Kulan: Knightfall's Aerie of the Crow God Game [IC]

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
When sunset comes, it is a huge blessing. The temperature drops slowly, however, and Maur waits until the sun has gone down completely before heading out of the inn.

Aries isn't sure if Maur will let him watch the dwarf champion perform his ritual, so he doesn't follow after Maur unless the dwarf motions for him to come along.

Aureus is curious to find out more about the dwarf's faith, so she follows along with Maur if he lets her come, sit quietly, and watch. "I don't think these Mordinsamman exist on my world. The Bitran of Maran -- that's what the dwarves and gnomes call themselves -- worship a god called Maldar... or sometimes Wotan."
"Oh, they exist Aureus, they exist. The gods have many faces and many names. But the dwarves were created by Moradin The Allfather. And I can make a guess this Wotan...he is a mighty father figure, lord of his pantheon (or at least part of the ruling council), Good in disposition, stern, but just."
He looks at the bard..."How did I do for a guess? There may be differences, but basics are the same."

OOC: The Voice resounds ... the description itself says that it's audible to all, so let's go with that (in dwarven since Maur probably learned the ritual in dwarven and wouldn't bother translating it.


"Ask, Son of the Sonnthord, and we shall answer," The Voice that resounds in the air seems to come from high above on the mountain. Maur knows that it is Dugmaren who is speaking for the Mordinsamman.

Yes.
The Luckmaiden blows you a kiss.
Yes.
Yes.
Hard to see, but improbable.
Yes.

Bring the Dawnstar to Inanna.
Yes.
Yes.
After the ritual, Maurs spends a minute writing down the answers and then finishes the ritual by properly dowsing "the forge". He used several drops of his own blood in recognition of Haela Brighaxe direct reference. Making sure everything is clean and ready for use later, he got up wearily.

He looks at his audience in the darkness.
OOC: If most of the group ISN'T here, he will wait until the morning.

"Well, this was interesting. Aries, I leave the paper with you, written exactly as they spoke in dwarven. You can probably get someone to translate it for you, but I give you my word what I'm about to say is the truth."

He looks at the notes
"The questions about Star Arms - the last child is on the island and Star Arms themselves are NOT the cause of the calamities. It is their wielders, evil, and power-hungry that cause calamities. Of course, the weapons themselves don't block that so they are not blameless in that regard. But no reason to hunt US down for having them."

"The question regarding Eike yielded worrying results. He is now a demonic thing like Xander was. And we need to hurry. When Battle-sister blows you a kiss, you need to be ready to live or die in the battle and have luck doing the former. If we let Eike call upon more power, we may not have enough power to bring him down."

"Others know of Vok and his schemes, and Summerwind may be more easily available than other dragons. Also, there is a way to save those taken by bringing Dawnstar to Inana. I'm familiar with Inana, but what is Dawnstar?"
he combs his fingers through his beard
"Finally, and I know this will be alarming, Aureus, Lady Pendour is still under threat. Aries, assuming you're willing to travel there to escort the townspeople and Aureus back, you could look for ways to ensure your orders access to the island and to help the town with their troubles."

He hmhms and harrumphs a couple of times thinking something over.
"My last question was a bit selfish. I am here at the surface because I have a mission to locate a lost relic of my people. It seems my next step would be to go to Blackwater But I will see this through with you. There are important relics lost, yes, but losing the world is worse. All I ask is that if I fall in the battle, you get the word to my superiors that the location of The Shield of the Resolute may be discovered in Blackwater. I will do that myself if we get somewhere civilized first. But I think looking for Eike should be our first priority - sorry, Caerth. I know family is important to you. And Phar, you put off joining the guild until now, they may understand a couple of weeks more."
 

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JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
The pool of water swirls and Caerth thinks for a moment he sees something, but then all there is in the pool is what looks like blowing sand. A moment later, the spell fails and the pool of water grows dark. The water trickles out of the hastily created pool.

Kang senses Caerth's frustration and the half-orc druid can feel the sentient dagger urging him to kill... anything... anyone.
Once more the half-orc growls in powerless frustration as he watches the water cloud up and trickle away.

His father is dead, he now realizes the letter said. Of course the spell cannot find Eógan if he's dead, even if all the components, symbols and gestures were pure.

Caerth is still alone.

So tempted is he to give into Kang's urge to kill... To be the predator, to catch a prey and take its life away, to skin it and eat it in a feast of blood and savagery...

But no, that is not who he wants to be. He may not trust his former mentor now, but the lesson about living on nature's terms is well-learned; one does not kill unless necessary.

Quietly he wraps Kang in cloth again, then tucks the blade into his belt. He sits there in the heat, tears mixing with sweat on his face, silently gazing at the horizon without seeing.

He doesn't know how long he has sat there when the druid realizes a storm forms at the horizon, not bringing any relief to where he is but signifying a change in the weather soon.

