four bouncers full time and rotates the staff regularly). Due to the prevalence of thieves and cutthroats in Zoa no one is permitted to enter through the side gate into the stables (even to retrieve their own horse) unless the owner personally makes an exception and also makes this plainly known to the staff in advance.

Besides the guard at the gate, no less than four stable-boys are busy at work in the stables, day or night, attending to the mounts and animals of the guests. Just off to either side, behind the gate, is enough room for up to four large carts, wagons, and/or carriages. There is even a blacksmith/leather-working shop attached to the stable that can handle most upkeep and repair of wheeled vehicles, saddles and tack. This shop is open to business to everyone but the shopkeeper makes it plainly known guests of the inn take priority.

The owner/Inn keeper of The Crossed Cutlass is a famous half-elven sailor by the name of Holovar Crote, though most know him as 'Captain Havoc', the name he took while at sea. His exploits as an explorer and a privateer have been retold many times, often in print. Though retired going on twenty years now Holovar is still a valuable source of information. Many a wise sailor or adventurer seeks his advice before a dangerous voyage.


Holovar is a respected leader in Zoa's Marine's Guild and a good friend of Councilman Nafoor, the 'Master of the Marines'. He is also a staunch supporter of Councilman Roulain, the 'Master of the Bay', who has many forward-thinking ideas about the cities future and potential allies.

It is known to you that Holovar was once a hated adversary of the Captains Table of Thirteen. It is rumored the price on his head used to rival a king's ransom! Supposedly, however, Holovar made some sort of compromise with the pirates to keep his head so long as he never sailed again. Details of this arrangement is a popular topic of gossip and gross speculation.

Holovar himself refuses to verify any such arrangement. He claims he retired for the sake of raising a family and would never suffer to deal with pirates. Anyone rude enough to claim otherwise is usually challenged promptly to a duel. Captain Havoc relishes an opportunity to keep his legendary swordsmanship in good practice and has yet to loose such a contest.

Regardless of whatever arrangement was (or was not) made between Holovar Crote and the Thirteen, Holovar still has many enemies. Many attempts on his life have occurred in Zoa (both before and after his retirement), some within the Inn itself (though he and his family no longer reside there). As a consequence Holovar keeps at least one skilled bouncer near the door within the common room at all times to minimize the number of cutthroats that slip inside.

You've enjoyed an ale or two here before but Duskblades tend to make people nervous. No one is ever quite sure if a Duskblade is ever really 'off duty' so to speak. The current reputation of the Duskblades lends to the fear that anyone's misdeeds warrant them as a target for justice. A few known pirates and brigands have been spotted here but they are usually foolhardy indeed to be so brazen. The most common crime known to occur at the Crossed Cutlass are mercenaries offering illegal contracts removed from guild oversight.

Holovar has never claimed support for the Duskblades publicly, but neither has he discouraged it. Politically it would seem he could go either way as one of the councilman he supports encourages their use and other does not. In that regard also, you are not aware of any dealings between Holovar and your step father Aeron. although you have spotted volumes of Captain Havoc's Adventures and other published memoirs on the shelves in his personal study. High praise indeed as Aeron reads very little not worth knowing.

Keeping all that in mind, do you take any actions or make any preparations before you enter the Inn?

[Thale: What do you do?]
Thale stops 30 or 40 feet from the Crossed Cutlass' main entrance, quietly surveying the outside of the building. Too bad he couldn't identify Raeden Corbry on sight. He could, however, identify Captain Havoc aka Holovar Crote. Thale had spoken to him once in passing two years before about a young footpad who had stolen a pony. That wouldn't have risen to the level of the Duskblades' attention except that the pony belonged to a courier for the 'blades. Nothing had come of it. One of Thale's order had literally caught the young thief by the scruff of the neck about the same distance Thale was standing from the Cutlass at that moment. Thale laughed out loud thinking about it, as the thief found himself clotheslined, flipped with hands behind his back, and manacled in what amounted to a single move. The guild had given much less than their full-throated support for the lad; thus, the Duskblades punished him privately pursuant to Holovar's wishes. They gave the lad a job, one that the young fellow still had. It was then that Thale understood the 'blades' reach, and the reliance upon them that even questionable folks appreciated. As he finished his pear, slowing chewing it before he entered the Cutlass, he found what he was looking for, or rather it found him.

