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D&D 5E Witcher: Mother of Monsters

Skarsgard

Explorer
Darius frowns as he hears the Lake spirit speak. What is it talking about? he thinks. What game is it playing here? It seemed like they were being stalled.

Clearly the it was linked to the Lake, but in what way? Was she drowned there for some crime? Did someone accuse her of being a monster?

Nothing was clear, and it was clear that he was out of his depth here. Feeling helpless, he decides all he might be able to do is stand guard. Or was there......
 

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Queenie

Queen of Everything
Elora sips at her wine again before speaking. All Sources had secrets, this was no revelation.

"What exactly is it that you think this girl is keeping from us? I've only just met her and since you forcibly took her in the middle of our conversation, I have yet to have the chance to get to know her very well."
 

Quickleaf

Legend
The spirit in Odvara placed her cup down, slid a hand along the table, leaning toward Elora. There is a wistfulness, a certain regret in her voice. "There was as much force in coming into her as there is force in moon coming out at night, or a cold mountain wind descending to the lowlands at dusk. As for her secrets...shouldn't those remain hers to reveal when she decides?" The spirit herself seemed to waver, eager to reveal the secrets, yet uncertain if it would be the right thing to do or not.
 

Axel

First Post
"Yes. It is not polite to give gifts on behalf of others consent," Kynee replies.

"The drowned priest. What was his name?"
 

Quickleaf

Legend
"Ur- no - Urim, yes that was it. Urim Drenar." After a moment of faltering with the priest's name, the spirit in Odvara finally gets it right. There is only a faint hint of regret, as if she were recalling the name of a particular species of tree, nothing more. "I am certain the young woman - Odvara - will share her secrets in due course, but you may wish to keep one eye on her."

The night has deepened, only a scant two hours before midnight.
 

Axel

First Post
"You feel no regret for the death of Urim Drenar," Kynee said, determined to keep control of the conversation. It was a phrases as a statement, not a question. "That answers your doubts. Oh yes, they are as plain as firelight on your face."


She paused for effect at this point, hoping that Fergus at least would back her. You are not human. Or of the elder races. You kill men without regret. You take a creature's will against consent. That makes you a monster in my eyes."

Resting her hand on the pommel of her sword as an unsubtle threat, Kynee continued. "If you are still a decent person, leave this girl unharmed and depart."
 

Queenie

Queen of Everything
Elora rolls her eyes. "Oh Gods, not another paranoid Witcher!" She scrunches her gray eyes and points around the room, "This one's a monster and that one's a monster..." She shakes her head and laughs before taking another big gulp of wine. "You barely know anything about her," she waves an arm towards Odvara than laughs again, waving her arm a second time, "Or the other her in there. You have no idea what is going on, if Odvara gave her consent or not. And I'm fairly certain you've killed frequently without your own regrets so give us all a break. Or are you just going to stab the poor innocent girl to get rid of the Lady within?" She shakes her head, her long white hair flowing smoothly over both shoulders like water runs down a river.

She turns back to Odvara and shrugs. "I do not know if you've met their kind before but they can be rather uptight and picky about who they associate with."
 

Quickleaf

Legend
As if trying to maintain her lady-like decorum in the face of such condemnation, the spirit in Odvara purses her lips and pushes the cup away from herself, "I believe I've lost my taste for wine. Maybe the witcher woman is right in all regards..." She confides to Elora. "Except I do not feel Odvara fighting against my presence, so I think it unfair to say I am against her will. But she is right, I am neither kith or kin, and I have killed." Drawing quiet, the spirit turns her white eyes and troubled face toward the window. Her head bobs slightly, indicating Odvara's body is likely drunk with wine.

"I have met a man with wolfen eyes before, a witcher with a scarred throat. He was hunting a creature called a manticore that once laired in the nearby mountains. Oh, he was clever..."

"He tricked me into drinking powdered silver. -- Indigestion for the body I occupied, nothing more."

"He tried binding me in a magic circle. -- It worked on the body of his traveling companion, yes, but did naught to expel me."