Slowly Caerth gets up and starts moving back to the tavern.

OOC: I rolled a Will save to determine if Caerth would give into Kang's desire:
will save: 1D20+10 = [13]+10 = 23

So no, he resists that temptation. :)

After the ritual, Maurs spends a minute writing down the answers and then finishes the ritual by properly dowsing "the forge". He used several drops of his own blood in recognition of Haela Brighaxe direct reference. Making sure everything is clean and ready for use later, he got up wearily.

He looks at his audience in the darkness.

OOC:If most of the group ISN'T here, he will wait until the morning.

"Well, this was interesting. Aries, I leave the paper with you, written exactly as they spoke in dwarven. You can probably get someone to translate it for you, but I give you my word what I'm about to say is the truth."

He looks at the notes
"The questions about Star Arms - the last child is on the island and Star Arms themselves are NOT the cause of the calamities. It is their wielders, evil, and power-hungry that cause calamities. Of course, the weapons themselves don't block that so they are not blameless in that regard. But no reason to hunt US down for having them."

"The question regarding Eike yielded worrying results. He is now a demonic thing like Xander was. And we need to hurry. When Battle-sister blows you a kiss, you need to be ready to live or die in the battle and have luck doing the former. If we let Eike call upon more power, we may not have enough power to bring him down."

"Others know of Vok and his schemes, and Summerwind may be more easily available than other dragons. Also, there is a way to save those taken by bringing Dawnstar to Inana. I'm familiar with Inana, but what is Dawnstar?"
he combs his fingers through his beard
"Finally, and I know this will be alarming, Aureus, Lady Pendour is still under threat. Aries, assuming you're willing to travel there to escort the townspeople and Aureus back, you could look for ways to ensure your orders access to the island and to help the town with their troubles."

He hmhms and harrumphs a couple of times thinking something over.
"My last question was a bit selfish. I am here at the surface because I have a mission to locate a lost relic of my people. It seems my next step would be to go to Blackwater But I will see this through with you. There are important relics lost, yes, but losing the world is worse. All I ask is that if I fall in the battle, you get the word to my superiors that the location of The Shield of the Resolute may be discovered in Blackwater. I will do that myself if we get somewhere civilized first. But I think looking for Eike should be our first priority - sorry, Caerth. I know family is important to you. And Phar, you put off joining the guild until now, they may understand a couple of weeks more."
Just in time to hear Maur report back on his communion with his dwarven gods, Caerth only nods to his allies in greeting, embarrassed. He does not apologize or explain himself, hoping that his friends will understand.

"I don't know your gods' symbolism," the half-orc druid says, not reacting to the dwarf's reference to finding family important, "But are you sure they meant Eike is more important than other business? A goddess blowing you a kiss seems like a big deal to me, but what's that got to do with anything?"

Caerth is genuinely curious, but also hesitant to deviate from the plan of consulting the dragon first.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Just in time to hear Maur report back on his communion with his dwarven gods, Caerth only nods to his allies in greeting, embarrassed. He does not apologize or explain himself, hoping that his friends will understand.

"I don't know your gods' symbolism," the half-orc druid says, not reacting to the dwarf's reference to finding family important, "But are you sure they meant Eike is more important than other business? A goddess blowing you a kiss seems like a big deal to me, but what's that got to do with anything?"

Caerth is genuinely curious, but also hesitant to deviate from the plan of consulting the dragon first.
Maur nods at Caerth
"Luckmaiden, Lady of the Fray or Battle-sister is the goddess of battle and specifically, luck in battle. Getting her blessing almost certainly means we face tough battle as is. The question was is it advantageous for Strandlands not to let Eike settle into the power. I'm just telling you the answers, my reading of that is that we need to stop him now. Think on what we already know. He started here for something, there are talks about ancient temple and Eike is now demonic. Temples are usually built around places of some importance and anything that is important to a demon cannot be good for the land. And letting Eike draw more power - if we assume this is what is planned - can make the fight tougher than it already will be.

I'm open to different reading of the event. The dragons are about and will not make themselves any harder to find now or in couple of weeks or months."
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
"Every day the demonic influence increases," Caerth agrees. "But not only Eike. The blessing of a goddess of battle means nothing if we only win the first strike but lose the war on Vok."

Having said his piece, the half-orc chooses to remain silent and await a consensus.

And despite his frustrations and anger before, he catches himself smiling a bit at these people he now calls 'friends'. Not so alone, really.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"Every day the demonic influence increases," Caerth agrees. "But not only Eike. The blessing of a goddess of battle means nothing if we only win the first strike but lose the war on Vok."

Having said his piece, the half-orc chooses to remain silent and await a consensus.

And despite his frustrations and anger before, he catches himself smiling a bit at these people he now calls 'friends'. Not so alone, really.
"But we may also lose the war if we leave the cultist festering here. We don't know. What we DO know is that others are aware of the threat and we're already in the vicinity and have power to do something about it. And also follow Aureus part-way toward Lady Pendour."