Teller Peakblind, former burglar and scout for the Duskblade order of Zoa, approaching Thale as if he were selling apples: "Blade Thale? What brings you here?"

Thale: "Greetings Peakblind. I am to meet someone in the Cutlass. Three questions for your keen eyes and ears: how is the clientele today? Have you seen Mr. Crote? And do you know a Raeden Corbry such that you could point him out to me?"

Regardless of Peakblind's answers, Thale finishes his pear, takes one of Peakblind's apples and puts it in his pocket, and pays several copper pieces to Peakblind. "Thank you Master Peakblind. Back to your mission. Please report back to the Order that you saw me enter the Cutlass at this time, this day, so it is logged properly in your report." Thale winks at Peakblind. "Good work, Lad." Thale wanted this to be last record before he went directly to mission. He knew Peakblind didn't miss anything.

Thale's left shoulder blade tattoo identifying himself as a Duskblade is typically hidden, quite true today as well, under his tunic or shirt. Thale further stows his wood, amethyst, and brass Duskblade medallion in his pocket.

~ No sense in making the natives nervous. ~ Thale smiles. ~ Not today anyway. ~

Thale enters the Cutlass looking for Raeden, and if not Raeden, for Holovar Crote.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

narayan

Villager
Willambervale Somberthaine, Telerai Ghostcloak

OOC: Will is watching Telerai very closely; he will not allow him to get close to him. If he advances, Will will back up. If he advances at a hurried pace or becomes aggressive, Will will flee. He has no desire to face down a powerful Master Wizard.

Sense Motive: Base roll (18) + Wisdom (2) = Total Result of 20
Telerai: Pauses mid-step as you take a step back away from him, brow furrowing. "What are you doing Will? Don't you trust me?"

[sblock=Results of Sense Motive Check] You don't understand what's wrong with Telerai exactly, but this behavior is certainly disconcerting to you. He's never been this... emotional before.

Even if what he said is true and he was told about the egg before you arrived, (supposedly by some other spirit) this is not how you would expect him to behave. Telerai is quite proud, sometimes harsh yes, but always in control, always measured. This pleading, grasping, demanding attitude seems strange and unusual to you.[/sblock]

[Willambervale: What do you do?]
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Crazy Will Doesn't Trust Telerai

Will says, "Discipline? DISCIPLINE?!? Do NOT equate my openess and honesty with a lack of discipline! And do not assume that because of my quick temper, I lack self-control. You know NOTHING of what it's like to be me! I see, hear, and understand things around me that others do not, nay, cannot! And they call ME the crazy one! I am far more astute than anyone gives me credit for, including you! For instance, I know you well enough to realize that this egg, whatever it is, has some sort of hold over you! The Telerai I know is measured, calculating, and controlled. He is NOT needy, emotional, or grasping! I'll not give you this egg, in a million years, in your current state! Not while I still draw breath! Whatever's the matter with you, it's affected your mind, your judgment, your willpower. Stay away from me!"

OOC: Willambervale intends to open the door and flee. Initiative roll (1d20+3) = 8
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
Saryf, the saviour

As you approach the monastery from the rear stepping alongside a stony slope you catch a glimpse of the courtyard from above. The slavers caravan is still there. Several of the men are standing near or leaning against their carts. Though it's too far to really make out individuals, you can at least gauge their general bearing. Those men look impatient, clearly still waiting for the other four men they dispatched to capture Anoria to return. You're in luck, the last survivor of those four slavers obviously hasn't made it back yet either.

[Saryf: What do you do?][/I]
Sarif: "~There must be a way to go around...wait, what am I thinking!? They are not alarmed, I can just walk by.~" he thinks as he approaches. Still, no sense in risking discovery at the last moment. He hurries inside, but slows to normal (if brisk) pace as he comes into the view of those of the caravan.

