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

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Caerth winces when Gareth puts his hand on the half-orc’s shoulder, and he puts some effort into not reacting with a growl or sneer.

Doesn’t the creature ask for death, repeatedly? Surely the unnatural thing has no place in this world, and a predator removes the injured and sick so that nature thrives...

But then why does he feel such hatred?

Realizing that he does not trust his own moral compass anymore after what he’s been through and the doubts about his mentor, Caerth decides he has to look outward.

”Screech,” he whispers the name of his owl companion. No, Screech is outside, safe from harm, safe from — from watching the druid do things he shouldn’t. Was that why he sent the great horned owl away?

Instead Caerth looks at his trusted companions once more, the question plain on his face. What should he do?
Phar just shakes his head, clearly finding the situation uncomfortable. He blows out a breath and says, "We can't let him live, he will be a threat to the good people of this land. A clean execution is best. Even he desires it. I'd rather see him given a quick death than tortured."
Aureus nods her ascent to Phar's words. She unties the rook, which still gasps for air meekly in Caerth's grip. The rook's clawed hands hang limply at its side. It doesn't even try to free itself.

Replacing his wicked spiked chain, Quinn then draws cruel justice.

"For the crimes of murder, you are right, he should pay by a quick death."
Caerth nods. A just death from the sentient blade that represents exactly that, seems a good solution to this dilemma.

The half-orc prepares himself for releasing his prisoner... just a little longer...

As if his hand has a mind of its own, Caerth pushes the dagger into the rook’s skin, just far enough to draw blood, before pushing the creature forward with his other hand, towards his companion holding Cruel Justice at the ready.
"I wish to hear from all as to the accusation and sentence of this creature and I, Quinn Inagui, will serve the weapon, Cruel Justice, as executioner."

He moves to stand within striking distance of the rook with the Named Sword ready to swing.
The half-dead rook doesn't struggle as Caerth places Roobite in front of Quinn. It closes its eyes and Cruel Justice and Quinn move as one. The blade cuts the rook's head clean off and the body slumps down dead.

"Justice is served," the blade says solemnly to no one in particular. "It was a harsh mercy."

"Aye," Gareth intones in agreement. "It is better this way. That creature would have likely have been a drain on our resources and tried to kill one of us the moment we let our guard down."

Timmins does the foul work of removing the dead body and placing its remains with the other dead rooks outside of the tower. "While it would probably be better for us to bury those bodies or burn them, we shouldn't attract more attention to ourselves," he says once he reenters the main floor of tower.



Maur Deepdelver:
Maur ducks his head as the old rowboat barely passes under the tight entrance to the sea grotto. The tide is high and the passage is barely passable. The two nervous human lads working the oars of their father's boat look around warily once inside the grotto. The irregular sea cave is roughly 20 ft. by 20 ft. at its widest point.

There they are, Maur thinks once her sees the two launches tied up to an old pier. There is also something else. The smell of dried blood and offal. Well, Lady Pendour did tell him the group already on Gurnard's Head had fought several pitched battles.

The boys row the boat close to the old dock for Maur to disembark. He could have rowed here faster on his own, but the old fisher would had been forced to lend the boat to Maur had insisted that his boys, Tamer and Shutt, do the rowing and then return with the boat right away.

No sooner had Maur's booted feet touched the dock, the boy was quickly turned around and launched out of the grotto as fast as the two boys could row. They were quickly out of sight. Maur had barely had time to grab his pack before the young humans fled. Now, he carefully climbs the winding stairs leading up to where the island's tower sits. The way is carved in stone with sections of the stairs open to the sea air. An old doorway once shut with a reinforced wooden door sits open and a natural escarpment lies beyond.

The tower, such as it is, is typical for human design and has seen better days. Its upper levels look like they could topple at any moment. Gaping holes litter the tower and the wind and rain lashes the old stonework. Then he smells it. Burnt flesh and fresh blood. Could he be too late to help the others?

