PH1: The Darque Demense (Bront judging)


[U]Party consists of the following:[/U]              [U]Next init roll:[/U]
-[URL=]Xir[/URL], male Xeph Soulknife 1                         XX   
-[URL=]Eleria Moonsilver[/URL], female Elven Bard 1             XX
-[URL=]Abdul Alhazred[/URL], male Grey Elf Wizard 1             XX
-[URL=]Elthic Bazelmak[/URL], male Mountain Dwarf Rogue 1       XX
[sblock=Guidelines- players please read]Some general guidelines to start. I should be able to post daily most of the time (often multiple times during weekdays, less on weekends). I would like for players to also be able to post regularly to keep the adventure moving. Daily would be great, but I understand not everyone can do that. Just let us know here in your first post about what to expect for your frequency of posting. Also please post a link to your character sheet in your initial post(don't worry about this, I already did it above).

If any player is absent (without prior notice) for longer than a few days, I reserve the right to NPC their character. If the unannounced absence goes longer than a couple weeks, I reserve the right to boot that character and let the party return to the RDI to pick up a replacement if desired.

Please try to use the "SBLOCK" function for out of character discussions or something only meant for specific people to read. If I direct a hidden communication to specific players or characters via SBLOCK, please refrain from reading them if they are not for you. This will help keep the realism and excitement flowing. It is also nice if everyone can try to keep current basic info in the title line of their posts (especially during battles!). Just something like 'Joe Blow, Male DM level 10 (AC:88, HP: 888/888)'. I've used this as a player in another adventure and it really helps me keep track there, so as a DM it should be REALLY useful! :)

I will let you make most rolls yourselves using Invisible Castle so that they are traceable. I may do some checks for you (Spot, Listen, etc.) but if doing so, I will also use Invisible Castle.

Keep in mind, this is my first time DMing an adventure here in LEW, though I have decades of DMing experience in RL. So if I stumble a little here or there, please show pity and give me another chance. I'll do my best to make this a fun and satisfying adventure for everyone![/sblock]
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Lucias Darque and his servant Thaddeus lead the party from the Red Dragon Inn out into the city. Finally, the arrive at a nearby shop selling adventuring supplies. Going within to get out of the sun and have more privacy than on the streets, he stops to speak with the group of four adventurers...

[sblock=OOC]Once all four have posted here, I'll continue with the briefing, job description, and details of payment.[/sblock]
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Eleria Moonsilver [AC 16, HP 7/7, (0) Spells 1/2]

Uncertain of where they are being led, Eleria notes the name of the store and follows the two men into the shop. At her age, she is still quite impetuous and has barely thought of any danger that might be present, but the idea of following them blindly still makes her a little uncomfortable. She waits for someone else to speak before making any comments.

[sblock=OOC]I’ll have no trouble keeping up with the pace, Phoenix. My computer’s like a life support system and I’m rarely far away from it. So yes, I like your stance on DM intervention too. I’m sure you’ll have no problem DMing here – so much more time to respond in PBP than PNP. I’m looking forward to it!

BTW, How do I use SBlock properly. What's the button? I've cut 'n' paste thus far, but that's really clumsy.[/sblock]
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[sblock=OOC]I wish there WAS a button for the sblock function. Unfortunately, I just type it manually every time. Sorry.

I am looking forward to DMing here myself. Should be lots of fun. And it's so helpful to have a job where I can play on the computer if I don't have any phone calls to answer! Weeee! :lol: [/sblock]


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Xir, AC 19, 12/12hp, Psi Focused

Xir walks behind their master, his tall frame dwarfing all in their group and garnering odd looks from passerby's.

[sblock=OOC]Xir's here. Once a day minimum is no problem; often can do more, though I'll be updating the games I run over ones I'm in if necessary.[/sblock]


Elthic (HP 9/9, AC 15)

Elthic, rather pleased with landing a job, follows shortly behind everyone, having to run occasionally to catch up. He does this with little complaint, his well-forged dwarven spear balanced on one shoulder, and his half-filled backpack hanging by a single strap on the other - his simple crowbar sticking suspiciously out of one of the side pouches. A signal whistle, hanging on a leather cord, is worn around his neck.

Sorry about the lateness of my reply. On the west coast, and I post during the night. I should be posting around this time, every day or so.