He goes inside and asks about abbots whereabouts, not trusting anyone else at the moment.

OOC: He would go to the librarian if the abbot is not available and then to some senior priest he trust the most in that order of preference going down the hierarchy for as far as he dares and as fast as he dares. He avoid any priests/monks he knows commonly talk to outsiders.
 

narayan

Villager
Quarzi Lagomorpha, Mr. Noggins, Tinglemist



The icy coolness of a morning's air may have been inhaled deeply by the little halfling's lips, but it was the chill in Quarzi's spine that really screamed for attention. For a moment she lay there, perfectly still, almost paralyzed with surprise and fear. Hare's didn't appreciate being snuck up on or stalked. Territorial and ever-alert, the general idea was to make oneself "unavailable" should invisible borders be crossed by predatory kinds.

It was the thing's scalps that really turned the golden's stomach. Proudly displayed like grizzly mementos of a hunters aptitude. Humanoid skins from once sentient heads. For Quarzi, first impressions mattered, and bashfully presenting yourself as a killer wasn't going to go a long way to win her confidence.

Sure, the use of animal remains for furs and warmth was a necessity at times. Quarzi preferred hers to be sourced from beasts that died of natural causes of course. Even her leather, enchanted and hidden deep within the layers of winter garb, hadn't been acquired by some insensitive and wasteful kill. But that was another story... Right now, the attention was on Mister Noggins, as she fittingly decided to name him.

Was she safe here? Undetected and out of sight? It seemed that way. She had confidence in her ability to hide, and blowing her cover too soon seemed like an all too risky move. This was a time to wait, and watch, a feeling obviously shared by Noggins too. But maybe there was someone who could help.

During her time living within the surrounding wilderness, foraging and subsisting at her rabbit's side, she'd made quite a variety of friends. She could calm, charm, heal and even speak with nature's beasts when she put half a mind to it. Such things required preparation of course, a shaman's ways to access the gifts of spirits and an invisible supernatural world. But there were other creatures too. Magical beings who collectively protected the most important places and things, out there in the most unlikely of places. Fae. Some were friendly and sweet. Some were mischievous. Some were very hard to get along with. In fact, they weren't that much different from hares.

One individual, a pixie by the name of Tinglemist, had found himself quite taken by Quarzi and her furry friend. In fact, they had something of an ongoing deal. She had helped him find something of importance, a personal little artifact quite some time ago. In exchange, he had promised her to always be available... ready to pop in at the blink of an eye. Now, Tinglemist was a rather annoying character at times with all his pixie-style dances and sharp-witted methods of mockery, but he was also a rather excellent negotiator and judge of character.

"Quarzibee, don't think two shakes of a cottontail about it. You got a problem, need a little errand done, seen a nasty or just want to chat... speak the tiny poem. I'll be there, a tiny man for a tiny miss ahha!"

Quarzi's past was flooding back at the sight of Noggins. Something was off, and far more rotten than some slowly air-drying headskin. She needed a distraction. A helping hand. Someone to pry some truth out of this trespasser.

She whispered under her breath.

"Mists that wriggles fog that tickles. Friend... a hunter follows, see what words he may just swallow."

She made a few motions with her hands, tracing the outline of a rabbit in the air.

Twenty-five feet away, hopefully off to Noggins's side or behind him, the sprite would appear.

"Hey, Crabface, what you doing sniffing around ere? Not getting enough head?" Tinglemist said to Noggins as he popped into the scene.
The ugly humanoid whirls about as the voice of the sprite startles it. Mr. Noggins stares up hatefully at the Pixie allowing you to make out its facial features better. In profile you note its slightly pointed ears and a sloped forehead as it hisses hateful words revealing rotten, jagged-brown teeth. You've seen features like this before, in Goblins most commonly, though never one such as this.

Mr. Noggins: "Dekaal Haan! Rhaarluuc rhaakluugaan A daar or dec or ac araan daal duun dekhaan ghec an!"

The language is incomprehensible to you (and apparently Tinglemist as well) but it is somewhat similar to what you would normally recognize as gobilin-speak.