OOC: I'll stop responding here so that others can chime in. Maur is always for the battle, but in this case I (neurotic) think this is a good way to go since except equipment upgrade there is nothing totally crucial that is also time critical.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Once more the half-orc growls in powerless frustration as he watches the water cloud up and trickle away.

His father is dead, he now realizes the letter said. Of course the spell cannot find Eógan if he's dead, even if all the components, symbols and gestures were pure.

Caerth is still alone.

So tempted is he to give into Kang's urge to kill... To be the predator, to catch a prey and take its life away, to skin it and eat it in a feast of blood and savagery...

But no, that is not who he wants to be. He may not trust his former mentor now, but the lesson about living on nature's terms is well-learned; one does not kill unless necessary.

Quietly he wraps Kang in cloth again, then tucks the blade into his belt. He sits there in the heat, tears mixing with sweat on his face, silently gazing at the horizon without seeing.

He doesn't know how long he has sat there when the druid realizes a storm forms at the horizon, not bringing any relief to where he is but signifying a change in the weather soon.

Slowly Caerth gets up and starts moving back to the tavern.

OOC: I rolled a Will save to determine if Caerth would give into Kang's desire:
will save: 1D20+10 = [13]+10 = 23

So no, he resists that temptation. :)
While Angus waits until Caerth is ready to return to Hillwall (and walks back with him), Aries goes ahead of time to watch Maur's ritual. The Soldier of Iron finds not only Aureus but also the others gathered to watch Maur commune with the dwarven gods.



"Oh, they exist Aureus, they exist. The gods have many faces and many names. But the dwarves were created by Moradin The Allfather. And I can make a guess this Wotan...he is a mighty father figure, lord of his pantheon (or at least part of the ruling council), Good in disposition, stern, but just."
He looks at the bard..."How did I do for a guess? There may be differences, but basics are the same."
"Wotan is a chaotic god," Aureus replies. "His followers are known to be cunning and have a strong affinity for the sky and storms. That is all I can tell you. My people don't worship Wotan."

Neurotic said:
OOC: The Voice resounds ... the description itself says that it's audible to all, so let's go with that (in dwarven since Maur probably learned the ritual in dwarven and wouldn't bother translating it.
OOC: Okay. :)

Neurotic said:
After the ritual, Maurs spends a minute writing down the answers and then finishes the ritual by properly dowsing "the forge". He used several drops of his own blood in recognition of Haela Brighaxe direct reference. Making sure everything is clean and ready for use later, he got up wearily.

He looks at his audience in the darkness.
OOC: If most of the group ISN'T here, he will wait until the morning.

"Well, this was interesting. Aries, I leave the paper with you, written exactly as they spoke in dwarven. You can probably get someone to translate it for you, but I give you my word what I'm about to say is the truth."
Aries waits to be handed the paper until after Maur tells the group what the dwarven gods have revealed to him.

Maur finds that all but Angus and Caerth had gathered to listen while he performed the ritual. Only Quinn knew what was said to Maur. The other were quizzical but the gladiator-knight's face was lost in thought about the answers given to Maur.

JustinCase said:
Just in time to hear Maur report back on his communion with his dwarven gods, Caerth only nods to his allies in greeting, embarrassed. He does not apologize or explain himself, hoping that his friends will understand.
The two heroes arrive several minutes after the ritual is over, drawn by the sound of the booming voice coming from the mountain. Since the voice had been responding in Dwarven, neither understood the answers being given. Of course, they were not present for the questions either.

Angus and Caerth find that the others have gathered to watch the dwarf champion perform the commune. Neither Ivoron or Mazz are present, as the doorman is busy with his duties and the old gnome is still resting.

Neurotic said:
He looks at the notes
"The questions about Star Arms - the last child is on the island and Star Arms themselves are NOT the cause of the calamities. It is their wielders, evil, and power-hungry that cause calamities. Of course, the weapons themselves don't block that so they are not blameless in that regard. But no reason to hunt US down for having them."
Aries listens silently. Passively as Maur speaks about the Star Arms. Whether or not he believes Maur is hard to judge through casual observation.

Neurotic said:
"The question regarding Eike yielded worrying results. He is now a demonic thing like Xander was. And we need to hurry. When Battle-sister blows you a kiss, you need to be ready to live or die in the battle and have luck doing the former. If we let Eike call upon more power, we may not have enough power to bring him down."
Aureus looks towards the mountain and lets out a sigh. "I guess we need to deal with him first." She pauses. "We should still send a message to the fort to let them know of the threat."

Neurotic said:
"Others know of Vok and his schemes, and Summerwind may be more easily available than other dragons. Also, there is a way to save those taken by bringing Dawnstar to Inanna. I'm familiar with Inanna, but what is Dawnstar?"
"I've never head of that name," Quinn replies.

