Taihun

Haunted Fishing Village pt. 11

Eri, acting on a hunch, casts faery fire on the other presence she can feel. She takes in a quick breath and exhales her words almost silently, but enough to be noticed. “Athtihar Vorsa.” A faint green aura wafts around the various objects caught in the path of the spell, like barely visible flames moving in slow motion. Moira is imbued, as is the stack of dirty clothing… and so, too, is the humanoid shape between the two. It seems that the outline of a man is traced in the air by this green aura. Ouriana and Erimeyoma can see it.

Moira’s eyes widen and she turns to face both of them. “How… I don’t know…” she then narrows her eyes and blinks hard. “You’re a witch! You’ve bewitched my home!” She seems to be straining the accusation, and it’s obviously something she doesn’t truly believe.

Eri holds out her hands palms down to try and calm Moira. “No, I’m not a witch. And I only highlighted what was already there.” Moira looks at the outline and her shoulders fall. More tears escape her eyes.
“… Charles? You’ve really been here this whole time?” Moira bursts into tears as she collapses into the arms of the outlined form. Despite seeming empty as air, the form holds Moira up and embraces her lovingly. “I thought I was going mad… but you’ve really been here!”

The pair share an embrace for almost an hour as Moira slowly calms and reduces her sobs to shuddered breaths. When she composes herself, she stands and fetches an iron pot from a pile of dishes, clears the firepit of detritus and sets the fire going before leaving to fetch the water. Erimeyoma’s spell has long since dissipated, leaving her and Ouriana in the house alone with an invisible ghost. Some soot from the edge of the firepit seems to be used by the ghost to scrawl on a scrap of fabric that floats towards the pair. It reads: “Trapped. Free me. Look after Moira.”

What do you do?

Erimeyoma +15XP (135 Total XP)
Ouriana +15XP (145 Total XP)

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Death Lake pt. 4

Hyln becomes a little uneasy when the dead are mentioned, and Lorrias looks mortified. “It’s best to leave the dead resting.” Hyln intones, nervously looking over to the lake before adding: “It’s a very sad story, but bringing back people from the dead never had a good ending.” He seems to remember an old story and shivers a bit.

HexFang hands the eggs to Gemscale, who accepts them and nods. She points to herself “Poison dragon;” then to the lake “Poison lake. If any one stands a chance of reaching the bottom of this, both figuratively and literally, its going to be me. Its either a barren cesspool, or a portal to the grave.”

Gemscale and Lorrias both begin speaking at the same time, eventually managing to find a rhythm that allows them to ask their questions without talking over each other. Gemscale begins asking more about Dargyntad, where he was, where he’s going and what information Yorun might be able to share in the spirit of vengeance. Lorrias, however, probes the grieving man about his knowledge of this water bridge between worlds. How else might one reach the land of the dead? How did he hope to survive the journey?

Yorun scrunches up his face in thought, and flits his eyes from Elven Wizard to Dragon as their questions fly quickly at him. He clears his throat and begins to slowly parse out his responses. Being given a drink by Aar, he looks as though he feels a bit better and more easily converses with the party. He reveals that his village is only a few days west of the Lake and that Dargyntad reigned over them for two days. He was clearly toying with the villagers, and most have been maimed and may never work or walk again. The village is at risk of dying out. Yorun wishes to save his daughter, Eriadne, and travel south to join his distant kin. Yorun reveals also that he has no guarantees of his potential success in his endeavours, merely the rumour that the lake might take him to his daughter. His plan was to find her or drown in the putrid waters. Either way, his suffering would end. He does not know where Dargyntad was heading, but he knows he travelled southeast. Aar, consulting his notes from his travels up here, confirms that that would place Dargyntad in their potential path should the party continue to the Orc City that lies to the east.

Knives, having turned his focus inwards in meditation during the questioning of Yorun flashes his eyes open and says aloud: “If she is truly gone to the dead do we have the right to retrieve her?” His words are careful, but deliberate and unrepentant. “Her god may have claimed her and she may be happy.” He turns now to his compatriots. “The only thing we could really offer is to help this poor soul in seeking rightful vengeance on the evil that was responsible, rather than let him throw his life away.” A slight flicker of claw can be seen in the Tabaxi’s flexing paw.

HexFang briefly considers her options, before deciding to gather some more direct information. “Either way, give us 15 minutes.” She sticks her hand out to Yorun “Second times the charm?” Yorun’s eyes widen in shock, and looks over to the pool. He then clambers to his feet and takes the scaly hand of HexFang as they approach the edge of the pool. Coughing and gagging slightly, he covers his mouth and turns to HexFang. “If you can survive this, surely, then if you can find and retrieve my daughter I would be eternally grateful and be in your debt. But if you can find her, and my life would be lost in this pool, then perhaps it would be best for you to dive in alone.” His nervousness becomes clear, and the time away from the pool and discussing vengeance has softened his suicidal tendency.

