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Scales of War #1 Rescue at Rivenroar IC

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Kali follows Velani in, also walking forward in a non-threatening manner, avoiding the bones, holding his axes low, casually, but not going so far as to sheathe them.

'I would ask you to heed my friend's advice, we mean you no harm, and would return you to your deserved rest. Let that be a peacefull process!!"

Kali cannot help but avoid a touch of intimidation in his attempt at diplomacy.

OOC: Move to J7, avoid stepping on any bones

As Kali moves forward the talkative undead creature makes a slight gesture, no more than a half-wave of its emaciated hand- the effect is instantaneous, ten skeletons rise from bone pile.

Seven of the undead creatures clutch ancient looking longswords, the other three hold bows, arrows already notched and ready to fire.

"I SAID NO CLOSER!"

The emaciated figure shakes its head.

"You MORTALS..."

The creature spits out, as if life were the disease.

"Your threats ring hollow- what do we that have already embraced the dark have to fear? Death? Ha! Death is nothing... except to those that slavishly cling to life..."

The Skeleton Warrior grins- its shattered tombstone teeth parted slightly, it laughs, the noise folds and flexes- a hollow dark sound that seems to come straight from the abyss.

The creature draws its scimitar... and readies itself for the fray, it looks... capable, very capable- a threat even.

"We are unused to the ways of the world, your world- down here in the dark with only the rats for company. Perhaps we have failed to make ourselves clear- unless you have something to offer, something tangible, then depart this place. Please- there we have told, and we have asked- politely. You have no business here- you have nothing that we want, or else nothing to offer- or perhaps just... nothing."

The emciated figure grins too.

"The only thing we have for you is... pity. This is your last warning."

New Map-

265 The Lords of Rivenroar- Velani and Kali
 

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tiornys

Explorer
Ah-shahran

Intently following the conversation as Velani and Kali offer polite conversation only to be met by threats, Ah-shahran attempts to intuit what, if anything, these ancient beings might desire.

[sblock=Mechanics]Insight to allow for and/or aid further attempts at Diplomacy[/sblock]
[sblock=Combat Status]HP: 35/35 Surges: 4/8 Surge Value: 8
AC: 17 Fortitude: 12 Reflex: 15 Will: 17
Resist: 6 necrotic, 6 radiant Saving Throw mods: none
Speed: 6 Initiative: (+3)
Passive Insight: 20 Passive Perception: 20
Action Points: 1 [] Usage this encounter
[] Second Wind

[][][] Failed Death Saves

Current Status:

Actions:
[]Standard
[]Move
[]Minor
[]Immediate


Powers:
Spirit Infusion, Direct the Strike, Call Spirit Companion Twin Panthers, Hand of Radiance, Adaptive Stratagem, Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes, Healing Spirit, Inspiring Word, Speak with Spirits, Cast Fortune, Spirit of the Healing Flood, Winged Horde (CBoAM), Potion of Healing, Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might/color]

[/sblock]
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Intently following the conversation as Velani and Kali offer polite conversation only to be met by threats, Ah-shahran attempts to intuit what, if anything, these ancient beings might desire.

[sblock=Mechanics]Insight to allow for and/or aid further attempts at Diplomacy[/sblock]
[sblock=Combat Status]HP: 35/35 Surges: 4/8 Surge Value: 8
AC: 17 Fortitude: 12 Reflex: 15 Will: 17
Resist: 6 necrotic, 6 radiant Saving Throw mods: none
Speed: 6 Initiative: (+3)
Passive Insight: 20 Passive Perception: 20
Action Points: 1 [] Usage this encounter
[] Second Wind

[][][] Failed Death Saves

Current Status:

Actions:
[]Standard
[]Move
[]Minor
[]Immediate


Powers:
Spirit Infusion, Direct the Strike, Call Spirit Companion Twin Panthers, Hand of Radiance, Adaptive Stratagem, Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes, Healing Spirit, Inspiring Word, Speak with Spirits, Cast Fortune, Spirit of the Healing Flood, Winged Horde (CBoAM), Potion of Healing, Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might/color]

[/sblock]


Having listened to the conversation so far Ah-shahran is somewhat at a loss as to what the Lords of Rivenroar desire... He is however fairly certain that other factions within the Crypt have made pacts with the creatures, he's been told as much-

The letter from the Emissary stated that Sinruth, the Goblin Chief, had bargained with the creatures- supplying them with fresh bodies, the boy Thurann was intended as a gift to the undead creatures. That is until the heroes stepped in.