And it's great to have a chance to play Elthic! Been looking forward to it for some time, now.[/sblock]


Abdul Alhazred (HP 5, AC 13)

Abdul trails along, happy to have a job. He stays alert, as he is rather frail.

[sblock=Spells Prepared]
Spells Prepared (3/3, DC 15+level)
0-daze, detect magic, read magic
1- color spray, sleep, ray of enfeeblement

I can post 1/day. Sorry about the lateness.


[sblock=OOC]Thanks to Bront for judging.

On to the adventure! First things first though, I have a method I've used in RL that I think will work great here in PBP. I want everyone to include in their next post an initiative roll for your character. That way, when we get into an encounter I can jump you all right into combat in initiative order. Then at the end of that combat, everyone will roll another initiative for the next time we need it. Also, if everyone will continue putting their spoken dialouge in a unique color, that should help anyone reading it keep better track of who's who. We'll give it a shot like this at least and see how it goes. Now that that's done, we begin...[/sblock]
“Now that we are all gathered and away from the bustle and noise of that Inn,” Lucias begins, “I can discuss in more detail what your job assignment shall entail. There is a house, in Orrussus’ High District which I have recently inherited… well, nearly inherited at any rate.” He says as a look of disgust crosses his face. “Due to silly legalities, the house does not come directly to me unless I can claim possession of it. This is complicated by the fact that my cousin, Allahastor Darque, was a wizard of some skill who has seen fit to leave his…I mean MY house guarded and trapped against intruders even though he was in such poor health.” Lucias shakes his head in what seems to be mock pity for his relative.

“He was a bit touched in the head sir, if I do say so myself.” Thaddeus offers with a disdainful raising of his nose into the air, as if to avoid an unpleasant odor.

“Perhaps, perhaps.” Lucias continues, “But the true madness lies in the clause stating that if I have not taken possession of the house and grounds by a certain upcoming date, the whole thing shall instead transfer and be left to …his FAMILIAR!” he nearly shouts with outrage. Taking a breath and calming himself down, Lucias explains, “Allahastor was an eccentric one, all right. Never did well by the family and he shunned all of us for some reason. But what can you expect from someone so addled that they could consider leaving their property to an animal instead of their family? All the same, your mission is thus: Enter the demesne of Allahastor Darque and retrieve for me the key for the front door lock. This is the only thing that will turn off the guards and wards within according to his will and allow me to take possession of the estate.”

“What I offer you in payment is a sum of 500 gold crowns each upon completion of your mission. In addition, I shall be willing to purchase some healing potions from this establishment for each of you as an advance payment. I think four potions each should be enough?”, Lucias finishes as he hands a full purse to Thaddeus who goes to the counter and pays a hefty sum of 80 platinum Dragons for the sixteen healing potions that are soon deposited upon the counter.

“Ah yes, one more thing before I entertain any questions you may have. The payment you receive at the completion of your mission is all which you are entitled to. No object or treasure from within the house itself is to be taken. You are being paid to make all within available to it’s rightful owner- me. Though I do not know exactly what contents the house may contain, be assured that if I discover anything missing I shall know where to find each of you and shall spare no expense in recovering anything stolen. Also, before I forget, here is the address of the property where you shall be working.” Lucias crisply presents a rolled parchment to the party with an address in the High District scribed upon it.

“Now, do you have any further questions before you begin?” Lucias asks with an air of impatience as he cleans off his monocle with a silk handkerchief.
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Eleria Moonsilver [AC 16, HP 7/7, (0) Spells 1/2]

Eleria listens intently as the man describes the task at hand, trying to recall anything that she had previously heard about the name Darque before. As the daughter of a merchant, she was trained not to accept the first amount offered, so she instead sought to find out further details about the assignment and tried to feign a little hesitation at the difficulty of the task, expressing an audible sigh and the best contemplative look she can muster, “Such magical wards can be very, very dangerous…”

She guages Darque’s reaction before continuing. “Your cousin, m’lord… Did he not have an apprentice, an understudy or some kind of colleague who would be familiar with his methods and who is capable of dispelling such things? If you know of anyone, we would seek to question them.”

After she receives a response, Eleria asks one more question.