What do you do?

Hexfang +15XP ( Total XP)
Gemscale +15XP ( Total XP)
Lorrias +15XP ( Total XP)
Hyln +10XP ( Total XP)
Knives +10XP ( Total XP)

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Somergleam Stopoff pt. 5

Fallo approaches the guardsman. Despite his unfamiliarity with what was going on, he pretended otherwise. It would not do to be apprehensive after all.
“Here now,” Fallo spoke up. “what’s going on here? Looks like a bad bit of business, it surely does.” He stands next to the city guard and turns his head dramatically to emphasise his query. “You two wouldn’t have anything to do with this, would you? It would be a shame if you did; I’d have to throw my lot in with this fine constable here and give you what for.” Fallo flexes his hand on the hilt of his sidearm for emphasis. “I’m sure you wouldn’t want that now, would you? So, let’s be nice and respectful and why don’t you tell me what’s going on here.”

Laucian sighs gently and puts the blade down. He looks the officer in the eye. “I’m Laucian Galanodel. Here, I can tell you what I’ve found if you want officer but I shall leave this to your capable hands.”
Owen stops glaring at Fallo and lowers his raised eyebrow as he turns to face Laucian. “… You are not holding up this young lady?”

Cosima is pleased and amused to see Owen show up so late. She steps to him. “You took your sweet time. Need to brush up on your cardio there,” she says with a smile. “Me and elf boy here nearly had him, till he slipped through that damn wall.” She gestures over her shoulder. “I was just telling my friend here that you would want to see the blade our runner dropped before he slipped into the masonry. Why don’t you show him, Laucian?” She speaks quickly, leaping from one thing to the next in her speech.

Owen walks over and picks up the bloody blade. “I can’t make heads or tails of this… It’s a strange weapon, to be sure. Perhaps a demon cult? They like their fancy blades, right?” Owen seems completely lost on how to proceed. “Well, in any case;” he turns to Fallo. “Thank you for your assistance, citizen. It seems all is in hand now. You may be on your way.” He then turns to Laucian and Cosima. “I will escort you from here, Lady Cosima, should you so desire. I don’t know what other business you might have for me since my escort to Somergleam appears to have been completed…” He seems reluctant to confess that he has little reason to remain. It seems he is charmed by the young Gnome. He then seems to remember that Laucian is present and that Fallo is at the end of the alley. He clears his throat. “Perhaps I can escort you all to a local alehouse? I believe a round is in order on the city’s coin as a reward for your efforts to stop crime here. I can personally thank you all, then.” He opens the invitation to all present, but his last sentence was said so quietly that Fallo could only just make it out. Owen was too busy focusing on Cosima to notice his voice has lowered.

What do you do?

Cosima +10XP (95 Total XP)
Laucian +10XP (55 Total XP)
Fallo +10XP (25 Total XP)

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On the Road At Last pt. 9

Darrin looks back at the fight between the tiny Goblins and the tall and lithe Lizardmen, cracks his neck then his fingers and sighs to himself.“You’re right! I clearly should have seen the cave full of angry lizardmen a mile off! It’s textbook!”

Ero’s eyes sparkle slightly before he realises that his mettle not only stands between him and a release from the mortal coil but perhaps the lives of his compatriots might be impacted. “Let’s keep going!” Ero grimaces at Darrin as he scoops Nix up in his arms. “It’ll be great!” He tries to reassure himself. He hurls the gnome up to the next level before ushering Ezra and Darrin up behind her. “Get Nix out of here!” he shouts, bringing his shield down as he turns back to the hoard, hoping to buy time for the rest of the party.

Nix’s legs kick as she soars up through the crevice, and she is caught by Kain. The burly warrior lowers Nix down to the ground, her dress quickly brushed down and admired by the young girl that follows Kain around.

Darrin disagrees with Ero’s suggestion of keeping going down deeper into the cave past the warring factions. “Now, I might suggest that a staged retreat might lead to loss of life, compared to a full on flight. Run!”
“Most sensible thing you’ve said all day!” Ero concedes, a note of disappointment in his voice. Talison looks over to Theodore and watches as he presses the button at his collar. Like watching an ornate hand fan unfold, Talison admires the graceful expansion of the armour as the plates slide out from behind one another and cover more of Theodore’s body. The final plates slide into place, the gentle gliding scraping sound is almost musical as they do. “Ero, lets go a little further and then form a defensive line. They will weaken their numbers before they even get to us; there is no need for a self-sacrifice. Darrin, you got to see the room of gold right?”
“I’m desperately trying not to look!” The sorcerer whimpers, holding out his hand to help Ezra climb up the rough handholds. The Tiefling, however, seems to have other designs and is taken by what Talison proposes.