The smell seems to be coming from a pile of corpses near a small set of stairs that winds up the side of the tower to an open doorway. He hears voices coming from inside the tower. Are they friend or foe?
 

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Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
"Cruel justice, I thank you, and now this task is done." Quinn places the sword in the sheath and places his favored weapon in hand, the metallic links rattling softly as he looks about. "Do we have further business here?"
His voice echos in the now still chamber, the only other sounds are breathing of everyone and his spiked chain links softly rattling.
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Caerth nods, his eyes downcast. Despite knowing it was the best course of action, the half-orc feels guilty nevertheless.

With a deep breath he tucks the dagger in his belt and looks at his companions in turn.

”Ready to move on,” the druid both asks and states.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Sighing with the satisfaction of feeling the solid ground under his feet again, Maur readies his weapon, sets his shield, and starts toward the voices. He doesn't even try to be stealthy, 400 pounds of metal encrusted dwarf is not something given to a subtle approach.

He slows down as he nears the door, trying to discern if the speakers are human or not.

OOC: undead hunting spells prepared if he heard about the cultist, otherwise adventuring set (with downdraft as one 3rd level spell just in case)
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
As he approaches he can discern the voices better, sing-song voices of the elves, gruff voice of an older male, softer tones of a female...this must be them!

But traveling alone for lone periods, Maur didn't survive by being an idiot. He comes to the door with his shield raised (OOC: full defense) and peers inside. His armored bulk closes off some light and the group inside notices for sure.

"Ho, there!" he calls in "Friend coming in, peace be with you."

After the silhouette resolves itself into a heavily armored dwarf and enameled shield is lowered down the party observes red beard and hair falling under the heavy helm, his eyes obscured by some kind of goggles.

Putting the warhammer back into the loop on his belt, the dwarf raises the goggles revealing wide-open eyes, so pale they are more silver than blue. With the light behind him, the pupils are mere pinpricks as if even this is too much. The armor is something that can be seen only among the dwarves, heavy plate with interlocking, overlapping plates that would probably be too bulky for other races due different proportions.

"I am Maur Deepdelver, champion of The Soul-Forger, cleric of the Dwarffather. Lady Pendour has written me in as additional help when you brought news of some vile cult. And master Bronzethegn recommends you highly."

He stands proudly with a smile that falls into a frown as he looks at the group. "An elf, an orc, an ogre and some kind of beastly gnoll! What did The Elder get me into?!" The smile returns "I am here to help! Who do we smite first?"
He nods at the old warrior and awaits the reaction of the group.

OOC: the italics are his thoughts, don't respond, please :)
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Caerth holds his massive spear at the ready, unsure of the unknown dwarf approaching the group. The large and muscular half-orc druid, an impressive composite longbow slung over his shoulder and a wicked looking dagger under his belt, frowns as Maur approaches. Perhaps the dwarf notices the bloodstains on the cautious half-orc's hands, as if he has been rummaging through the corpses of the rooks lying around.

He does not say a word, instead waiting for his companions' response.
 

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
In a spark of insight, Quinn says, "Champion Deep Delver, I am Quinn Inagui of lands to the south.", The one addressing Maur Deeepdelver is slightly shorter then average for a human; straight, black hair armed with a longbow on his back, a longsword at his side a weighted net near at hand and a spiked chain in his hand, the end having dropped to the stone floor. He is armored in a breast plate.

His skin is well marked with the scars of what is probably more then a hundred battles.

"Tell me master Dwarf, this rook was in part responsible for the death of the Lord of the land, Lady Pendour's husband. The rooks chained his desecrated body to the top of the flag pole and said rook was executed for his part in thes actions. Do you object?"
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"The deed is done. My objecting it or not will not bring the beast to life. But why should I? If half of what I hear is correct, it more than deserved it."
The dwarf relaxes more
"I don't object, no, the creature reaped what it sow. Where are we at?"
 


JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Despite his suspicions, Caerth sees no signs of insincerity from the dwarf, and he lowers his spear. He returns the gaze of Quinn, not completely trusting the newcomer but willing to give the benefit of doubt.

”Just you?” the half-orc grumbles, the sound more dangerous than intended.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"Just me? JUST me?!" Maur bangs the mark on his shield (anvil and the hammer) with the gauntletet fist.
"I am champion of Moradin, cleric of the Dwarf-father, warrior purifier of the foul cults. Soul forger is with me. I am never alone." He looked a bit more carefully at the group. "Do you need healing? Are you wounded?"
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
In a spark of insight, Quinn says, "Champion Deep Delver, I am Quinn Inagui of lands to the south.", The one addressing Maur Deeepdelver is slightly shorter then average for a human; straight, black hair armed with a longbow on his back, a longsword at his side a weighted net near at hand and a spiked chain in his hand, the end having dropped to the stone floor. He is armored in a breast plate.

His skin is well marked with the scars of what is probably more then a hundred battles.

"Tell me master Dwarf, this rook was in part responsible for the death of the Lord of the land, Lady Pendour's husband. The rooks chained his desecrated body to the top of the flag pole and said rook was executed for his part in thes actions. Do you object?"
"The deed is done. My objecting it or not will not bring the beast to life. But why should I? If half of what I hear is correct, it more than deserved it."
The dwarf relaxes more
"I don't object, no, the creature reaped what it sow. Where are we at?"
"We're about to head down those stairs try to find an access point to lair of the cultists," the ogre replies in perfect Common. He seems unconcerned by the arrival of someone new to the group. "I hope Lady Pendour told you what you're in for with us. For all we know there could be dozens of cultists and even more rook. An entire aviary of them for what we've learned."

Gareth steps forward to greet the dwarf. "I am Sir Gareth Porthglaze. Lady Pendour did say she would try to find more help for us, but she told me it would be hard. You must have been passing through Carnell and seen one of the notices up at the inn or outside the smithy."

"It would have been nice if she'd told us," the canine-like female muses with a sigh.

"She didn't want to give you all false hope that a large force would come to help fight the cultists," Gareth replies. "It's a call out for more adventurers and mercenaries not trained soldiers from Belporte or Helt." Gareth speaks to Maur. "We're glad to have your help but young Brutus is right," he motions to the ogre, which looks like it might have some humanoid blood. "This fight is going to be tough." Gareth introduces an wiry, old human, Timmins Walmsley, as his longtime friend and fighting partner.

A young woman introduces herself simply as Merideth and another young human as her cousin Wieland. Another human who looks too young to wield the weapons he carries calls himself Quinten. He's dressed more like a sailor than an adventurer.

"I am Aureus. I come from the north and have found true friends here. I hope I can count you as one once we get to know each other at another time. For now, I will fight alongside you." If the monstrous female is a gnoll, she is the most well-spoken gnoll Maur has even met.

The ogrekin simply nods at Maur.

Despite his suspicions, Caerth sees no signs of insincerity from the dwarf, and he lowers his spear. He returns the gaze of Quinn, not completely trusting the newcomer but willing to give the benefit of doubt.

”Just you?” the half-orc grumbles, the sound more dangerous than intended.
"Just me? JUST me?!" Maur bangs the mark on his shield (anvil and the hammer) with the gauntletet fist.
" I am champion of Moradin, cleric of the Dwarf-father, warrior purifier of the foul cults. Soul forger is with me. I am never alone." He looked a bit more carefully at the group. "Do you need healing? Are you wounded?"
"I don't think so. Phar's fireball spell wiped out most of the rooks piled up outside," Gareth replies while motioning to the elf. "We'll need your magic once we find more dangerous foes."

"We should keep moving," Aureus notes.