“One more thing, m’lord. If we were to take on this assignment, I ask that you provide us with a writ or some other kind of authority to investigate this matter. I would be loathe to run into trouble with the city guard over such a trivial affair. And I’m sure that your time is much to valuable to be embroiled in such things.”

She flutters her eyelids, looking all sweet and innocent.

Sense Motive: 15. Eleria is curious if Darque is revealing the full story to them. Or even if this is some kind of test to reveal their abilities for further assignments.

Bluff: 20. In order to make it seem that Eleria is hesitating about the job because it is very difficult and might not be worth the gold. ie. She angling for more gold, or some other compensation.

Bardic Knowledge: 9. Does Eleria know anything about the Darque family name? What kind of assets do they have at their disposal? Also, were there any suspicious circumstances surrounding Allahastor’s death?

Initiative: 4. Would you like us to post this in the title, or just keep it for your reference?

OOC: Damn, that's a lot of rolls in one small post. :p [/sblock]


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
"Are the guardians to be eliminated? Is not such considered against the custom of your people? Is it correct to assume that you do not know the layout of the demesne?"

[sblock=OOC]Init: 13[/sblock]


"I do believe that you are being fairly compensated already, Ms. Moonsilver. Though if you all perform well beyond expectations, perhaps some small bonus could be aranged at the end of our dealings. That shall be decided in times to come though, not promised in the here and now."

"Sadly, there was no apprentice to question or use in order to bypass the wards. And paying for a stranger to perform such magic is more cost prohibitive than hiring all of you."

"Ah yes, we can take care of that little legality if it worries you, my dear." Lucias says as he takes back the scrol with the address upon it and begins writing on its back side with a quill which Thaddeus quickly produces... 'I, Lucias Darque, do hereby give permission for the bearers of this scroll to perform for me a paid service which entails entering and clearing of dangers within the property I am inheriting. They shall not be held liable for tresspassing upon those grounds at the address on the reverse side of this parchment.' "There you are, all nice and tidy."

"His familiar? Truthfully I have no inkling. It is not described in the will, but it's name is appearantly 'Vermanir Necrotuz'.As for the guardians within, I cannot venture to guess what he may have procurred for use as such. You may destroy any that you must as they would likely not retain loyalty to myself anyway. It shall be easier and better for me to later hire more normal and cost effective guards once I have taken possession of the manor. From what I saw upon my only visit to the outside of the house, there were no patrols or guardians outside of the house itself. I was able to walk up to the front door itself...but I could not gain entrance..."

[sblock=Eleria]-You sense that there is something more to his story that he has not yet divulged. You are certain that he seemed right on the edge of saying more there at the end.
-Your bluff is well played, and he truly believes that you are showing hesitation due to the possible difficulty of the assignment, but he made his tightwad (a new prestige class, I'm sure) check vs. spending more money and resisted giving you more payment than what he has already promised.
-Your Bardic knowledge reveals little. They are naught but a minor family of minor semi-nobility who appearently enjoy acting haughty and snobbish, except perhaps for the 'black sheep' of the family, Allahastor Darque.[/sblock]
[sblock=Abdul]You recognize that the name 'Vermanir Necrotuz' in Draconic translates to 'Rat-Killer'. Your arcane knowledge does help you recognize the name of Allahastor Darque, though there was little gossip about him-which had led you to deduce that he kept mostly to himself and was retired for the most part. He did not have the reputation of an evil-doer, but you do remember him being referenced in some book dealing with magical locations, though the reference was vague and seemingly of no help in the current situation.[/sblock]


Abdul asks "What prohibited you from entering?"

"Unfortunately, the front door was locked you see. But I next thought that I could try the door on the rear of the house. That was when it happened. You shall think me addled or insane, but Thaddeus was there and he heard it as well. A voice, speaking to us from nowhere! It said 'I would stay out if I were you, Lucias. In fact, you should just leave this place now and forget that you ever heard about it, or else it will go poorly for you...' I was startled, I admit it. Magical things and happenings are not what I was raised to deal with. I thought it might be some magical trick of Allahastor's, but how? So we left that day and have not returned since. But as we walked away, I could not help but feel watched. And turning to look, I spied a pair of eyes looking at me from the topmost room of the tower before they withdrew behind the window curtains."

