stonegod's Expedition to Castle Ravenloft: Ch. II [IC]

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
stonegod's Expedition to Castle Ravenloft: Chapter II

IC: Ch. I, Ch. II, Ch. III | OOC: Ch. I, Ch. II, Ch. III | RG

Current cast:
Past cast:
  • Selase Kolandra (Doomhawk): Human Vol adherent. Killed by the zombies of Barovia, risen by their plague, and put down by her companions.
  • Bergeron "Foebender" d'Jorasco (Kralin Thornberry): Halfling Jorasco scholar. Slain by the foul death magic of a mad Barovian priest.
  • Daellin ir'Ayellan (drogthery): Elven Cyran undead hunter. Killed by the mad spirit of the monastery.
  • Perriwimple (Kafkonia): Human brute. Killed by the mad spirit of the monastery.
  • Ladreth Dorkunan (ethandrew): Quiet half-orc Deneith mercenary. Staying with the depleted expedition.
  • Janis Stormhand (ir'Sandal) (James Heard) : Human Cyran ex-pat aristocrat. Returned to town after wounds.

Chapter II: Shadow on the Land

The Castle, Barovia, Karrnath
21 Sar, Zarantyr, 998 YK

High on the parapets, eyes looked north at the shadow of Lysaga Hill in the distance. Even at this distance, the sickly green light could be seen. To see anything more would require eyes beyond the ken of men... or magic.

The watcher had both.

From behind, a rhythmic pulse could be felt more than heard, but that did not distract the watcher. On the Hill, a battle was fought. A battle between those that struggled under the Curse of the land and those that were new to it. The former thought to overturn to the Curse, to replace it with their own rule. But the Curse was strong. Already it had its tendrils in the newcomers, whether they saw it or not.

The watcher smiled, the outcome of the battle plain. A success. Another piece won.
 
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stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
It was late night by the time the group returned to Barovia. Wisps of the fog danced through the streets like ghosts. It was quiet, with only the group's thoughts echoing in their heads.

Things were more lively, though not necessarily better, at the camp in the town square. Fresh wounded, all caravan guards, were being tended by the healers who were selflessly going without sleep again. Elsewhere on the ground was a covered cloth, the shapes of bodies underneath. A few faces looked at the group wearily as they returned, and a scribe with a arm splint went into the Vine as the horses pulled up.

As the group dismounted, the oily Karrn leading the expedition exited the inn. Unlike most in the area, he was unwounded. Mateusz's thin lips tightened when he saw the others. "It appears the rumors of witches were true after all. We've had our own adventure while you were gone, once again." He gives the halfork a dirty look. "It is unfortunate that the people we pay to guard us fail to do so." He returns his gaze to the others, looking askance at the dead bodies. "Well? Anything to report?"
 
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James Heard

Explorer
Janis looks down her nose at the expedition leader before dismounting. The mist made the witch's pale, fine hair hang limp in the torchlight, and the cast shadows of torches danced across her face dangerously.

"Perhaps you'd rather wait until we break our fast tomorrow for word and rumor, when each of us is in a better humor and the dead are seen to by their loved ones."

Do not pretend yourself a Captain, when you are only a Captain of Coin, Mateush, Janis thought, echoing the Cyran proverb.

"You will leave the mercenary be," Janis states flatly, "And see to our mounts. If one of the priests wishes to converse with you, so be it: I, for one, would rather stab a rat than sing for it now."

Janis dismisses the caravan master with a cold shoulder and brushes past him without further comment on her way into the Vine.

Curses and cowards, Janis thought. Exactly what stew I needed to break my mood for the day.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Jarrith jumps down from the horse and thumbs his thumb at the body strapped to the horse's hind quarters. "While you all were taking care of the witches ready to swoop in and control the town, we took care of the ones up in the mountains that were summoning a nature demon called The Verdant Lord. Stopped them from summoning him too."

He moves over to Edi and opens up the bag that Janis presmably put the creature's decaptitated head in and pulls it out. "Just one of the things we were up against up there. Miss Stormhand thought you might like to see what exactly some of your townfolk had gotten themselves into."