“No self-sacrifice was intended; I’m counting on you to haul me out of this hole when I turn around and follow up after you! Organise the stand there at the top of the hole. We’ll drive them back down till the edge is blood-slick and hard to climb, then work our way back slowly. Shields and spears at the ready!” Ero deftly kicks at one of the Goblin spears on the ground and snatches it from the air, pulling his own small round shield out and holding them ready.
“I like the sound of that!” Talison grins and nods at Theodore. “You standing with us?”
Before Theodore can answer, Ezra pulls alongside Ero and the Elfblood much to Darrin’s chagrin. “Have any of you got a plan of what you want to do?” Ezra asks as he pulls his bow out and quickly strings it.

Ero looks over the group assembled by him in the tunnel and quickly works through his mind what would work best. The low tunnel roof wouldn’t allow for much advantage to using a bow, nor for throwing the spears for that matter. “Ezra, lead the retreat.”
Ezra nods and clambers up the handholds and through the crevice, leaving Darrin looking somewhat frustrated but also relieved that it’s not just him heading immediately for the exit.
“Don’t get yourselves killed. [In Infernal] Just come back.” Ezra throws his voice back down into the tunnel as he reaches the top.

At the top of the crevice, Nix examines the unconscious and bound Goblins. She sees a familiar resemblance; possibly a relative of Grixt in some capacity. Their attire differs too much from being the same group that struck near the Hollow, however. Perhaps a northern relative.

Adrik sits at the front of the cave looking outside as he keeps watch and pets his wolf. The water at the base of the tunnel that the rest of the party went through looks as dark and foreboding as before. The sunlight and the light breeze punctuate the rainy day. The thought that this must be how Kaila feels crosses Adrik’s mind.

Darrin and Ezra join Nix, Kain and Lorawyn up at the top. Ero, Theodore and Talison stand abreast blocking the corridor at the base of the handholds by the crevice. Lorawyn quickly gets an update from Nix while she examines the bodies of the Goblin in their custody, and pokes her head down. Spotting the fight at the far end of the corridor, and seeing the three warriors lined up to cover the general retreat now that Darrin has been found and rescued, an idea finds its way out of her mouth and into Theodore’s ears. “Why don’t we just ignore them and go on our own way?”
“That could be an idea. Do you mean, sneak by, or sneak away though?” The plate-armoured man asks, turning his chest conspicuously as though unconsciously showing off his new armour.
“I’d say…sneak by.” She smiles.
“Where would we be sneaking to? The pile of gold over there?”
“I suppose? I mean, I’m tiny anyway…” She grins widely as she shifts into her feline form once again and drops down onto her paws silently.
“Yes, but me? Not so much.” Theodore gestures to himself, emphasising that he is tall and not especially stealthy in his current arrangement. “But I will go with you if you wish to go. Gold can always be used.”
Unable to reply, the cat-shaped Lorawyn points her tail and then skitters along towards the fighting followed closely by Theodore.

As they approach the combat raging before them, two Lizardmen fell a Goblin and then lock eyes on Theodore. It seems that for now, they’re ignoring the cat.

Adrik takes in a deep breath that one might suggest resembles a sigh. On the horizon ahead he sees a small group of horsemen heading east through the light rain. One of the stops and looks down to the cave Adrik is sat inside; has Adrik been spotted? Is this a problem?

Roll for Initiative (1d20 + your Dexterity modifier). What do you do?

For the purposes of this update, those in the upper tunnel can begin the round either at the crevice or halfway along the tunnel on their way out.

Talison +10XP ( Total XP)
Nix +10XP ( Total XP)
Darrin +10XP ( Total XP)
Ero +10XP ( Total XP)
Ezra +10XP ( Total XP)
Adrik +10XP ( Total XP)
Lorawyn +15XP ( Total XP)
Theodore +15XP ( Total XP)
Kain +5XP ( Total XP)

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Haunted Fishing Village pt. 10

Using her magic to make herself appear less threatening to Moira, Erimeyoma manages to calm her down slightly. “Moira, we intend to resolve whatever snarl of events caused this strife. It would help us do that more rapidly if you can tell us what happened just before it started, then how events unfolded. Think of these events like the symptoms sick patients exhibit that helps a physician diagnose and treat them.”