"I believe he thought me a ghost, so he then tried to convince me to move on. -- So lonely and desperate was I for company then that I played along, and didn't have the heart to tell him I wanted to stay encased in flesh all the more. When he left confounded, he swore that when he next rode by my lake he would find a way to end me."


"The man with the wolfen eyes and scarred throat never returned. Instead it was two witchers!" She glances at Fergus and Kynee.
 
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Steve Gorak

Explorer
"She's doing something," Talashia mutters darkly. "Every time a question is asked and answered, there's a little flare of magic. She may be telling the truth when she claims not to know what...but regardless, it's happening. She may be...feeding on it somehow."

The sorceress looks at Ethian impatiently; her inner turmoil finding an external target.

"There's power in acts of consent. Giving and taking. It's a kind of sacrifice. It may be harmless, I suppose. It's just that there's very little that happens with magic that doesn't carry a price of some kind. And without knowing what it is, there's no way to tell if it's one we're going to be happy paying."

She sighed...her little rant letting her relax again momentarily. "But since she has Odvara, and none of us have the means to expel her, we're better off not angering her. Just...give her as little as you can. We can minimize the damage, perhaps."

"I agree. Perhaps the spirit will move on if we don't anger it. In any case, we are at it's mercy since as you say, we can't expel her..." Ethian sighs, takes a few breaths of fresh air while telepathically communicating with his steed to make sure it hasn't seen any threats, and walks back inside the hut.

There, he can sense the tension has mounted. "That felt good" he says, as a distraction. Addressing the spirit, he adds, with proper highborn decorum "Apologies for having missed the last minutes of the conversation, my lady. Where are we at?"
 

Quickleaf

Legend
"Somewhere between the next question and waiting to see if the witcher - oh, that witcher - is planning to kill me," she nods toward Kynee as she wipes her mouth of bread crumbs. Despite having eaten and drunk her fill, the spirit still steals glances at the pot of stew. A hunger that can't be sated dances behind her pure white eyes. "There being two of you witchers makes properly identifying you trickier. What should I call you I wonder?"

OOC: Btw, this is just meant to be a prelude to get you familiar with each other, get a feel for your characters, and get to know a bit about Odvara & the setting. The spirit of the lake is a perplexing little mystery that you (probably) won't solve now, though certainly could be something you choose to resolve later. Thematically, it is meant to be a test of how your PCs approach the unknown.

If you guys grow tired of dealing with the spirit (or just are antsy to roll some dice), feel free to let me know and I can speed things up into the adventure proper. :)
 
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Axel

First Post
Kyneton grinned, though there was no mirth in it. "I can't kill something that is not alive. And we made a deal. No killing, only talking."

Removing her hand from her sword butt, Kynee folded her arms across her chest. "I am called Kynee. Remember it if you stay in this world."

"It is our question though. What is it you miss most from the living world?"

[sblock=ooc]
I love these sorts of encounters (if you can't tell!) and would happily play it for months. I think I've got Kynee's personality a bit better sorted now, which is good. And dice!

I'm happy to move on when enough others are, though I've been greedy and kind hogging the story. Sorry. :-/
[/sblock]
 

Shayuri

First Post
When no one else comes out, Talashia's limited patience quickly expires, and she steps back into the hut to glower at Odvara silently.
 

Fenris

Adventurer
Fergus sat with quiet reserve watching and listening to the exchanges. "I am Fergus. And my comrade here is not entirely correct, we can kill things that are not alive. However, as you alluded to earlier, I only kill monsters. As to what a monster is, well it is black and white. But it rests predominately on sentience, ecology, intent, and motivations. Not to mention commissions. Though of course, a witcher is free to decline a commission. So Lady of the Lake I believe that answers your question." Fergus notices Odvara's glances and gets up to fetch her a bowl of stew. "I am sure that you have missed the taste of food and wine without a body." he says handing her a bowl.

"So Lady of the Lake, while you inhabit the body of the Odvara, is there some way for you to help her control her powers? It would be a kind repayment to help the young lady not succumb to the vagarity of the the Source."
 