The rogue takes the lead down the stairs down into the lowest level of the tower. She double checks the trapdoor that leads down into the caverns that Aureus, Careth, Lorien, Phar, and Quinn previously explored. She doesn't find any traps on the door or on the stairs that lead down and the door to the cavern swings awkwardly on its hinges, half-open. Beyond the door is the stone bridge that leads across the chasm where they fought the giant centipede. Aureus moves forward and quietly checks the sides of the bridge and looks into the chasm. She looks back and motions for the group to move forward. Once across the room, you find your way past the old crypt where they fought the zombies with the bloodstone gems in their eyes.

Aureus motions for the group to stop as you approach the Y-intersection where the cavern branches. To you right is where Hornauer and his brood were first encountered. To the right remains a mystery, as it was never explored beyond the first few feet. What was in the first room on the right?

"There was another corridor down there," Aureus muses as she points to the left. "If I'm remembering correctly."

OOC: Knowledge (dungeoneering) check to remember what was in that first room, as well as the corridor beyond the opening to the room.


Hidden.jpg
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Maur peers into the chasm trying to gauge the depth.

"Weird that no guards are stationed here. This is as good choke point as one could hope for. Chokepoints should be guarded or there is no purpose to them."
 
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JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
"Caerth, Heart-of-Oak," the large half-orc introduces himself to Maur with both name and druidic title, still wary.

He shrugs in response to the dwarf's remarks as they pass the chasm. The druid suspects that these cultists are not very tactical, instead relying on stealth and numbers.

Somehow the dwarf reminds him of a villager that, so long ago, made his life impossible when Caerth attempted to make contact after living in the woods with his mentor for years. Despite not looking anything like the sturdy short dwarf walking just ahead, the young man had a similar air of confidence, arrogance maybe, and he was the worst bully of the lot.

Realizing that, the half-orc grins a little. How much things have changed! Of course, he still feels ill at home amongst villagers and people in general, but he has come to be accepted by his companions and at least tolerated by the townsfolk. And despite his own caution towards the dwarf, Maur has not said or done anything even remotely unkind to him.

His grin turns into a frown as with these ponderings also comes the realization that his mentor Aeron is not who he thought for so long. And that betrayal, combined with that from the Sirs Balorix and Ghal, and the uneasy trust from the wererat Hornauer, has turned his world upside down once more, and now the muscular half-orc druid is unsure who to trust still.

His companions. Yes, he trusts the companions who have been by his side for so long now. But nobody else.

He glances over at Maur and without thinking, his free hand brushes past the dagger at his belt, before abruptly jerking his hand away. Taking his bow from his back and readying an arrow, Caerth moves forward as he searches his memory for what lies ahead.

OOC: Caerth has some trust issues... as you may have guessed by now. ;)

knowledge (dungeoneering): 1D20+1 = [13]+1 = 14
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Caerth remembers the rooms on the left, ahead.

"The torture room," he reminds the others, "Up ahead. And the undead guardian beyond, must still be there."

The half-orc lets the comment sink in for a moment before adding, "Together we can end its unnatural existence."

OOC: When prodded, Caerth shares what he knows, which is this:

In Caerth's mind, it feels like forever ago that he first came out to Gurnard's Head even though it's been only been a week or so since that first foray. Regardless, he quite clearly remembers the room that lies ahead on the left. It seemed uneventful at first, a cave carved from the stone by humanoid hands. There were rotting pallets, iron rings driven into the walls, and old rusted manacles attached to lengths of chains scattered across the room's floor.

And there was a wooden door on the southern wall of the room. It had been stuck but was no trouble for Quinn to get open. What was beyond that door however was another matter. The second room had been a shrine consecrated to evil. There was a gaunt figure of death covered in chains. The being had smelled of death but it did not immediately attack. It had seemed to be bound to the room and could not leave it. Fearful of facing the monster after barely fighting off the centipede, the door was closed and pallets piled in front of it. The creature would be dealt with later, it was decided.