Tinglemist: (Speaking Merchant Tongue) "I don't comprehend your ugly words from your ugly face Crabface. You aren't welcome here! SHOO! SHOO!" he yells back gesturing plainly with his hands.

Mr. Noggins: Aims his crossbow threateningly at the Sprite.

Mr. Noggins: (Initiative: = 17)

Tinglemist: (Initiative: = 20)

Tinglemist is too quick for Mr. Noggins, vanishing from sight instantly (Improved Invisibility). You hear the Sprite's cackle of laughter as he flutters about clearly frustrating the intruder who keeps cursing and aiming its crossbow helplessly.

Tinglemist: "NASTY BAD CRABFACE!" (Casts Entangle)

Mr. Noggins: (Reflex Save vs. Entangle, DC 14: = 10, Fail)

Suddenly the brush seems to come alive, twisting and entwining Mr. Noggins legs holding him fast!

[Quarzi: What do you do? For the moment Mr. Noggins can still aim and fire his crossbow (held action), though for the rest of this round he cannot move. You may still act this round if you choose, but you will have to roll initiative before you can declare another action for the next round.]
 
Last edited:

narayan

Villager
Thale Occius Iceforge

Thale stops 30 or 40 feet from the Crossed Cutlass' main entrance, quietly surveying the outside of the building. Too bad he couldn't identify Raeden Corbry on sight. He could, however, identify Captain Havoc aka Holovar Crote. Thale had spoken to him once in passing two years before about a young footpad who had stolen a pony. That wouldn't have risen to the level of the Duskblades' attention except that the pony belonged to a courier for the 'blades. Nothing had come of it. One of Thale's order had literally caught the young thief by the scruff of the neck about the same distance Thale was standing from the Cutlass at that moment. Thale laughed out loud thinking about it, as the thief found himself clotheslined, flipped with hands behind his back, and manacled in what amounted to a single move. The guild had given much less than their full-throated support for the lad; thus, the Duskblades punished him privately pursuant to Holovar's wishes. They gave the lad a job, one that the young fellow still had. It was then that Thale understood the 'blades' reach, and the reliance upon them that even questionable folks appreciated. As he finished his pear, slowing chewing it before he entered the Cutlass, he found what he was looking for, or rather it found him.

Teller Peakblind, former burglar and scout for the Duskblade order of Zoa, approaching Thale as if he were selling apples: "Blade Thale? What brings you here?"

Thale: "Greetings Peakblind. I am to meet someone in the Cutlass. Three questions for your keen eyes and ears: how is the clientele today? Have you seen Mr. Crote? And do you know a Raeden Corbry such that you could point him out to me?"

Regardless of Peakblind's answers, Thale finishes his pear, takes one of Peakblind's apples and puts it in his pocket, and pays several copper pieces to Peakblind. "Thank you Master Peakblind. Back to your mission. Please report back to the Order that you saw me enter the Cutlass at this time, this day, so it is logged properly in your report." Thale winks at Peakblind. "Good work, Lad." Thale wanted this to be last record before he went directly to mission. He knew Peakblind didn't miss anything.

Thale's left shoulder blade tattoo identifying himself as a Duskblade is typically hidden, quite true today as well, under his tunic or shirt. Thale further stows his wood, amethyst, and brass Duskblade medallion in his pocket.

~ No sense in making the natives nervous.~ Thale smiles. ~Not today anyway.~

Thale enters the Cutlass looking for Raeden, and if not Raeden, for Holovar Crote.
Teller Peakblind: "Yes Blade Thale, they are both seated at one of the private tables in the back." He says before moving away.

Within The Crossed Cutlass the large common room is just as rowdy as you remember it. Beneath its high beamed ceiling nearly two hundred souls laugh and drink at two dozen tables and booths. Everyday there are drinking competitions, matches for arm-wrestling, dagger-throwing (even dagger-juggling), and other martial pastimes.

Fitting for the atmosphere, rows of spears and shields are set along the walls with full suites of armor on display in the corners. Above the long bar are also two dozen swords and other exotic weapons from every corner of Tellene.