Furthermore he remembers that Derek the Gnome said that Lord Frazzle had made some deal with the creatures... A leap of logic leads him to believe that the ceremonial platinum sword, the last treasure missing from the Hall of Great Valour must be here. Did Frazzle use this as a bargaining chip? Possibly.

Putting these two things together leads the Deva to think, unsurprisingly, that the Lords of Undead require, perhaps, the usual things-

Live flesh- new bodies for them to inhabit, or else feast upon.

Tribute- treasure items, perhaps items not of magic but symbolic in nature- the treasures that they have been sent to gather fall into this category.

That said, the one thing that has come out of the conversation with the talkative undead creature, is their hatred for Fallcrest- and its rulers, past and present- it's not much of a lever, but it has some purchase.

There is of course a simpler option, Ah-shahran, surmises- we could always ask what they want... the option seems to have been overlooked so far.

Lastly, the Deva is certain that the undead creatures do not wish to be laid to rest, or else left to... whatever. These creatures are somehow part of some bigger plan, or else observers on the side-lines, they seem to some how know about some or all of the plots that are unravelling here. Likewise their lair contains all manner of scrying devices (or other similar magics)- clearly the creatures have either been busy, or else others have been busy on their behalf...

In summary-

1) Why not ask them?

If that's not an option, then offer them-

2) Live victims- not likely.
3) Ancient treasures or tribute- like the items you were sent to recover, or else... well, you're not sure...
4) Something to do with upsetting the present rulers of Fallcrest- again not likely...

Which just leaves-

5) Something else, something off the wall, something that will appeal to a bunch of undead folk that seem to have been living in the dark for centuries- brooding and angry. Certainly for all their bluster they are keen to gain allies- witness Sinruth, and Lord Frazzle... There must be something you can offer that does not require you to compromise your mission?

GM: Just a note- this has turned into a Skill Challenge, I expect all players to roll the dice- no exceptions. It's a difficult challenge because... well, because it's a difficult challenge- the climax of your time in the Crypt. Do you want to appease a bunch of Undead- well that's up to you, as stated above- they seem to know a little about what's going on here. They seem to know a little about things that are going on in the Vale in general (hence all the scrying devices). There are clues here to the bigger picture- violence will certainly mean a fight to the death- and be warned this is the climax, these creatures are by no means push overs, this will be your most difficult encounter... Lastly offering something acceptable to the creatures is not the end of it- as stated it's a Skill Challenge, I expect you to work hard for your victory here, that involves dice rolls and RP.


Decisions, decisions, decisions...

GM: I'm waiting for responses from Freggo, Viator & Kyalia- others can try again but the challenge is for all of the players- success can only be achieved after everyone has contributed... I hope that this has become apparent, it's been the way for all the previous challenges of this nature...
 

tiornys

Explorer
Ah-shahran shares his thoughts

Speaking just loud enough to be heard by the others, Ah-shahran murmurs *I suspect we would be unwilling to supply anything these creatures might desire. But, I suppose we could ask, in case they surprise me.*

[sblock=OOC]Well, given that, Ah-shahran is actually inclined to take it into a combat--I doubt he'd be satisfied with any negotiation result short of the lords agreeing to be laid to rest. But he's also not the type to initiate rash action--at least not in a serious situation ;)[/sblock]
[sblock=Combat Status]HP: 35/35 Surges: 4/8 Surge Value: 8
AC: 17 Fortitude: 12 Reflex: 15 Will: 17
Resist: 6 necrotic, 6 radiant Saving Throw mods: none
Speed: 6 Initiative: (+3)
Passive Insight: 20 Passive Perception: 20
Action Points: 1 [] Usage this encounter
[] Second Wind

[][][] Failed Death Saves

Current Status:

Actions:
[]Standard
[]Move
[]Minor
[]Immediate


Powers:
Spirit Infusion, Direct the Strike, Call Spirit Companion Twin Panthers, Hand of Radiance, Adaptive Stratagem, Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes, Healing Spirit, Inspiring Word, Speak with Spirits, Cast Fortune, Spirit of the Healing Flood, Winged Horde (CBoAM), Potion of Healing, Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might/color]

[/sblock]
 

Thanee

First Post
Kyalia

Well, it might be worth a shot... at least they do not seem keen on a fight, for whatever reason... Kyalia thinks.