He turns his head back to Ashlyn and shouts to her. "M'Lady... you want to show off the green hag that was running this little summoning shindig?"
 

James Heard

Explorer
Janis stops her walk toward the Inn and silently counts backwards, gritting her teeth and biting her tongue to keep from lashing at the probably well-meaning but furiously annoying men in her life that seemed to demand demonstrations rather than good sense.

"As I said, I'd rather we had performed any circus on the morrow, Jarrith. But if you insist...

Janis stalks over the corpses and decapitated heads.

"These are villagers. Note the Daelkyr-deformities as evidence that these individuals were dealing with chaotic and malign powers," Janis recites as if delivering a morning lecture to unruly students.

"Worshiping their dark god," Janis flips the decapitated head onto the ground in the middle of the group, "Under the influence of this hag..." Janis holds the hag's corpse up, arching one thin finger under the creature's nose almost accusingly.

"...The villagers, witches, summoned the aforementioned 'god' upon Lysaga Hill. Dead now, upon my responsibility, and upon that responsibility we have brought the dead back to here for proper burial and so that the living may make their peace."

"If any believe I have made some great and inappropriate disrespect for their loved ones, they may speak with me. Tomorrow...."

The storm-witch continues.

"I have not yet disrobed myself of the silver-fear from this morning. While I, in my finite patience and compassion, have found it within me to defeat the beast-seed placed upon my breast so far, I am none so pleasant and sure-souled that I am certain that I would resist it twice. All the day we have been hip-deep in blood, and while we are all sorely taxed I assure any that I am very tired and very much not in the mood for further talk."

"A bath, a song, sleep. Tomorrow. A new day and I will be no doubt be my normally cheerful self, but to beg a pardon, right now I am not in the mood."

Men!

I should have let the wolf take hold of me and eaten them.
 

pathfinderq1

First Post
As Janis launched into her tirade, Tessa moved a few quick steps to take a station between the druid and Mateusz. Her move was perhaps a bit too slow to be reflexive or enthusiastic- and it was tough to say whether she was warding the expedition leader from Janis, or the druidess from Mateusz. "Tomorrow we'll break the curse. Now indeed, we must rest, for all our tempers are frayed from trials we've faced, and our resources are all but spent." Her voice was quiet and weary, but as firm as she could manage. Despite that assertion, when Janis turned for the Vine, Tessa turned outwards, ready to assist the caravans healers and the townsfolk. She knew that she would get little sleep tonight no matter how exhausted she might be, and while her magics were spent, she was as well-trained a mundane healer as any Jorascan-taught halfling.
 

Stormwind

First Post
Upon seeing the wounded as they arrive in town, Ashlyn simply dismounts and ignoring the verbal altercations between Janis and the others, she immediately begins to see to the wounded. Moving to the center of those wounded she calls upon the healing deep within herself and once again it surges forth. Perhaps due to her tiredness or something else, the healing energies are sharp and hard, almost raw as they surge through the wounded, healing wounds quickly, but without the warm gentleness that normally accompanies it. As she moves through the townsfolk and the caravan people, she positions herself to best effect so as to heal and many as she is able as she releases the healing energies again and again.

Finally, her inner healing depleted, Ashlyn resorts to more mundane skills as she joins the other healers working through the night by bandaging any who are still in need of further ministrations.

Then, once she has done what she can, Ashlyn moves back towards her bed at the inn, checking in on Urik before heading off to her own bed and the sweet oblivion of a couple of hours of sleep.

[Use all remaining turn undead attempts -> sacred healing (if necessary)]
[Heal checks: 1d20+10 (1d20+12 with healing kit) ... use healing kit only if necessary for the more seriously wounded, if any]
[Assess Urik - Heal check: 1d20+10]
[Ring of sustenance -> only need 2hrs sleep]
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Janis said:
"As I said, I'd rather we had performed any circus on the morrow, Jarrith. But if you insist..."
Jarrith rolls his eyes at Janis once more. If Jarrith himself wasn't exhausted and cranky he probably would just keep his mouth shut after her crack just to keep the peace... he'd learned that lesson a while ago... but his own foul mood can't help but let old bad habits come out and he's quick to retort.