"I have," Aureus says. "It is a weapon of legend."

"It is a relic," Aries adds. "Created by some obscure sun deity from another plane of existence. There are actually four Dawnstars. Well, four in this reality. That god exists beyond the Infinity. I believe that the Interloper God known as Boccob came from the same place."

"If the legend from my world is true, then there are only three left." Aureus waits until she is sure she has everyone's attention. "It is an obscure legend but religious study is very important to my people, so such tales were taught to me a young age. The Dawnstar of my world was a powerful morningstar that was considered to be a holy relic of the god once known as Father Sun. He was sometimes called Solarios but more often was known as Phavenar. I don't believe he was some alien god from another world. He was thought to have once been a powerful mortal being who rose to godhood alongside the other gods of Maran during ancient times."

She looks at Maur. "Phavenar was killed more than 2,000 years ago by a demon lord. I don't remember the demon's name but such creatures are now a plague on my world. The demon wasn't satisfied with just killing Phavenar. It wanted to reduce the sun god's followers to ash and destroy anything holy associated with Phavenar. It destroyed temples, killed every paladin who worshipped Father Sun, and destroyed several holy relics including the Dawnstar."

She glances at Aries for a moment before turning back the dwarf champion. "There were rumors of other Dawnstars that were thought to exist on other worlds, but since life was filled with the constant threat of evil warlords finding our mountain home, our elders were more worried about keeping isolated and protected. Being brought to Kulan was seen as a blessing by Vaflar."

"Here on Harqual, a Dawnstar was once kept in the Temple of Apollo in Ambra," Aries adds. "However, that was a long time ago. The rumor I've heard is that the temple was looted by pirates around two hundred years ago and that the relic was stolen and taken to the pirate stronghold of Thunderport on Blackhound Island." He muses for a moment. "While I know there are supposed to be others that exist, I don't know if they exist on Kulan." He shakes his head. "Cosmology is not something I've studied."

Neurotic said:
he combs his fingers through his beard
"Finally, and I know this will be alarming, Aureus, Lady Pendour is still under threat. Aries, assuming you're willing to travel there to escort the townspeople and Aureus back, you could look for ways to ensure your orders access to the island and to help the town with their troubles."
Aureus looks skyward and swears in her language. "Of course she is..." the hutaakan doesn't seem surprised, just frustrated. "I don't know what else we can do to help her without more knowledge."

"Your question was about the blackmailer... and the wererats," Quinn says to Maur before Aries can answer. "Your god said that both could still be a threat to Lady Pendour. She must be told."

"I'm willing to go and tell her that this blackmailer is still out there," Aries replies. "I have to go back that way, regardless. I'll need to charter passage through Belporte back to Stonn."

Aureus puts her hands on her hips and looks at Maur. "And, I go where Phar goes," she insists. "Unless he feels we should go our separate ways." She looks to Phar to see what he thinks.

Neurotic said:
He hmhms and harrumphs a couple of times thinking something over.
"My last question was a bit selfish. I am here at the surface because I have a mission to locate a lost relic of my people. It seems my next step would be to go to Blackwater But I will see this through with you. There are important relics lost, yes, but losing the world is worse. All I ask is that if I fall in the battle, you get the word to my superiors that the location of The Shield of the Resolute may be discovered in Blackwater. I will do that myself if we get somewhere civilized first. But I think looking for Eike should be our first priority - sorry, Caerth. I know family is important to you. And Phar, you put off joining the guild until now, they may understand a couple of weeks more."
"It seems you must find two relics now," Aries notes. "This shield your people and the Dawnstar."

JustinCase said:
"I don't know your gods' symbolism," the half-orc druid says, not reacting to the dwarf's reference to finding family important, "But are you sure they meant Eike is more important than other business? A goddess blowing you a kiss seems like a big deal to me, but what's that got to do with anything?"

Caerth is genuinely curious, but also hesitant to deviate from the plan of consulting the dragon first.
Maur nods at Caerth
"Luckmaiden, Lady of the Fray or Battle-sister is the goddess of battle and specifically, luck in battle. Getting her blessing almost certainly means we face tough battle as is. The question was is it advantageous for Strandlands not to let Eike settle into the power. I'm just telling you the answers, my reading of that is that we need to stop him now. Think on what we already know. He started here for something, there are talks about ancient temple and Eike is now demonic. Temples are usually built around places of some importance and anything that is important to a demon cannot be good for the land. And letting Eike draw more power - if we assume this is what is planned - can make the fight tougher than it already will be.

I'm open to different reading of the event. The dragons are about and will not make themselves any harder to find now or in couple of weeks or months."
"All the more reason for us all to stick together," Aureus says. "If he's that dangerous, you'll need my arrows and chants against him."

"Every day the demonic influence increases," Caerth agrees. "But not only Eike. The blessing of a goddess of battle means nothing if we only win the first strike but lose the war on Vok."