Ouriana smiles and nods. "We had something very similar in my Village and if it is what I think it is, I think I can help… "

Moira looks up, tears still falling in droplets from her eyes. The room still feels cold. She slumps into one of the piles behind her. “Please… Leave me alone…” she says in defeat. She then looks Ouriana and Erimeyoma in the eyes. “Forgive me. He gets a little much sometimes.”

Ignoring the looks of confusion, she begins to ramble, mostly coherently, about the village’s recent history. She reveals that her husband, Charles, died about a year ago. Soon after, things kept moving about and going missing, people reported strange goings-on such as food tasting different and visions of dancing lights in the night sky. The whole village appears to have been affected. One of the villagers took a trip to Somergleam Hold in order to ask for help from the court seer. He was given a medallion of luck and portent that brought good luck for a short while, but then a couple of months ago the fish started turning up rotten in nets, strange voices and whispers could be heard between houses and ghosts started being seen around the village. The villager that received this medallion is a regular at the tackle shop, and their description matches the middle aged man that was rude.

From her nonlinear ramble, these are the details that can be organised easily into some sort of order. It seems that many strange things have been happening, but the cause is unclear. Moira thinks it’s a curse placed upon the village that killed her husband, but she has no interest in seeking anything out. She simply wants to live out her days alone. As she finishes up, she stands slowly and breaks down into loud crying as she makes her way to a small heap of dirty clothes off to one side. She flails her arms out as though ready to embrace someone and then drops her arms as she lets out a pained howl. The atmosphere begins to feel quite uncomfortable and the pervading sensation that there are more than three people in the hovel begins to make Ouriana’s and Erimeyoma’s skin crawl.

What do you do?

Erimeyoma +10XP (120 Total XP)
Ouriana +10XP (130 Total XP)

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Death Lake pt. 3

HexFang snorts in exasperation. “Who are you saving?”
He stares at HexFang for a moment before struggling again. “You know! You all know! You took her from me! You all took her from me!” He breaks down into sobs.
Lorrias suggests moving away from the stench, and between the Dragons and ’Knives, they manage to drag him away from the stink.

The Elfblood Wizard paces back and forth for a moment, Hyln raising an eyebrow as the small man mumbles to himself. “Who was it you were saving?” He finally asks the crying man. HexFang shoots a quick look at him and anticipating the same answer she had before, interjects.
“What is the name of the lady in the lake?” Her hissing voice lacking all sensitivity as the nauseating smell of the environment begins to translate into a claggy feeling all over.

The man, still attached to the rope but the end long having been cut, pushes out the name ‘Eriadne’ before collapsing.
“How long ago was she taken from you?” Gemscale probes, but ’Knives confirms that the man is now completely unconscious. He blamed HexFang it seems, but this may have meant Dragons were the cause or perhaps simply strangers to this man.

Zadkiel wanders over and lifts the man’s head. He places a thumb between the man’s brows and yells “Heoor!” The man opens his eyes suddenly and gasps for more air. “How long?” Gemscale asks again.
Looking around, he sits up and grabs his knees defensively. “My name is Yorun. My daughter, Eriadne, was killed mere days ago by a great black beast; a Dragon named Dargyntad. He said he was ‘clearing the way’ for someone. My daughter happened to be a fair maiden in our village and was taken as a prize. She did not survive the night. Her body lay bare and bloodied on the cold mountainside, found by the goatherd and his boy… I seek to bring her back from the lands that Dargyntad sent her to. I seek the lands of the dead! Tales tell of this pool being a portal between worlds. I will find her or die trying!”

What do you do?

Hexfang +10XP ( Total XP)
Gemscale +10XP ( Total XP)
Lorrias +15XP ( Total XP)
Hyln +10XP ( Total XP)
Knives +10XP ( Total XP)

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Somergleam Stopoff pt. 4

Cosima, after landing, lunges towards the murderer only to find the solid wall. She rubs her hands quickly over the stones to find the entrance but to no avail. “ARGH! I hate it when they do that!!” She turns to Laucian. “Do you have anything to get us through?” She begins tapping the wall with her left index finger while looking the Elfblood before her up and down. Laucian sighs and pockets the torn cloth he holds.
“Owen is going to be pissed… Wait, what’s that?” Cosima asks, the blade catching her eye.

Laucian bends down and examines the blade dropped by the masked man without touching it. “Do you want to try and go after him, lass?”
“Well I s’pose there’s no point now… Unless you can get us through this wall.” Cosima sighs as she tries to push bits of stone, but she is getting nowhere. “Do you think we could track him with that?”