Shayuri

First Post
"Not quite as easy as that, hm?" Talashia asked with an edge to her voice. "Magic is a thing of the soul. Not the shell. I'm sure our guest has powers of her own, but Odvara's are submerged along with the rest of her."
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Tracing her fingers over her shoulder, the spirit within Odvara seems fascinated with the chill threatening to encroach with the deepening night and the dying flames of the hearth. She pulls the shawl about her shoulders, transfixing Talashia with an intent gaze of silent agreement. "Hmm, I suppose the thing I miss most," she says as her white eyes gaze at the dimming flames, "are the sounds of my father's court. The laughter, the songs, the bark of dogs, my mother's harp. Yes, it is the sounds I miss most."

For a moment it seems like she has forgotten Fergus' question entirely, but then the spirit in Odvara cranes her head to him, "I've...occupied...many travelers over the years. Most were like walking thru water - there would be resistance. But your Odvara was like stepping thru air. As soon as I was awakened by the disturbance in my lake, I was drawn into her. Perhaps this is the nature of her magical gift?" With a sigh she folds her arms, "I did have a talisman which was said to be protection from hostile magic. Yes, a gift from father. It's sunken in the lake. I tried many times to retrieve it, but it always slips thru my fingers. Perhaps the talisman could help her?"
 

Axel

First Post
Kynee mentally sighed, shaking her head. Such an obvious ploy to get one us helpless underwater, in her lair....

"Swimming in a mountain lake. In winter. Sounds delightful," she retorted sarcastically.
 

Queenie

Queen of Everything
"What does this talisman look like?" Elora is not hiding her curiosity as she asks her question with wide eyes.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
"Oh yes, it is..." The spirit's voice trails off. Scrunching her brows above pure white eyes, the spirit in Odvara cocks her head as if only just realizing that Kynee was being sarcastic.

"It is a golden long triangle with defined edges and embossed waves...or perhaps flames...licking upward on its face. A sapphire is inset in the center. The chain affixes to the longest point on the triangle," she explains to Elora with great clarity.
 

Fenris

Adventurer
With a sardonic grin Fergus pipes in "Cats don't like water, maybe that is why Kynee is so ill taken with you. Or that they no longer teach the Witcher code in Stygga. Or apparently manners. If this talisman will help Odvara I will retrieve it."
 

Quickleaf

Legend
In the dead of night, not even the sound of the mountain goats can be heard, only the winds gently buffeting the cluster of pines outside and occasionally rushing over the cabin. While the half of you facing the hearth fire is warmed, the other half of your bodies feels the chill seeping in thru the shuttered windows.

Kynee is certain she sees malicious delight on the face of the spirit-in-Odvara at Fenris' proposal.

Fenris is certain he sees overwhelming gratitude on her face, as if the spirit-in-Odvara hadn't received such a kind gesture in a long time. "W-would you? Down in the lake? Yes, it could help her, the talisman... Your Odvara seems especially - how to put it? - permeable to magical influence. The talisman, it could help her."

The spirit-in-Odvara glances back to Kynee (or at least seems too - it's hard to tell with pure white eyes). While Witchers weren't unaccustomed to jumping into frigid lakes in the dead of night - an occupational hazard - the way the spirit looks at Kynee begs the question: Had this been the spirit's intention all along? To get them to lower their guard and retrieve her talisman? Or was she honestly trying to help?

OOC: Anyone is welcome to make a DC 13 Wisdom (Insight) check to gauge the spirit's motives based on her body language, speech, and mannerisms. Choose one thing you want to learn about her: Bond, Ideal, Flaw, Personality Traits, what her feelings are about the talisman, just get a general sense of whether she means you woe or weal, etc.

However, a result of 8 or less means you become entrenched in whatever belief about the spirit you already have; you can't make anymore Insight checks about the spirit.

A result of 18 or higher means you can gauge Odvara's state-of-being instead (if you wish), or gain two insights about the spirit (from the list above).
 
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