Having said his piece, the half-orc chooses to remain silent and await a consensus.

And despite his frustrations and anger before, he catches himself smiling a bit at these people he now calls 'friends'. Not so alone, really.
"But we may also lose the war if we leave the cultist festering here. We don't know. What we DO know is that others are aware of the threat and we're already in the vicinity and have power to do something about it. And also follow Aureus part-way toward Lady Pendour."

OOC: I'll stop responding here so that others can chime in. Maur is always for the battle, but in this case I (neurotic) think this is a good way to go since except equipment upgrade there is nothing totally crucial that is also time critical.
Aureus is perturbed by Maur's insistence that she leave the group on a solo mission. She is soon glaring at him with her arms crossed. "You do not speak for me, Maur Deepdelver," she insists again. "And, Sir Quinn has more of a reason than me to return to Carnell to tell her about the blackmailer and the risk of more wererats." She pauses. "But if the group votes for me to go back to Carnell to speak to Lady Pendour, then I will."

"We should not divide our forces," Quinn says. "Aries has said he will go and tell Lady Pendour of the threat. If he gives his word, I will trust him to do so."

"I will tell her. I promise. I owe you that much," the Soldier of Iron replies. "After that, I must go back to the brotherhood and tell them... everything. And, I will speak on your behalf to the elders and show them this." He holds up the results of the commune that Maur has given to him. "Hopefully, they will trust in the gods."

"I will go find the horses," Aureus says. "Caerth, I could use your help."

The hutaakan stalks off into the night to hunt for the lost horses.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"I have," Aureus says. "It is a weapon of legend."
"It is a relic," Aries adds. "Created by some obscure sun deity from another plane of existence. There are actually four Dawnstars. Well, four in this reality. That god exists beyond the Infinity. I believe that the Interloper God known as Boccob came from the same place."

"It is an obscure legend but religious study is very important to my people, so such tales were taught to me a young age. The Dawnstar of my world was a powerful morningstar ...holy relic of the god once known as Father Sun. He was sometimes called Solarios but more often was known as Phavenar.

She looks at Maur. "Phavenar was killed more than 2,000 years ago by a demon lord. ...and destroyed several holy relics including the Dawnstar."

"Here on Harqual, a Dawnstar was once kept in the Temple of Apollo in Ambra," Aries adds. "However, that was a long time ago. The rumor I've heard is that the temple was looted by pirates around two hundred years ago and that the relic was stolen and taken to the pirate stronghold of Thunderport on Blackhound Island."

"Thank you, both. We may need some more divination after that." Maur nods

Aureus looks skyward and swears in her language. "Of course she is..." the hutaakan doesn't seem surprised, just frustrated. "I don't know what else we can do to help her without more knowledge."
"Your question was about the blackmailer... and the wererats," Quinn says to Maur before Aries can answer. "Your god said that both could still be a threat to Lady Pendour. She must be told."
"I can prepare Sendings for jer and for the fort in the morning. It will be much faster than anything we can send on foot, but the information is limited to a sentence or two."

"I'm willing to go and tell her that this blackmailer is still out there," Aries replies. "I have to go back that way, regardless. I'll need to charter passage through Belporte back to Stonn."
"Thank you. That will help with the details of the threat."

Aureus puts her hands on her hips and looks at Maur. "And, I go where Phar goes," she insists. "Unless he feels we should go our separate ways." She looks to Phar to see what he thinks.

Aureus is perturbed by Maur's insistence that she leave the group on a solo mission. She is soon glaring at him with her arms crossed. "You do not speak for me, Maur Deepdelver," she insists again. "And, Sir Quinn has more of a reason than me to return to Carnell to tell her about the blackmailer and the risk of more wererats." She pauses. "But if the group votes for me to go back to Carnell to speak to Lady Pendour, then I will."
Maur nods and holds his arms up in surrender.
"I wouldn't dream of speaking for you, lass, you mentioned earlier that you're doubting the wisdom of coming with us and when we talked about using Qi and her preferences for quiet life I got the impression you're about to return to Carnell."

"We should not divide our forces," Quinn says. "Aries has said he will go and tell Lady Pendour of the threat. If he gives his word, I will trust him to do so."

"I will tell her. I promise. I owe you that much," the Soldier of Iron replies. "After that, I must go back to the brotherhood and tell them... everything. And, I will speak on your behalf to the elders and show them this." He holds up the results of the commune that Maur has given to him. "Hopefully, they will trust in the gods."
[/QUOTE

"We need to agree upon the next few steps, but it may be better to sleep on all of this first. We should consider buying a wand of endure elements among other things. I can prepare couple of spells for that, but it takes from my other options."
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Angus nods.

Angus says, "I could do with a little rest. Let's sleep on it, and approach it with fresh minds in the morning. But I must agree with Quinn, I am loathe to be splittin' up the party."
 


Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Neurotic said:
"Thank you, both. We may need some more divination after that." Maur nods

"I can prepare Sendings for her and for the fort in the morning. It will be much faster than anything we can send on foot, but the information is limited to a sentence or two."
"Magic must play its role," Quinn says. "Best to warn Lady Pendour that way."

Neurotic said:
"Thank you. That will help with the details of the threat."
"Yes, your sending should let her know I am heading back to the village with more information," Aries replies.

Neurotic said:
Maur nods and holds his arms up in surrender.
"I wouldn't dream of speaking for you, lass, you mentioned earlier that you're doubting the wisdom of coming with us and when we talked about using Qi and her preferences for quiet life I got the impression you're about to return to Carnell."
"My doubts were about.. him," Aureus motions to Aries with a tilt of her head. She looks at the Soldier of Iron. "Try not to be too offended."

"I gave you all plenty of reason to distrust me," Aries replies to the hutaakan. "For now, I must go my own way... after I deliver your message to Lady Pendour. I hope that if we meet again, there won't be any need for anger."

"We will see," Aureus says.

Neurotic said:
"We need to agree upon the next few steps, but it may be better to sleep on all of this first. We should consider buying a wand of endure elements among other things. I can prepare couple of spells for that, but it takes from my other options."
"A good night's rest is a good idea." Aries nods in agreement. "I will set out early in the morning before the sun rises and ride for Carnell."

Angus nods.

Angus says, "I could do with a little rest. Let's sleep on it, and approach it with fresh minds in the morning. But I must agree with Quinn, I am loathe to be splittin' up the party."
"I am with you until the end," Aureus assures. "We find Eike."

Caerth is not sure how sleep can help him and his turbulent emotions, but at the very least it refreshes the spells he can cast. The half-orc druid merely nods and follows Aureus to find the horses.
While Aureus and Caerth search for the horses in the scrublands, the rest of the group heads back to the inn to get some much needed sleep. It has been a while since you've been able to sleep well for two nights, and it takes a bit of time for each of you to relax. Quinn and Ivoron wait up for the hutaakan and the half-orc to return with the horses.

Mazz wakes in the middle of the evening and he and Maur stay up for another two hours swapping stories about the Underearth and sharing three fine bottles of mushroom wine. It has deep earthy taste but doesn't have a mule's kick. The old deep gnome tells Maur several interesting stories from their homeland, as well as his time in Deepwater on the other side of the continent. He speaks of the Shining City with some longing.

"I'd love to go back for one more visit," Mazz says while sipping his wine.

Eventually, Aureus and Caerth return with the horses. They didn't run into any trouble in the wilderness, although they did hear coyotes in the distance. The duo even found the villagers' other two draft horses that hadn't been killed by the ogre and goblin orcs.

"If we leave the coyotes alone, they'll leave us alone," Ivoron notes as he takes the horses into the stables, cleans them up, and waters them. The horses had found each other -- well, most of them -- and hid under an outcropping to beat the heat. It had been near a small watering hole. Screech helped find the other two -- Muar's pony and Quinn's horse. They were in a worse state, but Caerth was able to tend to their wounds. Both would need a lot of water.

Once the horses are stabled, Ivoron comes to lead Mazz back to his house. The old gnome's cheeks are rosy but he's not totally drunk. He pats Maur on the knee and hands the last bottle to the dwarven champion. Maur soon finds himself sitting with the others at a makeshift fire. All except for Aries, who went to sleep early. The bottle of wine is passed around but everyone is careful not to drink too much. Aureus and Caerth both head off to sleep early -- tired after chasing down the horses. Ivoron heads to his room behind the stables. One by one, the rest of you find your way to your rooms or find a place to sleep under the stars.

Both Angus and Caerth are the first to sense the change in weather. The heat breaks around midnight. A storm rolls in from the sea and hits the coast hard, but up in the heath, there isn't any rain. But the temperature plummets and cold wind begins to blow the brush and grass.

By dawn's sliver of light, there is a slight frost spread across the land around the Hillwall Inn. The day is overcast and the air is cool.

Aries is up before dawn and saddling the horse set aside for him. He prepares to leave early. Four of the villagers chooses to go with him back to Carnell. The woman (named Audrey) who survived in the copse of trees alongside Nicholaus and three halflings gather up what they can and prepare to depart alongside the Soldier of Iron.

Nicholaus is staying on as the inn's new cook and both Penelope and her brother are determined to stay at the inn and find their own way in life. When anyone tries to convince the girl to go back to Carnell, she sticks her fingers in her ears a sings loudly to drown them out. Her brother can only watch; he isn't ready to force her to go anywhere.

"I have to stay with her," he says to the heroes. "I can't abandon her. And, we don't have anything to go back to without our parents. Our house was burnt down by the rooks, and we don't have anyone else to look out for us. Ivoron has promised me work as a courier between the fort and Helt."