Fallo winks at the man that spoke to him, letting his lip curl up slightly to show that he is considering the offer. “Five to a copse.” He says lightly, “I could do no more than three and it better be a fine bucket indeed.” He looks out at the crowd with one eye as if not having a care in the world. Out of the corner of his other eye, he searches the man’s face for the tell-tale signs of either acceptance or a continuation to haggling.

The man gives a dirty look, but pushes off and accepts Fallo’s offer, advising he follow 8 paces behind. They walk to a small back-alley tavern, into a back room and down some steps into a cellar. From there, Fallo is shown a large cask barrel that opens to reveal a hidden room. Inside the room are several tables, a small bar, a few scratched maps and diagrams in the stone walls and 3 people sat discussing things in hushed whispers. When he is brought in, one of them stands up and walks over. One of the whispering people is the halfling girl encountered earlier.

“Gotcha! I’m Kilingbeck, I run things down ‘ere. Not the ’ead honcho, by far, but gettin’ there, eh?” He claps Fallo’s hand into a firm shake and rests his other hand on his shoulder. He looks full grown, perhaps in his thirties, but well looked after despite his surroundings. He’s dressed in simple clothes, but they’re well tailored. He doesn’t fit the muck-laden streets above. He suggests sampling a drink, although the prices are quite high for what is normally seen in Somergleam. The group then settles back into discussing things as they had.

Fallo flips a coin to the bartender. He sniffs the drink to make sure it is not poisoned…or at least not obviously poisoned. Satisfied, Fallo leans back in a chair and takes a pull of the tankard. What an interesting turn of events, he thinks to himself while listening in on the conversation of the others. After listening for a few moments, Fallo leans forward. He slams his tankard on the table and looks at each set of eyes very seriously. A second later, a smile lights up his face. “Just making sure you hadn’t fallen asleep with all of your whispers and secrets.” He said, leaning back rakishly again. “So tell me, what passes for action in this fine town of Summergleam?”

They all draw sidearms at the loud bang, the bartender grabbing a crossbow from behind the bar and pointing it at the stranger in their midst.
“‘Ere now, we were all gettin’ along, mate.” Kilingbeck flicks his blade down to indicate at the others should sheath their weapons. “Don’t be doin’ silly things like that again around ’ere, lad. Might cut your throat as soon as blink at ya!” He’s obviously containing an anger that is mirrored in the others, and whatever trust was inherent in Fallo’s entry and greeting seems to be quickly eaten up. These Somergleam thieves appear to be sensitive to perceived threats and brash shows of strength in their home.

As much as Kilingbeck tries to settle the situation, one of the others, an Orcblood by the look of him gets uncomfortable enough to stand and draw his dagger again. “We should bleed this stranger where he stands, making threatening gestures like that!” Fallo’s grin grows wider at the Orcblood’s threat. Tense situations made for the most fun, he thought. People tend to give away a great deal more than they would, were they passive.

Before Kilingbeck can restore calm, the situation is interrupted by a trap door opening in the roof at the back, at the far end from the door Fallo entered. A rope ladder drops down and down climbs a masked man in black robes. Once he gets to the bottom, the ladder is pulled up by unseen people, and the trap door closed again.

“Excuse me, sonny-jim.” Kilingbeck glowers at Fallo, then turns with a smile to the cloaked figure and embraces him in a hug. “Good hunt, mate?”
The masked figure removes his mask to reveal a young face, suddenly haunted somehow. He looks shaken and pale. “I… I did it, ’Beck. I stopped the Jungfruds…” He then collapses into Kilingbeck’s arms and falls unconscious. They group clears the table, spilling Fallo’s drink on the floor, and lay him down on it.

Kilingbeck looks to Fallo, seemingly about to give him bad news along the lines of ‘Perhaps you’d better leave’, but before he can speak the Orcblood yells out: “You think he did it, ’Beck? Wait… he has a scroll on him!” They unravel the scroll and the room falls hush as they all read it together.

“Now, now, my friends,” Fallo says, his eyes scanning and memorising as much as he can of what the thieves are looking at on the table. “perhaps we got off on the wrong foot.” He shifts a hand to press on his heart, mimicking sincerity. “I’m sorry for tickling your nerves and your trigger fingers.” Before a reaction is acted upon, Fallo rapidly changes the subject. “Ooh, what’s that then?” He nods towards the scroll. “If it’s something dangerous, I’m sure you would not want to risk one of your own on this now, would you? I would be happy to take this task on for you and also contribute a healthy kick back if it proves profitable.”