She then steps forward, not closer than her allies have moved, but so she can be seen, having been in the background for now.

“You say, that you want us to offer something to you. But how can we know what it is that you desire? Please, tell us, what kind of offering you seek, so we can decide, whether we have such a thing that we can offer to you, or else leave this place and trouble you no longer.”
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
The chamber, or else the inhabitants in the chamber seem to visibly relax- not let down their guard, but... this is a throne room afterall- you're heading towards the correct protocol.

The chatty undead creature shuffles back towards his throne, rests there, and ruminates for a while.

"There are many things we wish for... alas we may have to temper our desires, the Goblins and the Gnome were less- ethical, they wanted power and were prepared to pay, or else have others pay for them. You... are... adventurers... the heroes- Yes?"

The creature smiles, the first sign of warmth.

"Know this, we were heroes once- we fought just wars, and for the Vale, and for honour- ours and others. We were men once, never forget that, never forget that- we were like you... once."

The creature warms to the task, grins some more, and then perches on the arm of the throne.

"We could ask for power, but I sense you have little enough of your own, and naught to spare. We could ask for money, or trinkets- but again you have nothing that we want- the Gnome was lucky, the sword he had was ours once, it served to remind us of a time long past- but like all things it is nothing more than a shadow down here in the dark... It serves no true purpose."

The creature stands again...

"There is one thing... One thing you can give- freely."

The creature's smile turns into a snear.

"Your life... We wish to walk again, to feel the cold earth beneath our feet, the warmth of the sun on our back. We wish most of all to be free of this prison, this shell, this hated frame..."

The creature's words build to a crescendo- slivers of spittle, or else some other liquid, hang from its mouth- it seethes in anger and frustration.

"We wish to go abroad again. Yesssss. That is what we wish."

Again the creature grins- this time in reaction to your open mouthed stares.

"Will you give your life? Will you serve as host? Will you give your blood? Your bone? Your body? Consider this before you answer- we are not so different. We died fighting for right, for what we believed in- we did not worship dark gods, nor did we disgrace our souls in life, we were just and fair, and yet... And yet we were made to suffer, we became... This."

The creature's skin on its face slowly peels back, as does its flesh from its body- to reveal a pulsing bloody mess of organs half dessicated, half lacerated and oozing- a tangled disgusting skinless bag of gory meat in the shape of a man.

"We suffer."

The creature's skin, as quickly, grows back.

"We suffer horribly."

The forlorn creature sits, head bowed- seemingly exhausted, after a while it looks up.

"We seek to return. It is a simple matter, it costs little, and hurts but for a moment- all it requires you give, is a life..."

The creature holds Kyalia's gaze, question answered, and then pointedly looks at Velani.

"Your life."

It matter-of-factly states.

GM: Just to make it clear, we're talking about Velani (their choice) becoming a revenant- in effect killing herself and allowing the spirits of the Lords of Rivenroar in. In game that's Velani changing race, and perhaps gaining some other 'memories', and/or, 'extras'.
 

Blutspitze

Explorer
Freggo racks his brain, trying to think of a way that the Lords could be helped, preferably without the need of killing one of the party members. He attempts to determine a magical way to take the spirits of the Lords out of their bodies into new vessels without the life of a full person.
 

RavenBlackthorne

First Post
The light behind Viator's eyes returns as the creatures deliver their offer. He cocks his head to one side and attempts to access the information within his mind about the history of this place and people, and any knowledge of the ritual the undead are offering.

OOC: First roll for History - 10 + 12 = 22, Second roll for Arcana - 13 + 14 = 27
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Freggo racks his brain, trying to think of a way that the Lords could be helped, preferably without the need of killing one of the party members. He attempts to determine a magical way to take the spirits of the Lords out of their bodies into new vessels without the life of a full person.

Freggo has heard rumour, and read stories, of a myriad ways in which the spirit or essence of an individual (undead or otherwise) has been transferred to another receptacle. He's heard of sentient magic items- artifacts that embody the spirit of the deceased or fallen. Likewise intelligent beast or animal hosts... and a myriad other creatures or creations that have been used to contain consciousness, of some sort...