"The girl will be safe here," the half-elf doorman assures Maur.

Aries mounts up on his horse alongside Audrey who is riding one of the draft horses along with a halfling woman named Erari. The other two halflings are mounted on the other draft horse. The Soldier of Iron will lead them down from the heath back to Carnell.

"I will defend them with my life," Aries says back towards Caerth as he leads the villagers away from the Hillwall Inn.
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Restart Begins Here:


Your time at the Hillwall Inn has been restful, almost idyllic. Both Mazz and Ivoron are good hosts, and they are sorry to see you leave. But, they understand your purpose. Eike must be found and dealt with, and quickly, as Maur's commune seemed to suggest. You make preperations soon after watching Aries, and the villages that chose to return to Carnell, leave. Mazz puts together a bag full of food for the road and a bottle of mushroom wine for Maur. Aureus hugs the two children goodbye. The little girl is sad to see 'her heroes' leave. Her brother has to console her as you ride away from the inn and back into the heath.

Luciky, the weather is significantly better as you set out. The frost of the morning clings to the grasses and scattered trees of the heath and the few places with puddles of water on the road are frozen over. The mood as you ride is calm and serious. None of you are really sure what you're going to face when you finally find Eike. You have a general direction that you know the cultist went, but that's about it. Maur has his own plans for quickly finding the cultist.

Caerth broods on his horse. He is obviously thinking about what Mazz told him and about Aeron's letter. The contents still make him angry. He isn't sure how he'll react when... no, if he ever sees his mentor again. Ivoron had promised to go to the fort and let Caerth's mentor and Lorien know all that has happened. Aureus wrote as much as she could down for him before you left. It is possible that soldiers from the fort might come looking for you, and Eike, but Ivoron wasn't sure if the fort's commander would have men to spare.

Quinn rides quietly with Cruel Justice on his hip. The sword is less moody, but the two seem to still be at odds. Aureus and Qi are getting on famously and every once in a while the hutaakan rogue stifles a laugh, as the two communicate telepathically... likely about "CJ." Phar rides alongside his friend silently while studying the sky for signs of danger.

Angus scouts ahead but not to far.

It takes very little time for you to reach the campsite where you faced Xander and the godly aspect of Druaga. The Pillar of Songs easily guides the way once you are close enough. You find that the campsite seems to be in use, but none of you feel any sense of danger this time. The land seems to speak to Caerth and it is calm with all the typical sounds of nature present.

As you approach, you can see a single figure sitting next to a small campfire. The person is standing and looking towards you as you come down the trail.

OOC: Okay, so I'm going to end there until @MetaVoid has his character ready to go with a name and some background. While I'd prefer for him to make the character a local who was born in Carnell (and has been away for years), I'll leave that decision up to him. At the very least, the character should have a connection to at least one of the PCs.
 

MetaVoid

Adventurer
The figure at the campfire stands tall, shield with embossed dragon face facing the group, but weapon staying out of sight. The sword hand is raised up in greeting, not hidden behind the shield. The helm, plain gray iron thing, lays next to the fire.

Long, black hair flows behind him as he watches you. Scale armor he wears is strangely non-bulky, it must be fitted to his body perfectly. It is intense blue in color, each scale glistening, reflecting various shades od azure in the sun. The eyes too are strange, and once you approach, you notice they are yellow, with vertical pupils not unlike cat eyes. There are traces of scars or some other features above the eyes.

Long flowing red robe and boots with dark green trousers complete the rainbow image. This is a person you cannot miss either in combat or entering the room in the city.

"Hail and well met, travelers."

OOC: I cannot find any image of dragonscale husk not of any fully scaled human(oid) except obviously dragonborn.
 
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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"Well met!" Maur looks at Aureus and seeing her still a bit out of focus in communion with Qi continues
"This here is dangerous area, friend. Ogres, demons and worse, elves, are seen in these parts. What is your business here?"
He winks at their own elf to make sure it is understood as a joke it was meant to be.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Standing next to Maur is a huge centaur, clad in fine, mithril, chain barding, and carrying a shield which is painted with a heraldic achievement which you do not recognize.

1671551233242.png

The centaur is even big for those of his own kind. He towers above the rest of his peers; and yet, he does not present himself with an air of superiority nor arrogance. He looks at you calmly, and nods once to acknowledge your gesture of welcome.

"Angus," he says. "Well met."
 

MetaVoid

Adventurer
The stranger nods at Angus.
"I am Litrix Maekrix. You're welcome to my fire. My business, master dwarf, is my own. But I can share it over the salt and bread. Please."
Litrix motions toward the fire, stepping back to leave fire between himself and the group, just in case, still holding the shield, but lowering the arm it rests on.

Once everyone is seated around, he distributes what little food he has.
"I am sent here to investigate rumors of instability in this area. Looking for clues, you might say. Maybe get to know people of the region, to feel what they're thinking of life, universe and everything."