As you step inside and pull back your hood you feel dozens of eyes upon you (including those of a number of half-hobgoblins seated together in clumps). You note their numbers and positions in the back of your mind while seemingly ignoring them. You also spot the Inn's most veteran bouncer leaning against the end of the bar closest to you holding an ale. He pauses mid-sip, eyeing you with a certain look you have learned to be wary of. His eyes are pale blue, the color of ice, and just as frosty.

You recall his name as Diago. An ex-soldier, reputedly brave enough to earn the Hero's Ribbon of Zoa when he was still young enough to serve. Now clearly well past the age of retirement his hair and mustache are silver-grey. Only the confidence in his stare and the fitness in his stance retain much the same vigor as younger men.

At his hip is a sword somewhat strange in its proportions. From the size of the scabbard you can tell the blade should be the same length and breadth as a longsword, but the hilt is as long as one fitted for a bastard sword. Unusual, but likely not without advantages. You see no other obvious weapons on his person, which would seem to make a statement that he doesn't need any.

His garb is clean and well kept, not a uniform or even armor as such, but fitting for a swordsman. There is more than pride in its closely tailored fitment. The way it hugs his lean muscled torso and thighs leaves no extra folds to catch a blade or offer easy purchase for an enemy to grab. In fact, his shoulder pads, belt, bracers and gauntlets all feature spikes and tough metal studs which are both discouraging and advantageous for grappling.



Diago sets down the ale and steps towards you. You haven't been in here since you suffered the lash of the slavers scourge, but somehow he recognizes you despite your fresh scars. This is what it was about his look that made you wary. He was expecting you.

[Thale: What do you do?]
 
Last edited:

Aust Thale

Explorer
Thale Occius Iceforge

~ Not looking for trouble, but in this place...perhaps it would be fun ~

Thale cracks the beginnings of a wry smile as Diago the Zoa Hero Swordsman is walking toward him. Setting his halberd in the rack adjacent to the door, Thale deftly set the latch to hold it upright while keeping one eye on Diago, sizing up why the swordsman might want Thale. He hoped it was to simply point Thale to Crote and Raeden’s table. The foyer to the tavern, if one called it that, was just big enough to hold the halberd upright. The Cutlass had a door attendant as well, usually reserved for tonier establishments, but most effective here at protecting belongings and reducing clutter in the tavern, a place that could become crowded. Crote valued his establishment. Thale took a wooden token with a symbol on it, and he handed his backpack to the attendant to put with his halberd, again, again assessing what Diago might want. He kept his coin pouch in his belt, his chain shirt under his tunic, and especially his sword. Sensing Diago coming closer, Thale turned back toward him, he nodded politely, showing respect to the venerable swordsman in a similar fashion he might to an elder Duskblade, a commander of the guard, or perhaps his parents (on a more serious day when his attention span wasn't something this side of a hamster).

Good day, Diago. You are looking quite handsome today. I’m not here for regular business, so you can relax. I’m here for a bite to eat, and perhaps a few words with the Captain. ‘Experience goes better with gold; wisdom with ale”, and that sort of thing.” Thale enjoyed making up adages that sounded as if they were well-used and full of deep meaning. They were not; usually, he would simply state the obvious that would have the recipient have to think for a moment to realize it. He would routinely use them to make his mother laugh. He even caught his stepfather amused at several he rolled off his tongue in elvish. Too bad so few people (other than elves) knew elvish. In elvish, he sounded like a most proper smart-ass.

OOC: Sense Motive Roll = 9; Spot Check = 11; See Rolz.org KOK11
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Neurotic

Adventurer
With the aid of your spells (and your familiarity with the trails hereabouts) you manage to reach the monastery with unnatural haste despite the snows and other obstacles in the rough terrain. You cover the distance in about an hour (as close as you can estimate). It is now mid-afternoon, cold and grey. A chill wind blows as low laying clouds are moving in. Likely another storm will be breaking tonight, carrying with it more snow.