Laucian’s casual examination of the blade reveals certain things that he holds to be true. The blade appears mundane and doesn’t give off a magical aura that can be felt. However, it does have an ornate, ritualistic look to it that matches, albeit loosely, the craft of the Jungfrud Hobgoblins, a group of assassins known for their high-profile hits. The masked man, however, did not appear to be a Hobgoblin. It looks to have an ornate handle and an unusual single edge for such a small blade. It looks made more for cutting or hacking than for stabbing. The blood looks rich and fresh, certainly that of a mammal. Given the chase, likely this was used to kill a person in the last few minutes.

Growing steadily impatient, her pushes becoming full-body shoves against the solid wall, Cosima flaps her arms in frustration briefly before giving a short growl. “Well? So is it a dagger, or what? Can we use it?” Cosima stands with her hands on her hips looking at Laucian, now wondering what and who her fellow pursuer is. “That’s blood, right?” She begins to catch her breath again. “What did they…? Who would they…? I have so many questions! Do you have any answers or.. maybe I’ll just wait for Owen… I don’t even know you.. you could have been with .. why did you take chase? Is it you they stabbed?”

Laucian raises a single eyebrow and turns his head only enough to catch a glimpse of the Gnome woman getting agitated. Despite her natural beauty, her temper was something he saw too much of in himself. “One question at a time, lass. It seems to loosely be of the Jungfrud Hobgoblins. It seems made for hacking and slashing, not stabbing. Anyway, back to what you asked: I was only looking to help. I was on my way to see someone.”
Cosima’s eyes widen as she puffs her cheeks and pursed her lips, blowing air out quickly. “They must have had a serious vendetta if they had to hack or slash..”
“Yes. I’m sorry I rambled.” The Elfblood stands, his clothes and armour creaking slightly as they straighten. “I must get going to see the local diviner.” He sighs, using the small scrap of cloth to gently pick the blade up.

Cosima quickly interposes between him and the exit to the alley. "Uhh Woah, now. I think we should be leaving that alone for Owen. He’s going to want to inspect that blade!”
“I had planned to turn this into the officer in charge. Who’s Owen?” He asks, puzzled.
“Ah, well, he is… he’s ahh.. well, he is an officer! He escorted my friends and me to this town, and we were speaking when he took chase of this… well… murderer! I’m surprised he hasn’t made it to us yet…” Cosima looks back to the entrance of the alley wondering what on earth is keeping Owen!

Almost as though Providence was gifted with a sense of timing, Owen appears at the end of the alley. He staggers back a step, taken aback at the sight of Cosima. He draws his sidearm and holds out his other hand as he steps slowly forward. “Easy! There’s no way out of here, villain… put down the blade, and the lady and I shall take it easy on you. You’re trapped!”

It appears Owen has mistaken Laucian for the killer. The dark attire and brandishing of a bloody blade do seem suspicious to a casual observation.

Kilingbeck looks to the others in the secret taproom, then back to Fallo, then puts his arm around his shoulders and walks the stranger to the door.
“Alright, mate. Got your sen a deal.” He walks Fallo through the basics; there is a rival gang called the Jungfruds that have started building their foothold in the region, mostly coming in from the northern villages. They’re savage and bloodthirsty, while the Cursed Children, the group he’s currently in the company of, prefer simple schemes and the steady build of wealth. Stability and luxury are more their style, rather than dangerous destabilisation.

The young man that fainted managed to find where they’re holed up, and from the looks of him had a fateful run-in. He looks stable, and unhurt for the most part, but something spooked him. The scroll is frantic scribbling and a rough map of where they are. If someone that can’t be traced back to the Cursed Children were to do something about them, they’d be handsomely rewarded.

“Now, that is an interesting proposition indeed…” Fallo said, nearly licking his lips. “Any idea what might have spooked the poor lad? Some trick up the sleeve of your friends ’cross town, then? Well, either way, I will be happy to look into to this business for you.” He looks at the map the young thief had scrawled. He didn’t know Summergleam nearly as well as he would have liked. Perhaps in tracking down these thugs, he would get the opportunity to do some sightseeing along the way.
Fallo rolls up the map. “I’ll be seeing you around.” Fallo checks to make sure all of his possessions remained where he’d put them while he saunters toward the exit. “And have no fear. I will return.”

He makes it back to the streets of Summergleam. He brings the picture of the map to his mind. At the same time, he looks over the crowd passively. It would not surprise him if these “Jungfruds” had watchers in the general area. It always paid to be cautious. Not noticing anything amiss, he starts wandering down the wider main streets of the town to get to where the map suggested when he sees an oddity; a town officer, a member of the guard with his blade drawn and shouting down another alley. Getting closer, Fallo sees a Gnome woman and what seems to be another Elfblood wielding a bloodied blade. Perhaps there is a reward for the capture of these two? And maybe the guard might be persuaded to share what information they have on the Jungfruds should Fallo be seen to help them…

What do you do?