The corridor that extends beyond the entryway to the two connected rooms continues on for some way. Caerth remembers a set of stairs cut through the rock that lead down to another level. The stairs had been flanked by black monoliths worked with inlaid glyphs and evil holy symbols. And there had been a strange scrawled symbol on the floor written in blood. That had been as far down the corridor as the group had gone but it continues on into what had looked like to be an oval-shaped room.

It was at this point that the group went to explore the western corridor and first encountered Hornauer and his brood. Caerth remembers there was another branch off that corridor but the group never explored it.

View attachment 122118

I'll share this map with the others once Caerth reminds them of what there had been down the eastern corridor.
 

Scotley

Adventurer
The Elf remains aloof during the introduction and bravado. He observes much but says little considering the newcomer carefully before finally speaking. "Minvelepharadan Tamlyranth" he announces in a cultured musical voice. "But you may call me 'Phar'." The Elf is tall and thin in a way that sets him apart from typical Silver Elves. His skin is pale gray and his eyes are violet and filled with deep sadness. His slender form gray form is topped with pale golden hair has been likened to an aspen tree on a fall afternoon when the leaves are soon to fall. His long hair is brushed out straight and held in place with a simple silver band. He wears a chain shirt of impossibly fine delicate work in mithral over silver-gray padding of a smooth cloth. Over this is a black vest with stylized stags under a night sky. The stars are in the pattern of the midsummer sky over lost Amylinyon. His gear is all of the archaic style of Amylinyon no longer seen. He carries the traditional elven weapons--longsword and longbow. His trousers are also silver gray and faced with buffed leather. He wears low soft boots and a travelers pack. While most of his gear is in pale silver, light wood or buff colors his cloak is a vivid purple that matches his eyes. A buckler of dark wood is held in his left hand. It too is faced with a stylized stag with elaborate horns swept back over the length of the body. "I practice the traditional arts of my people," he says simply by way of explaining his role.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"Caerth, Heart-of-Oak," the large half-orc introduces himself to Maur with both name and druidic title, still wary.

He shrugs in response to the dwarf's remarks as they pass the chasm. The druid suspects that these cultists are not very tactical, instead relying on stealth and numbers.

Somehow the dwarf reminds him of a villager that, so long ago, made his life impossible when Caerth attempted to make contact after living in the woods with his mentor for years. Despite not looking anything like the sturdy short dwarf walking just ahead, the young man had a similar air of confidence, arrogance maybe, and he was the worst bully of the lot.

Realizing that, the half-orc grins a little. How much things have changed! Of course, he still feels ill at home amongst villagers and people in general, but he has come to be accepted by his companions and at least tolerated by the townsfolk. And despite his own caution towards the dwarf, Maur has not said or done anything even remotely unkind to him.

His grin turns into a frown as with these ponderings also comes the realization that his mentor Aeron is not who he thought for so long. And that betrayal, combined with that from the Sirs Balorix and Ghal, and the uneasy trust from the wererat Hornauer, has turned his world upside down once more, and now the muscular half-orc druid is unsure who to trust still.

His companions. Yes, he trusts the companions who have been by his side for so long now. But nobody else.

He glances over at Maur and without thinking, his free hand brushes past the dagger at his belt, before abruptly jerking his hand away. Taking his bow from his back and readying an arrow, Caerth moves forward as he searches his memory for what lies ahead.

OOC: Caerth has some trust issues... as you may have guessed by now. ;)

