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5E Witcher: Mother of Monsters

Quickleaf

Legend


OOC Thread
Rogues' Gallery
[SBLOCK=Maps]
The Northern Kingdoms (1 square =~ 100 miles)


The Posada Region (hexes = 1/2 mile)


Lower Posada (not to scale)

[/SBLOCK]

[SBLOCK=Table of Contents]
Prelude
The Blue Mountains & Entering Posada
Recap after 3-month data crash
[/SBLOCK]

Prelude

It was just as the squint-eyed dwarf said to witcher Kynee: stay off the main roads, hug the mountains, and you’ll avoid the Nilfgaardians. Gulet, a town burdened by Nilfgaardian occupation, was a memory nearly 3 days passed. Due south they’d traveled - Kynee, Darius, Talashia, and Odvara - and not a Nilfgaardian patrol in sight. Patches of snow still clung to the ground for it was late February - mid Imbolc according to the elven calendar. The footpath down from the saddle of the hill offered a fine view of the expanse of wilderness buffering Aedirn’s southeastern border from elven lands.

Darius Smithson knew these routes thru the foothills of the Blue Mountains well, though this was the closest to Dol Blathanna he’d ventured. Calendula, also called field marigold, was beginning to blossom on the southern slope, a signal that winter was slowly releasing her hold on the land. Daylight was fading. It was time to make camp.

”Is that them?” inquired Odvara Kringen, glancing to Darius and then to Talashia. There were whispers Talashia heard, whispers that a trio led by a Druid would meet them to lead the way into Posada. No better place to meet than the old ranger hut overlooking the alpine pond.

Elora Vasesso spotted the other party descending the hillside, and a waved hand between her guardian Fergus Llew Gawain and the brawny Darius Smithson confirmed these were the ones they’d been waiting for. A fire burned inside the old hut, along with whatever victuals the Druid and his companions were cooking.

Looking across the Blue Mountains in the distance, there was little doubt to anyone seeing it for the first time: this was the Edge of the World.

 
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Shayuri

First Post
"It must be," Talashia answered, squinting a little into the sunlight. "Even so, stay back until we're sure."

Once there, and identities were confirmed, the sorceress lingered just outside the hut's door to take in the view and enjoy the stiff breeze that came in over the mountaintops. Her stomach growled when she smelled the food, but she didn't move right away. Instead she let down the hood of her cloak and let her long mane of bright red hair spill out. The wind caught it and it flared out and around, spreading out as if it was underwater rather than in the air.

There was little enough beauty in the world that each moment like this had to be savored while it lasted.
 

Skarsgard

Explorer
Smiling at Talashia's exchange, Darius scans the horizon carefully whilst there was still light.
As always his breath was taken away by the majestic beauty of the mountains but he was well aware of the dangers that could lurk in those rocks and woods, partols of Nilfgaardians chief among them.

Introductions with the other group are brief, for some reason Elora and Fergus had him on edge. There was something about them that was "off". But once Odvara had settled in he doffed his pack and went back outside.

"I should go scout out the area and make sure we are alone," he rumbles in his deep voice to no one in particular. "Save me some food if you could, I should only be an hour."

[sblock=Scouting] Darius is going to use his Scouting ability to check the area around the ranger hut [/sblock]
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Given the open terrain providing long sight lines, it doesn't take Darius more than half an hour to scout the 100 feet or so around the hut. Besides a small herd of mountain goats grazing on clover, you are well and truly alone. However, when he passes by the pond, Darius feels the hairs on the back of his neck rise and feels like he could gaze into its waters for a long long time, days, weeks even. Nothing he can pinpoint, but maybe something one of the witchers or sorceresses might know more about.
 

Skarsgard

Explorer
Returning to the hut and the welcome smell of food, Darius helps himself to a plate.

"All clear,"he mumbles around a mouthful of food. He frowns and puts the plate down. Should he bring up the pond? Was it anything to worry about? Mulling it over in his head he shakes his head.

"Actually, it might be nothing but there was something that set my teeth on edge." he looks at the magic users. "I don't want to waste your time but it may be worth a look. I'd certainly sleep better if you three at least looked it over."
 

Axel

First Post
After the initial introductions, Kynee had taken herself outside and found a seat overlooking the lake. Partly, she was annoyed at not knowing there were to be more in their group heading into Posada. Keeping four travellers out of sight and out of mind was an order of magnitude easier than seven...

But mostly she needed time to work out how to deal with the big Griffon. Playing nicely with others wasn't normally part of her work patterns. Patterns... she thought, idly watching her breath steam out of her mouth. This whole thing looks like a setup. Two witchers. Two sorceresses. But by who? Or what..."

Resolving that the pattern was unclear without more information, Kynee rose to return. She followed close behind the returning Darius. Taking a plate of stew, and some stale bread from her pack, Kynee deliberately sat near to Fergus.

With no preamble, she nodded to the blonde woman nearby. "Is she your charge, Kynee asked Fergus?
 

Queenie

Queen of Everything
"Hello Friends!" Elora greets the newcomers pleasantly in her melodious voice. "Please, come inside and take some rest. We've got food for you and it's warm, and the view cannot be bested."

The ranger went off to scout and returned as quickly as he left, while the others all danced around each other, the delicateness of a newly formed party keeping them slightly on edge. The tall half elf pushes her long, thick braid of white hair behind her head and gets back to seasoning their meal. Finally Elora wipes her hands on her apron before serving everyone, then sits to join them.

She frowns at Daruis's words. "What is it that is bothering you? Sometimes little signs lead to large discoveries."
 