Cosima +15XP (85 Total XP)
Laucian +15XP (45 Total XP)
Fallo +15XP (15 Total XP)

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Haunted Fishing Village pt. 9

Ouriana relaxes more as the evening goes on, listening happily to the song. Eventually, after the song finishes, Ouriana speaks. “There was a Bard in my village! I loved her songs!” She seems enthralled by the tale, wanting more. Eri listens intently, committing the stories to memory for the future.

As the night grows long, Ouriana and Erimeyoma set up their bedrolls and camp in the main room with Arth and Tel, keeping one ear open for noises or other disturbances. As the morning dawns and he returns with the food, Ouriana takes it happily and munches away. Erimeyoma stares at the food for a moment, and then… gratefully accepts…

“If you’re happy to take Tel to Summergleam, I want to find Moira and have a word with her. I promise I won’t leave until I figure out what’s happening here.” Ouriana promises between mouthfuls.
“I’m interested in speaking with Moira, too. Tel, are you happy to go with Arth to look for your family?” Erimeyoma adds.

Tel nods, and the two pack a lunch and head off, following the trail Ouriana took to get here.

Moira’s home lies at the other end of the village, on the coast in a hut much like Arth’s. Once they finish breakfast and approach, open window shutters are slammed closed and some rapid hushed whispering is quickly stopped. When the pair gets close to the door, a loud “Go away!” is shouted from within. The voice is husky and haggard and comes from a woman. The rest of the villagers move about their daily business a few hundred feet away, setting off in their small boats, carving scrimshaw and repairing nets.
Eri firmly rubs one cheek in frustration and then adopts a quick and calm demeanour. “We need to speak with you, Moira. We aren’t going away, so you may as well get this over with and let us in now… before we make a scene and draw the attention of your neighbours.”
A passing fisherman notices her approach to the house and wanders closer. “Are you trying to speak to Moira? None of us has managed to get her out of the house in some time. Is she letting you in?”

His excitement has drawn a crowd of two or three, and it looks like more are getting interested. Frantic, Moira pulls open her door and waves the two in, asking Ouriana and Erimeyoma to hurry before others come. She then slams the door shut and lowers a latch.

“Who are you? What do you want?” Moira stands hunched slightly. She’s slight and frail-looking, and has obviously aged more in the last few months than she has before; an effect often seen in those that lose hope in the world. Her skin sags from her face, her eyes are bloodshot and her breathing is laboured. She hasn’t bathed in some time, and the house is covered in dirty dishes, old rags and piles of wax from old candles. It’s close quarters, and despite the bright sunshine outside it’s dark, musty and oddly warm in here.

Ouriana smiles warmly at Moira. “My name is Ouriana, my companion is Eri and we’re both travellers. Last night we spoke with Arth and he told us about strange things happening in the village. We saw.. we saw something, and were hoping that you might be able to shed some light?” She speaks gently, softening her voice.

The crone whispers something inaudible at the edge of the party’s hearing. “You know my name, at least.” She shuffles along the floor in a considered and careful way, trying not to knock things onto the floor. She obviously isn’t used to the mess in the house. “How might I be one to shed some light? I’m an old widow, nothing more.” She swats at something in the air and then stares at a pile of rags at the other end of the room for a few seconds. “… Strange happenings, you say?” She sighs.
“For years, Bersault has been plagued by thieves. Droughts. Threats near and far to our Kingdom. Never before, though, have I seen the likes of this. Spirits be dragging ‘emselves up and out of the grave like it were a bed for’em! Not all or many, mind…” She stops and stares at a different pile, and then scrunches up her face in annoyance. “Ghosts been showin’ up… things moved about, that sort of thing. I don’t know what to tell you, really.”

She looks from pile to pile, seemingly in pain and getting further frustrated at something. “Enough… You want to know what’s going on? Well, so would I!” Her voice quickly becomes shrill as she begins shouting, fists clenched and jaw set. “This year has been one of torment and I brook it no longer! There is evil and darkness and nothingness set in the very grains of sand at this shore, and nothing brings in the light!” The room begins to get very cold, and each breath Erimeyoma and Ouriana take can be seen to hang in the air on the exhale. The sun outside seems to darken slightly as Moira tenses and pulls herself in, shaking arms outstretched and pointing down with clenched fists, her trembling body starting to shudder with sobs as tears patter onto the floor at her feet.

What do you do?