knowledge (dungeoneering): 1D20+1 = [13]+1 = 14
The Elf remains aloof during the introduction and bravado. He observes much but says little considering the newcomer carefully before finally speaking. "Minvelepharadan Tamlyranth" he announces in a cultured musical voice. "But you may call me 'Phar'." The Elf is tall and thin in a way that sets him apart from typical Silver Elves. His skin is pale gray and his eyes are violet and filled with deep sadness. His slender form gray form is topped with pale golden hair has been likened to an aspen tree on a fall afternoon when the leaves are soon to fall. His long hair is brushed out straight and held in place with a simple silver band. He wears a chain shirt of impossibly fine delicate work in mithral over silver-gray padding of a smooth cloth. Over this is a black vest with stylized stags under a night sky. The stars are in the pattern of the midsummer sky over lost Amylinyon. His gear is all of the archaic style of Amylinyon no longer seen. He carries the traditional elven weapons--longsword and longbow. His trousers are also silver gray and faced with buffed leather. He wears low soft boots and a travelers pack. While most of his gear is in pale silver, light wood or buff colors his cloak is a vivid purple that matches his eyes. A buckler of dark wood is held in his left hand. It too is faced with a stylized stag with elaborate horns swept back over the length of the body. "I practice the traditional arts of my people," he says simply by way of explaining his role.
"And he's good at it too," Aureus muses with a wink. "I should know, he and I have traveled together for some time before we came to Carnell. That seems so long ago, now." The hutaakan rogue twitches her tail. "He helped me get a sense of this world after my people were brought here from Maran during that time of Transformation." She pauses. "But I can tell you more about me and my kind at some other time."

Maur peers into the chasm trying to gauge the depth.

"Weird that no guards are stationed here. This is as good choke point as one could hope for. Chokepoints should be guarded or there is no purpose to them."
Aureus motions to the underside of the bridge. "The first time we came through here, there was a giant centipede guarding the bridge -- hiding under it before it attacked. It was very large and very dangerous. It wasn't a natural vermin either. The cultists must have bred it to be a guardian. It breathed acid like a black dragon and nearly killed Lorien -- our friend." The rogue pauses once again. "I hope he's doing better," she adds.

"That... doesn't sound like something we want to come across," Gareth chuffs.

"Yes, let's hope there was only that one," Aureus agrees.

The younger adventurers grip their hilts just a bit tighter. All have drawn their weapons and stand at ready to fight. Timmins nods to Gareth and they too ready their weapons for anything might come out of the darkness beyond the lit torch that Quinten carries at the back of the group.

Caerth remembers the rooms on the left, ahead.

"The torture room," he reminds the others, "Up ahead. And the undead guardian beyond, must still be there."

The half-orc lets the comment sink in for a moment before adding, "Together we can end its unnatural existence."
"Undead guardian," Brutus's eyes go wide. "I'd rather face a giant centipede."

"Hmm, I remember it," Aureus says with a nod. "It was covered in rattling chains. Let's hope it is only an undead thing." She looks at Maur. "Do you think you can turn it."

Moving forward cautiously to the outer room carved out of the rock, you find that most of what was in the room before is now gone. Someone or something has cleared it out. The old pallets that Careth and Quinn had piled in front of the door are gone. The door is shut closed and a banded locking mechanism has been added to the door.

"It looks like these cultists have been busy," Timmins says quietly. "But why would they trap it inside?"

Caerth can hear chains rattling on the other side of the door, or is it a trick of the imagination? Then a noise does ring in the half-orcs ears. But it comes not from the barred room but from somewhere else in the caverns. The sound echoes in the eerie stillness. Like the sound of something hard scraping against stone.

"Did you hear that?" Aureus says, her ears perking up.

OOC: Roll Listen checks and Spot checks :D
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Maur looked down into the chasm and under the bridges sides. His darkvision pierces the gloom to almost 100 feet in depth as he looks for traces of other vermin or the bottom of the charm.

As they approach the temple and he listama to the description of group easier encounter Maur considers...
"If it is undead, I should be able to. Depending on what it is exactly. And given your description, if it is in an evil temple it might be waste of power to try."

He taps his helm with the gauntlet, making kind of soft ping-ping sound that nevertheless deafens him for the moment.

"If it is chained, we could maybe destroy it from afar? But the cultist are either afraid of it or they prepared something for you given the changes here. I think we should secure the area first."

 
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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"If we cannot defeat the thing and whatever else awaits us in there...I can temporarily consecrate the space. It will penalize the creature whatever is inside."
 
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