But the rituals to create such things are way beyond his ken, a strippling swordmage...

Freggo is stumped, however he thinks the undead creatures must certainly know what they are doing, if they could transfer their spirit in another way- say to an object, which would be far less of a sacrifice, then they would have offered- Freggo is certain of this.

Their offer remains unchanged- a life is needed.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
The light behind Viator's eyes returns as the creatures deliver their offer. He cocks his head to one side and attempts to access the information within his mind about the history of this place and people, and any knowledge of the ritual the undead are offering.

OOC: First roll for History - 10 + 12 = 22, Second roll for Arcana - 13 + 14 = 27

GM: Apologies but I cannot at the moment navigate ENWorld, as in it's taking 3-5 minutes to move between pages, the history of the families that ruled from Rivenroar has been discussed previously (and I don't remember what pages it was on- and I can't navigate to get back to it), so...


There have been a number of families that have ruled the Nentir Vale from Rivenroar, a seat of power in the past, this during the time of the Empire of Nerath. The families include- Von Urstadt, Von Adrez-Kauthin, Von Jallach and finally the Rivenroar Clan. The first three of these (the Von's) ruled as feudal Lords, remember these were violent times in the Vale when monstrous incursions and bandits upon the road were common place. These families brought a greater level of peace and prosperity to the Vale, at least as far as their rule stretched.

That's not to say however that they were all just and righteous, they were glorified robber barons, at least some of the rulers- in total the three families ruled for nearly two centuries. In each case the new inhabitants of Rivenroar overthrew the last inhabitants, again you need to remember that this is how succession took place in times gone past. The Markelhay's (the rulers of Fallcrest) gained their position in much the same manner, they usurped the previous inhabitants, as I said that's how things go...

The Von Urstadt, the first Lords of Rivenroar ruled for the longest- they were bloody warriors in a time of bloody fights and empire building- some of their rulers were just, others were... less so. The Von Adrez-Kauthin came next, you remember little about their history- certainly the times were less bloody and violent, although not entirely exempt from violence. The last great family were the Von Jallach's, they were a chaotic mess- they didn't last long as rulers. In the end the Von Jallach's lost Rivenroar, reputedly in a card game, which was typical of their blundering ways. The Castle was won by the Halfling Rivenroar clan- it was there name for the place that stuck, they were the last rulers. The Halfling's abandoned the place to the wilds and went back to being river-dwelling traders...

Viator recalls.

Viator has no 'exact' knowledge of the ritual which the Lords of Rivenroar are proposing, that said he is aware that such rituals exist, and have been used previously. It seems the ritual being discussed would have been taylor-made, possibly researched by the Lords of Rivenroar themselves, afterall they've had a century or perhaps more to do some digging.

You are certain that if the Lords of Rivenroar say it requires a life, then... it requires a life. That's not to say however that the life taken could not be somehow returned at a later stage... anything is possible, particularly when magic is involved.

GM: To restate- the ritual requires a PC give their life (effectively they become a Revenant). The Lords of Rivenroar's vessel of choice is Velani... As Kyalia states in the OOC- you have no idea what information the Lords of Rivenroar have, or even what use they will be to you... But the reason you don't know this is so far you have made two statements, and asked one question... Which is a little odd, there's six of you and only one of them chatting- and the undead guy has said three to four times as much as you guys combined...


GM: Lastly- I'm making this stuff up as I go along of course, you went the chatty route, I liked the idea and just pushed it as far as I could, there's nothing in the module about any of this. So, feel free to dive in- as I say, I'm making this up as I go along- I like being pushed or made to work hard, to figure how this event will fit in with the overall plot of this campaign. If you have any ideas- and remember were a player down in Freggo- does the swordmage want to become a Revenant? Does Blutspitze want to play a Revenant? Do you have some alternative theory you wish to suggest? Feel free to either post here, OOC, or else message me if you have any theories, or an alternative route this part of the story could take- remember this is our collective imagination at work here.

Very lastly- think outside of the box, I'm trying not to have the Lords of Rivenroar suggest alternatives for you- but I can think of alternatives that are available to you.
 

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