As you approach the monastery from the rear stepping alongside a stony slope you catch a glimpse of the courtyard from above. The slavers caravan is still there. Several of the men are standing near or leaning against their carts. Though it's too far to really make out individuals, you can at least gauge their general bearing. Those men look impatient, clearly still waiting for the other four men they dispatched to capture Anoria to return. You're in luck, the last survivor of those four slavers obviously hasn't made it back yet either.

Sarif:"~There must be a way to go around...wait, what am I thinking!? They are not alarmed, I can just walk by.~" he thinks as he approaches. Still, no sense in risking discovery at the last moment. He hurries inside, but slows to normal (if brisk) pace as he comes into the view of those of the caravan.

He goes inside and asks about abbots whereabouts, not trusting anyone else at the moment.

Saryf: "~I have beaten them! There is still a chance to make this right!~"
Saryf goes into the monastery and asks about abbots whereabouts, not trusting almost anyone else at the moment.

"Elder! I have urgent matter to report! Slavers!"
he stops, flushed from the rush and danger he survived and composes himself visible, trying to slow his breathing.
"Apologies, master. I was attacked along with my companion. Attacked to be captured. I managed to disable the attackers, but one ran off. And I fear for when he returns. The caravan could go and try to recapture us. Or they might decide to attack the monastery. At any moment, the one that ran off will arrive. We need to be ready for disturbance from them. And if they go, I have to go and protect...I have to return to the lake."


OOC: He would go to the librarian if the abbot is not available and then to some senior priest he trust the most in that order of preference going down the hierarchy for as far as he dares and as fast as he dares. He avoids any priests/monks he knows commonly talk to outsiders.
 

narayan

Villager
Willambervale Somberthaine, Telerai Ghostcloak

Will says, "Discipline? DISCIPLINE?!? Do NOT equate my openess and honesty with a lack of discipline! And do not assume that because of my quick temper, I lack self-control. You know NOTHING of what it's like to be me! I see, hear, and understand things around me that others do not, nay, cannot! And they call ME the crazy one! I am far more astute than anyone gives me credit for, including you! For instance, I know you well enough to realize that this egg, whatever it is, has some sort of hold over you! The Telerai I know is measured, calculating, and controlled. He is NOT needy, emotional, or grasping! I'll not give you this egg, in a million years, in your current state! Not while I still draw breath! Whatever's the matter with you, it's affected your mind, your judgment, your willpower. Stay away from me!"

OOC: Willambervale intends to open the door and flee. Initiative roll (1d20+3) = 8
As you turn and rush to the door you find it shut fast. Even throwing your full weight against it is no use. You know it is magically held. Telerai can control this door (and many others within this strange and ancient tower) 'at will' with just a thought. He probably sealed it behind you as soon as you entered.

Telerai: "Petulant fool!" You hear Telerai mutter in an unfamiliar, eerie, chillingly hollow voice. "There is no use resisting. You will not escape my power any easier than your former master."

As you turn back around to stare at Telerai with confusion you see a flash of arrogant delight pass over his features, along with something else... something stranger. For an instant it seemed like you could see through his body as it shifts into an incorporeal form of an entirely different sort of elf, the like of which you have never seen before. It is vaguely intangible as a mere ghostly visage of its former form. The most striking difference you see are the ears, which have longer, sharper points while also appearing far more frail and thin, though equally elegant.

Mormhaor: "Didn't you ever wonder why Telerai called himself 'Ghostcloak?'. The title speaks of his predilection to seek out the spirits of the dead. A pastime that earned him nothing but scorn and suspicion among the living. Why else would you think he chose to dwell here? Here where the ancient spirits of the first elves still linger... He wanted to glean something from us that everyone would respect to justify his interest. Secret knowledge and ancient power."

"I set the idea in his head long ago that it was his destiny to become master of this tower. Slowly over decades I coaxed him to feed more and more of his own spells into the tower with fleeting glimpses of its potential rewards. A necessary lie you see. Myself and the other 'mormhaor' require fresh magic from the living to sustain ourselves. Of course, his desire to possess control over the tower also made it all too easy for me to possess him when I decided the time was right."