Shayuri

First Post
"Well you haven't been gone long," Talashia notes with a chuckle. "So you're at least not wasting much of it. Where is this terrible terror that set you on the run?"
 

Fenris

Adventurer
Kynee deliberately sat near to Fergus.

With no preamble, she nodded to the blonde woman nearby. "Is she your charge, Kynee asked Fergus?

Fergus assessed the other witcher for a moment. "No. She is not" he answers as directly. He takes a bite of stew. As he chews he sees Kynee seemed to want elaboration, after a pause, a seeming internal decision was made, so after he swallowed he continued. "She is not my charge, ward or in any way dependent upon me for protection, safety or direction. She is a, well, you can ask her what she is or does. I won't presume to answer for her. But I think by your question you meant more than you asked yes? We are comrades. We have the same goals, much as you and I do."

Fergus continues to eat his stew. He wasn't sure about this Cat. But he was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Certainly not everyone from that school was traitorous. But there was little to be risked on this mission, though it was important to Elora. So he could not in good conscience prevent Kynee from being curious. It was quite natural after all for a Witcher, any Witcher, to ask questions and fully understand their situation.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Odvara eats the meal quietly, expressive hazel eyes wavering on Elora recognizing her features are vaguely elven. It would seem Odvara has attempted to downplay her elvish aspects, her black hair in a half bun concealing her ears. Though she wears a faded grey-blue smock and comports herself humbly, the manner in which she holds the soup spoon and sits suggest she received some element of genteel rearing. Like much of the journey thus far, Odvara is rather quiet and demure.
 

Axel

First Post
Kynee nodded and chewed, thinking over Fergus' reply. Then she smiled, humourlessly. "It is plain as day that Elora is a Source. I am sorry Elora," she adds, addressing the other woman, "But there is no value in subterfuge here. If you do not know yet, Fergus can explain how we see such things."

Rising to her feet, Kynee headed for the door. "Darius, show me this evil by the lake before it grows dark. I would be drowned awake before asleep..."
 

Skarsgard

Explorer
Darius quickly wolfs down the last of his meal.

"I don't know what about it made me feel.... uncomfortable." he takes a long swig of water.

"I'll show you."
 

Axel

First Post
Kynee stood swiftly and elegantly, rolling both her shoulders around on the way to the door. She paused, drawing a last lungful of warm air before pushing past Darius back into the cold.

Outside, Kynee shivered involuntarily, waiting a moment for her eyes to adjust to the gloom from indoors. She said nothing, waiting for Darius to lead down to the lake.
 

Shayuri

First Post
Talashia shrugs and follows along. As to the other conversation she overheard, she had no comment for it. She'd known Elora was a Source from the start. One Source knew another; there was no hiding the outpouring of magic from one. It hadn't even occurred to her that others might not have had that subtle sense. Something to think on, for later.

"Should be interesting to see what can set Darius on edge," she comments.

Trying to get a rise out of Darius was becoming something of a game for her. He was so stoic! Somewhere he had a button though, and she'd press it sooner or later. Oh yes.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Astoundingly blue even at sunset, the little lake seems almost supernaturally colored. Of course, a ranger like Darius knew that it was more likely due to the powdery "rock flour" that grinds off the mountain runoff changing the way light was perceived. Still, however, the effect was a turquoise blue of startling intensity. The waters of the lake seem almost opaque due to dissolved matter. A tangle of old and new animal tracks are vaguely visible around the edges, mostly mountain goat it would seem.

Kynee feels her cat medallion hum faintly against her skin once at the lake's edge. It's an especially soft vibration, not the rattling normally accompanying the presence of a monster. Strange.

As Talashia follows, hoping to get a rise out of the ranger who she had been on the road with the past 3 days, she gets a tingling feeling along the base of her spine upon examining the lake. Magic. After a moment she is certain there is some kind of illusory magic imbuing the lake.

✦ ✦ ✦​

Tentatively, Odvara looks across the table at Elora, "You're like me? Your father was an elf?" It is clear from her tone, Odvara has never met a fellow half-elf before. The cooking fire in the stone pit cracks and hisses, hungering for more wood.
 
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Axel

First Post
Kynee stood still, enjoying the view and stillness as much as she was thinking. And listening.

"This place is different. I feel it," is all she said.
 

Shayuri

First Post
Talashia's attention immediately focuses on the water, and she narrows her eyes a bit. The magic crackles in the air, and the image of the lake wavers slightly to her sight. She can smell it, like the ozone just before the first thunderclap.

"This lake isn't what it seems. I'm...not sure exactly what it is, but it's not as we see it."
 

Skarsgard

Explorer
Darius unlimbers his handaxes. "This cannot be a coincidence. Do you have any way of working out what is going on?" He stares at the water a moment and juggling his weapons he picks up a large stone.

"I am going back to Odvara, but first..." he tosses the stone into the lake.
 

Axel

First Post
"Illusion then," Kynee says. There is no question, just simple statement. "Only unpleasantness hi... I wouldn't do..."

"That." she concludes, watching helplessly as the rock ripples the surface.

"Go, then. Bring Fergus when you return," Kynee adds, a note of exasperation in her voice as she moves further around the lake. Away from the hut and away from the others.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
The stone, about the size of a human head, slaps the turquoise blue water, immediately sinking after a loud 'plunk.' It fades from sight in the water as soon as it hits the surface, leaving only fanning ripples in its wake. Despite the water's seeming purity it is opaque almost like paint. As if in response, a sighing breeze rustles the nearby pines. Despite such winds being normal during sunset, especially at altitude, the breeze feels distinctly...feminine...to the three by the lake.
 

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