"I don't pretend to know or understand the goings on there. But if my cousin still haunts that place, I know not what can be done."
Lucias ceases talking and stares at the floor in the growing silence.

[sblock=WarlockLord]Could you please use a little lighter shade of blue that is less hard to see on the dark colored backround? The RoyalBlue color I used above is pretty close to what you had I think. Or anything else a little less dark than what you've used. Thanks! :heh: :eek: [/sblock][sblock=OOC] Wow, you're here early Wik! Okay then, I think most of the preliminaries are wrapped up. I'll get you all to the starting point and if there are any other questions, we can assume you asked them before getting to the house.[/sblock]
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The party of four takes leave of their employer and begins the short trek to the High District of Orussus. Travelling gently uphill away from the harbor and the main portion of the city, you follow the road that hugs the coast to the north. The morning wind blows a warm and gentle breeze from over the water and the gulls float and dive in the sunny sky above you. After passing many houses and manors of very well-off individuals, you deduce from the addresses you are passing that your destination lies not far ahead. On your right is a 10' high wall which encompasses some forested area. After following the wall for some time, the trees beyond it give way and you come to an open gate in the wall where the marked address matches what Master Darque wrote upon the parchment.

Folowing the path up towards the manor, you see that it is a two story house with a 3 story tower attached to the back righthand corner. It seems to be in good condition overall, with no visible damage or degradation. A covered porch gives shelter to the sturdy looking double doors in the front of the house. While there are some small and thin windows in the house itself (to small to squeeze through) they are curtained from within and nothing is visible through them on casual inspection. The steps of the porch creak slightly as you walk up them, but nothing else is heard.

[sblock=Elthic]As you approach the house, you catch a quick glimpse of the curtains in the upper tower moving and you would swear you saw a pair of eyes watching all of you until the moment you started to look.[/sblock][sblock=OOC]In case you didn't already, add four potions of Cure Light Wounds to your character sheets as your advance payment for this adventure. Note that if you drop out of the adventure due to dissapearing, these will be forfited as well. Not that I think any of you will, but just gotta say it. Ya know? :uhoh:
P.S.- When used, I'll roll for the potions effects for you.

The porch itself is 15' wide with the front doors in the center 5' section. It extends 10' out from the house itself.[/sblock]
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Confident in their ability to complete the task, Eleria offers, "So, I assume that we will rendezvous with you back here with the key?"

Once she is satisfied with Darque's response, she asks no further questions of her employer. Instead, she resolved to deal with any situations as they arose and joins the rest of the group as they head towards the house. As they travel towards their destination, she passes the time with light conversation with any other members of the group who are interested, becoming more acquainted with them and talking about time spent in the city in general. When she is not talking (or actively listening), she hums a pleasant melody of an elven song that her mother used to sing to her as a young child – not that long ago, and seems generally lost in her own thoughts.

When they reach the house, she double checks the address on the parchment, before returning it to her pack and venturing a couple of questions as she looks around the group to see what they may have to offer. “So, what? I guess we just walk straight up to the door?... Elthic, did you say before that you had a way with locks?”

[sblock=OOC]Four potions added. They’ll come in very handy. Since nobody else took the parchment and Eleria was dealing with it, I’ll also add that to her sheet.

I'm assuming that Darque will want the group to meet him back at the store.

What is the time of day?[/sblock]


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
The tall xeph is quiet most of the way. Any questions are answered with simple, short answers, and he is not drawn out into conversation. He looks at the house quietly when the arrive.

Deus Ex Machina said:
“So, what? I guess we just walk straight up to the door?... Elthic, did you say before that you had a way with locks?”
"'They who seek without looking are blind to that they should see.' We see the front without knowing the sides or the back. This one could seek the roof as well, if that is desired."

[sblock=OOC]How far to the various roofs. I.e., could a set of Up the Walls get to the top of the tower?[/sblock]


Abdul walks with the rest of the party. He is not good at small talk, so he shuts up.

When our heroes reach the house, Abdul attempts to peek in the windows, and says
"So, plan? Xir could climb the roof or Elthic could pick the lock. Sadly, I have nothing to blast the door down, and that would reveal our presence.

"By the way, Eleria, you seem a good "people person". What did you think of our employer?

Spot 21 Good for peeking in windows.

I added the potions to my sheet.