"Did you or did you not just say 'If one of the priests wishes to converse with you, so be it.'? Hello! What is it you think I'm doing? I'm one of said priests... and I'm conversing with Mateusz. You don't have to if you don't want to... you can continuing marching back into the Vine and we'll take care of it if it's that much of a problem for you."

Jarrith is about to continue speaking to the caravan leader when Janis comes storming back anyway and goes into her long shpeil. He throws up his hands in surrender as apparently even though she's not in the mood to talk... she just can't help herself when she gets on a roll. Or more likely, she wouldn't be able to stand to have anyone else potificate on the situation while she was upstairs abed.

When the storm-witch finishes her performance and ends it all with her "not in the mood" flourish, Jarrith's just about to respond with a quick joke at her expense... but this time he forces himself to remain silent. One slip can be attributed to exhaustion taking hold... two slips and he's just being a jerk. He instead turns to continue speaking with Master Ochem, figuring that while Tessa and Ashlyn do their 'tending the wounded' thing and Janis goes upstairs to clean up and rest, he'll further the discussion with the caravan leader as needed since he's one of the few who actually doesn't mind talking to him.
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
The few villagers still up this late, mostly wound tenders to assist the Jorasco healers, gasp at the reveal of the dead witches. There are a few whispers, and at least one heads into town, but most are just stunned. More so when they see the hag and fiend.

The archivist's thin lips tighten more if possible at the Stormhand's tirade. As she storms inside once again, the archivist only says, "I am sure your beast will be attended with all the respect it deserves, Miss Sandal." Dismissing her mentally as the door slams shut, the archivist instead turns his attention on the hag and fiend head. He looks at them intensely. "Indeed. So I was correct. The Verdant Lord, obviously. This will surely make the Reports on Planar Studies. Best that was taken care of." The archivist briefly notes the grafts on the witches, nodding.

Mateusz turns to Jarrith when his examination is done. "Any other signs of incursion? I assume the ritual was interrupted before its secondary stage? No manifestation of Thelanis traits?"

~~~

Tessa and Ashlyn quickly ascertain that the wounded are all members of the caravan except for a young boy---one of the Inn's tenders. The wounds are horrid claws and bites, not the abilities the witches possessed. One of the halflings mentions, "It was that Deneith scion---the wolf has him. If it wasn't for that mad one, I don't think even the other mercs could've stopped it."

All of the dead are Deneith mercenaries. The number of living guards was rapidly dwindling.

~~~

Janis finds the inside of the Inn in disarray. The tables pushed to the side to make way for Urik's litter have been rended by something of great strength, and broken crockery is everywhere. Arik the innkeeper absently cleans, as if in shock.

Urik, still looking weak, sits in the corner with a now wobbly table, his companion balancing carefully on the boards. His silver blade is propped up beside him. "Ah, Lady Stormhand. Good to see those with fight in them are still breathing."
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Mateusz said:
"Any other signs of incursion? I assume the ritual was interrupted before its secondary stage? No manifestation of Thelanis traits?"
Jarrith nods at his questions. "No, I think we took care of things before they got out of hand. I made it a point to start the attack just as soon as all the witches were in position and their ritual just about to begin. The hag got all of maybe four words out before we broke it up."

When Ochem mentions 'Thelanis', Jarrith looks at him quizzically for moment... until Ochem explains that 'Thelanis' is the Faerie Court. Then Jarrith's face lights up in understanding. "Ah! I get it. Uh, no... I do not believe so. Not from what happened up on the hill anyway. Janis did have to fight against the curse of the werewolves on the way down, but she was able to control herself. No other strange manifestations have as yet occured." He glances around at the destruction and death in the area and not having heard the halfling's comment to Ashlyn and Tessa, inquires on his own. "On that note... what happened to Victor down in the basement of the Vine? Did the curse overtake him?"
 

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