"You on the other hand always resisted us, as sometimes happens. You are Tosi Elama. The history of your ancestors and my descendants is inborn into your instincts. My urging to Telerai to train you and keep you by his side were not enough. No matter. You are here now, and so is the egg."

The spirit who has possessed Telerai notes your anguished and fearful expression.

"Do not despair! Telerai lives on as part of me. So far as anyone will know, Telerai will finally achieve all the goals he ever wanted, and more... much more. And so shall you. But first, you must accept me as your new master..."

"My true name is difficult to pronounce in what you now call 'elvish', but it shall suffice to refer to me as Archaeroseth-the-deathless, indomitable and all-powerful Hîr Istari."

[Willambervale: Make an intelligence check.]

[Note: In truth you beat him in initiative. We shall consider you moving to the door to be a 5 ft. step. You can still make a standard or move action before his turn.]
 
Last edited:

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
OOC:
INT Check = 21; Knowledge Arcana Check = 26; The Arcana is to remember facts about the Mormhaor and how to combat them.


OOC:
Based on what these checks tell me, I will then state my intentions as to what I plan to do on my turn.
 

narayan

Villager
Willambervale Somberthaine, Archaeroseth-the-deathless

OOC:
INT Check = 21; Knowledge Arcana Check = 26; The Arcana is to remember facts about the Mormhaor and how to combat them.


OOC:
Based on what these checks tell me, I will then state my intentions as to what I plan to do on my turn.
[sblock=Results of your rolls]
Intelligence Check:

You recall at this moment, as you are standing by the entrance, that there is a trap door beneath your feet. Telerai only used it once, and when you saw it you almost laughed at loud. Why would a powerful wizard need a trap door?! He answered simply 'because nobody expects it'. He had a point.

The trapdoor can be triggered in one of two ways. Telerai could activate it with a spoken command word, or just by tapping his staff on the floor. You don't have his staff handy, but you do remember the command word to be 'Raeda'. Beneath the trapdoor is a steep chute that will see you tumbling into a cell on the towers second sub-level. There is a pile of straw beneath the chute so the fall shouldn't harm you.

Once you're in the cell of course, there normally isn't a way out. However, one of Telerai's 'pets', an Earth Mephit called Jasper dwells on that level. Jasper isn't particularly intelligent, but he is very appreciative of his home in the tower and undertakes a variety of chores dutifully. Jasper normally only takes orders from Telerai, but he also considers you a friend. He might be persuaded to let you free. In any case, the odds of getting out of that cell seem a lot better than walking out of the front entrance at this point.

You are aware of an underground secret passage out of the tower down on the 3rd sub-level. Neither Telerai or yourself have ever used it. He warned it was unexplored and dangerous and walled it off many years ago. However, Jasper has the magical power to soften stone into clay. Thus he could also facilitate your escape from the tower into the secret tunnel.

It would seem possible that the Mormhaor should know all of Telerai's thoughts and memories. However, the way he acted towards you as a poor impostor might also indicate a limited comprehension of Telerai's feelings and desires. It is therefore possible that he might fail to understand or anticipate Telerai's wishes and motives. This gives you something of a chance to evade and confuse the Mormhaor, who for now is seemingly trapped in Telerai's physical body so long as he possesses him.

Thus there is a chance you can reach the secret escape tunnel before Archaeroseth can follow you.



Knowledge (Arcana):

Telerai explained what the Mormhaor were to you to some degree, but the actual facts about their nature and the means to destroy them are unknown even to him. Telerai wasn't the first wizard to claim this ancient tower, but he was the only one comfortable enough to commit to living with the Mormhaor for as long as he did. Others before him sought the same secret knowledge and ancient power, but they never made the same progress communicating with the Mormhaor (or perhaps more likely, the Mormhaor considered them unworthy and drove them out).

As undead (for lack of a better term), the scope of Knowledge (Arcana) is limited explaining their nature and psychology. (For this Knowledge: Religion is best) However, the title 'Hîr Istari' that Archaeroseth-the-deathless used for himself is something of a clue for you. You remember those words translated by Telerai from ancient runes scattered throughout this tower. 'Hîr' means 'Lord Master' and 'Istari' means 'Magus' in modern elvish.