Erimeyoma +15XP (110 Total XP)
Ouriana +15XP (120 Total XP)

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On the Road At Last pt. 8

As Talison and Ezra examine the coins from a distance, the banging on the door intensifies. Ezra sees the variety in the gold, from modern Somergleam and Korathi coins, to others far older. If only one could reach it…

Nix steps out confidently from behind the door and raises her hands in a peace-making motion. She quickly whispers to Ezra, stopping the Tiefling from salivating further at the hoard before him. “Ezra, go alert the others. I do not believe the Goblins will be the problem, and we’ve dealt with Bugbears before. They can be reasoned with.” She motions with her eyes for Ezra to move. “GO!” The Goblins look up at Nix and then turn to the Bugbear, who roars angrily. Taking a step forward, Nix speaks to the Goblins in Common. “Goblins! We fight together! Open the door!” She adopts a stance that shows her readiness to fight, her fingers flexing.

Ezra rushes along the corridor, meeting Darrin, Ero and the others as they return to the crevice having heard Nix shouting. They all drop down and rush to Nix’s side. The Goblins launch from the door, and the Bugbear struggles to keep it closed. Talison raises his hands to assure the Goblins approaching. “We are here to help!”
Theodore tightens his grip on his weapon, ready to draw.

The Bugbear then stumbles forward, falling to the ground. On the other side of the door, with lanterns hanging from hooks on their sash-like leather straps that cross their chests, a veritable horde of tightly-packed reptilian monsters burst forth, looking to fill the room. The third and fourth that spill into the room raise their spears and stab at the floored Bugbear. A glance suggests the next corridor is filled with them, and there is likely more than twenty or so of them.

Nix, with Darrin by her side watching her movements, slides her front foot back, raises it and stabs her heel into the ground in front of her as she points her arcane focus at a point in the middle. The Elfblood magician copies her, awkwardly dragging his foot back, lifting it so he is hopping, and then slamming it down to the ground again. While clumsy-looking to Nix’s trained eye, his movements were simply heavier and more stuttered so as to copy her. Before he can reflect on his performance, his hand feels as though it’s about to explode! He throws it forward, as thought trying to toss it away. Immediately, the aiir feels freezing cold in his palm, and his pain subsides as quickly as it came. Taking a sigh of relief, he lowers his hand in time to see past it to the doorway as two massive concussive blasts throw lizard creatures, Goblins and the Bugbear around. The noise is deafening, and the walls begin to shake violently.

Theodore and Ero push everyone out of the room, with Talison leading the way up the corridor back to the crevice. Everyone runs as fast as they can to get away from the oncoming horde of scale and claw. Perhaps the group was biting off more than they could chew.

What do you do?

The choice now, given these events, is whether or not to continue running out of the cave with your prisoner, or stay and fight from the crevice. You are all at the crevice, and the Goblins and Lizard folk are fighting each other instead of pursuing you… for now.

Talison +15XP ( Total XP)
Nix +20XP ( Total XP)
Darrin +20XP ( Total XP)
Ero +15XP ( Total XP)
Ezra +15XP ( Total XP)
Adrik +5XP ( Total XP)
Lorawyn +15XP ( Total XP)
Theodore +15XP ( Total XP)
Kain +5XP ( Total XP)

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Going Green pt. 3

Faal rises from his seat and sets out into the town. Conscious of the small encoded letter bearing the seal of his master, Argosolis, he makes his way to the temple of the Taihun. Even now, he wonders why Argosolis had sent him here. Perhaps on giving the letter, clarity will be achieved.

Picking his way through the various slip-streets and walkways between what would more accurately be described as stretches of building, rather than individual structures, Faal notes the change in smells. The heavy pang of lavender and Lillies surrounding the Taihun Temple makes the rest of the city seem like a faint memory. A beautiful water feature surrounds the temple and accents the small garden in the front. The building stretches up a small way, an explosion of wood and stone. Metal highlights flash in the midday sun, the bolts hammered flat and giving a watery reflection onto the pathway. A few bystanders look up and nod as Faal approaches, looks of serenity on their faces.

The large wooden doors lie ajar, and upon pushing one open the room within is bright, the creeping plants from outside slowly edging through the windows. Small insects buzz near these windows. The hall is not huge, but can comfortably seat a couple of hundred. Stools sit neatly stacked against one wall, and the clergy is performing a religious rite for a local. Seven robed Orcs, two of them hooded, perform the ceremony at the far end of the small hall. A pair of doors can be seen, one either side of the altar where the local is standing; a plain-clothed Orc man with a serious expression on his face.

As the ceremony concludes, the hooded pair close in on the local as the other five priests spread out and attend to various duties such as lighting candles or watering plants in tiny pots. One of the Orcs in robes approaches Faal, a look of curiosity on his face.
“You look so troubled. Are you seeking guidance?”

What do you do?

Faal +10XP (30 Total XP)

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