 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Maur focuses his attention at their host, lenses on his eyes flashing behind the goggles for barest of moments.
"My apologies, Litrix Maekrix." grumbles Maur sliding from his horse in a clatter of armor
"We had a bad experience here, I was...unneccessarily hostile. Maur Deepdelver." He takes the offered seat, considering the man in front of him.
"You might have trouble gong further east. There were hard times for the folk there. Suspicious of strangers. Cultists caused some trouble, which we resolved. Except one or two of them. You might consider that an instability. If you meet duergar wizard posing as a smith named Xander, feel free to kill it with extreme prejudice. He is a wanted murderer and semi-willing servant of death-cult I mentioned."
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Angus nods and says, "Aye, and in my experience, the best way to get to know someone is to figure out what they believe (or profess to believe) in, and what they are willing to die for. So perhaps, if my compatriots agree, you'd like to join us on our manhunt for Eike...? "
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
The figure at the campfire stands tall, shield with embossed dragon face facing the group, but weapon staying out of sight. The sword hand is raised up in greeting, not hidden behind the shield. The helm, plain gray iron thing, lays next to the fire.

Long, black hair flows behind him as he watches you. Scale armor he wears is strangely non-bulky, it must be fitted to his body perfectly. It is intense blue in color, each scale glistening, reflecting various shades of azure in the sun. The eyes too are strange, and once you approach, you notice they are yellow, with vertical pupils not unlike cat eyes. There are traces of scars or some other features above the eyes.

Long flowing red robe and boots with dark green trousers complete the rainbow image. This is a person you cannot miss either in combat or entering the room in the city.

"Hail and well met, travelers."
Caerth looks at the man cautiously. There have been too many surprises lately to trust someone at first glance. And, there seems to be something... unnatural about the man's form. A pang of guilt makes the half-orc druid scowl. Caerth knows many who often looked at him the same way. Kang's presence keeps him wary, and he notices his hand is on the bundled blade, which is tied to his waist.

The half-orc druid only nods to the man. He lets others do the talking. He keeps a eye out for trouble that might be down the trail or hidden in the scrub. He senses nothing out of the ordinary, and Screech is winging overhead with a bird's eyes view.

"Well met!" Maur looks at Aureus and seeing her still a bit out of focus in communion with Qi continues
Aureus doesn't notice Maur looking at her, but she does take note of them man in front of her. Qi seems to be saying something to her and the hutaakan nods silently. She smiles and says a simple, "Hello."

Neurotic said:
"This here is dangerous area, friend. Ogres, demons and worse, elves, are seen in these parts. What is your business here?"
He winks at their own elf to make sure it is understood as a joke it was meant to be.
Phar gets the dwarf's jest, and he shakes his head. The elf man is smiling. "There are many things to look out for in these hills. Wily dwarves, as well."

He nods to the stranger. "Well met," Phar says. "I am Minvelepharadan Tamlyranth, but you may simply call me 'Phar'." He motions to Aureus sitting on her horse next to his own. "This is Aureus."

Aureus nods to Litrix again with a wry canine smile.

Phar's eyes go to Caerth who has been staring at the stranger during the introductions.

Caerth gets down off his horse without even looking at Phar. "Caerth."
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
After introducing himself to the stranger, Caerth mostly ignores him. Instead, he takes his horse and those of the others and secures their reigns to a tree so that they can feast on the grass and leaves nearby.

Confident in his group's ability to take Litrix out in a fight if it would come to that, the half-orc druid does not take any overt precautions. Instead, he gathers some berries, roots and the rare mushroom from the surroundings and places them all on a plate near the fire, free for all to eat.

He himself merely takes a small branch holding a few berries, and sits himself down to chew on them while listening to the others' conversations.
 

MetaVoid

Adventurer
Angus nods and says, "Aye, and in my experience, the best way to get to know someone is to figure out what they believe (or profess to believe) in, and what they are willing to die for. So perhaps, if my compatriots agree, you'd like to join us on our manhunt for Eike...? "
The host looks at Angus, focusing the eyes and tilting the head like a bird of prey.
"And what...or who...is this Eike? Why would I join your manhunt if I have my own mission? I admit, I was brought here by a prophetic dream, but you weren't in it. Just a big bad god-demon."

He nods at the rest of the group as the introduction are made. And to Maur specifically
"I am used to suspicion, it's not like I'm inconspicuous. You mentioned demons here, just as in my dream. Can I hear the story?"
He sits down after at least someone took his invitation, leaving the shield next to him on the ground and revealing ornate sword pommel at his hip. As he moves, strange scale he wears doesn't ring like metal, but produces dry, rustling sound, a susurrus like sliding dry wood panels.

"Please, help yourself with what I have. It is not much, but it will keep the energy up."

OOC: Merry Christmas!
 

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