Telerai explained to you in your lessons of the nature of the arcane that a Magus differs from other arcanists in that they are actually beings born with magical aptitude in their blood. They learn to cast by instinct, requiring no training. Magi manipulate magic in a much more intuitive way than wizards or even sorcerers. They have more refined control over their spell usage, and even become able to use some minor spells at will.

Magi are extremely rare among all races, to an even greater degree that Tosi Elama are rare among elves, but this may not have always been so. Telerai theorized once or twice that the Mormhaor might be ancient Magi in spirit form. Given Archaeroseth's own claim to you that the Mormhaor require fresh magic to sustain themselves, it would seem Telerai was unto something.

However, beyond that, you didn't care to learn anything else about Mormhaor. They frightened you. Telerai himself once said the study of the Mormhaor was like peering into the unknowable. He planned to visit other bastions where the Mormhaor still lived, hoping to expand the breadth of his observations and record them in his journals so he could finally finish writing his tome. Perhaps his journals could give you better insights, but Telerai kept them carefully guarded and hidden. You aren't sure you could safely retrieve them from his chambers in the first sub-level.
[/sblock]

[Willambervale: What do you do?]
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Willambervale's Gamble (vs. Archaeroseth)

Willambervale smiles, and says, "Let me have some time to think about it... RAEDA!"

OOC: I don't want to step on the DM's toes, and say that the trapdoor opens, I whoosh down, etc. So here's the deal: IF the trapdoor opens, and IF Willambervale whooshes downward like I am picturing him doing, then the following happens next:


[sblock=If everything goes according to plan...]

The trapdoor opens beneath Willambervale, and he feels a tingling sensation as his body recognizes and reacts to the fact that he is now falling. His body hits the chute at the perfect angle, picking up speed instantly, the force of gravity whooshing him downward faster than he ever thought possible. At the end of the drop, he flops into a pile of straw, landing, as expected, in the prison cell that Telerai had prepared long ago.

Willambervale leaps to his feat, and calls out, "Jasper!" beginning to whistle, as one would for a pet.

"Here, Jasper. Come to Willy! Willy's here! Come on, Jasper!"

OOC: If Jasper comes as expected, Willambervale will act as if he is playing a game, and tell him to hurry and unlock the door, so that they can have some more fun.

[/sblock]
 

97mg

Villager
Quarzi



The ugliness of the goblinoid discovered here, in Quarzi's literal backyard, sent cold trepidation through her that even a blast of winter chill couldn't compare with. The little halfling woman's eyes were wide, her body still, all except for a thumping nervous heart. In her mind, thinking as quickly as it could, came a battle of instincts, fear versus curiosity.

She wanted to know who this was, why he'd chosen this very place to snoop and lurk, both armed and apparently ready. Was this coincidence? A mere meandering hunter-thief? Or had the past begun to play its game of catch-up, threatening a peace and way of life that Quarzi had come to very much treasure.

In times like this however, the hare does not stand and wait to see the end. No. Knowledge is nothing, without survival first and foremost. She'd seen enough to make an assessment. This was definitely a "get down the hole" situation.

Despite all that worried her, Quarzi couldn't help then but smile for a brief moment. It was always good to see her friend Tinglemist, the friendly, obnoxious but kind hearted little fellow. Just as she'd expected, the pixie was using a fae's unique gifts to get the upper hand. He'd bought her time, and much much more. The reactions of Noggins spoke louder than words. It seemed likely that she'd not speak his tongue... so a negotiation or explanation was unlikely. And Noggins, though obviously trespassing and up to no good, more importantly seemed quite willing to aim a weapon at a stranger's face.

She'd seen enough. She'd take her chance to retreat, make herself unavailable, and hopefully soon let Tinglemist return home.

[Attempting to sneak away while Noggins is distracted, perhaps down the side of the main building (if there is a alleyway), or to the back door if there is a path there that provides some cover. She would want to take a route with the least visibility. Roll Move Silently = 18. Initiative (if required) = 13.]
 

Advertisement

Top