GM post

Taladron's Detect Magic / Anyone else who uses Detect Magic
There is nothing obviously magical about any of the Justice's belongings, save for a wand of healing spells that is mostly spent. What is far more interesting to your magically-enhanced sight, however, is the dimming haze of pink that lingers over Ironbriar's cooling body...

Spellcraft DC 21
Thank the gods that you had thought to cast this spell before its aura had dissipated with the Justice's death. For it would appear that Ironbriar had been under the effects of a powerful enchament - Charm Monster - a much more potent variation of the usual mind-affecting spell that was capable of lasting for days at a time without its target ever noticing.

It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for Ironbriar, who himself turns out to have been someone else's patsy. Then again, Charm spells ordinarily don't force their target to do anything it wasn't already predisposed to doing. Perhaps at some level, Ironbriar must have wanted to carry out all these murders and to have his weird cult going on...

As you all gather in the undermill to lick your wounds and examine the dead bodies, the voice of the remaining female Hellknight calls out from the roadside, taut with suspicion. "Hallo? I say, what's happened in there? Speak up!"



You are upset, remarks the black blade quietly in Setsuna's mind. I was going to say that you had done very well in bringing down an elf with rotted soul, on top of showing your improved mastery of the arcane arts and your martial prowess without a sword. But I sense that now is not the best time... We shall speak of this later. When you are more settled in your heart.


Those who search Ironbriar's body, as well as that of the Hellknights, find the following items:
  • 2 +1 longswords
  • 2 masterwork composite longbows (+3)
  • 2 full plate mail
  • 23 arrows
  • 1 wand of CMW (12 charges)
  • 1 mithral chain shirt
  • +1 short sword
  • 1 masterwork hand crossbow
  • 10 crossbow bolts (see below)
  • 1 ugly leather mask, slightly bloodstained
  • 1 slightly rusted iron key, wound around the shank with dirty white string
  • 1 hide-bound book (see below)
  • 43 gp 11 sp

For those who examine the crossbow bolts - Perception DC 14
Weighing Ironbriar's slim roll of crossbow bolts in your palm, you note that the pouch is a little heavier than normal at one end. You flick open the leather catch with your thumb and peer within the pouch to find that the pouch also contains a small glass vial filled with a viscous grey goo.

Craft (alchemy) DC 15 or Knowledge (local) DC 23
The vial, you would say based on the colouration and thickness of the substance within, likely contains a variant of drow poison. It is probably best not to open that vial unless you wish to render someone unconscious.

For those who examine the hide-bound book
The book is nondescript enough - a pocket-sized journal with a cheap cow-hide binding that is pock-mocked and greased with age. Flipping through the book, you find to your disappointment that it is filled with row upon row of what appears to be utter gibberish - odd runes and square symbols, written in the same firm, flowing hand as the warrant you'd found on the Faceless Stalker back in the Vadoma Forest.

For those who know Elven, Draconic, or Infernal
Flipping through the book again, more slowly this time, your sharp eyes begin to discern familiar alphabets and pictograms amidst the mess. This gibberish contains fragments from a language that you know - from more than one language, in fact. With some measure of growing excitement, you realise that it is more than likely that if one were to properly study the book, you would no doubt glean something valuable that Ironbriar found important enough to obfuscate in code and hide on his very person.

Such study would likely takes days, however. Perhaps even weeks. Given how there are at least three different languages mixed up in here, the book is likely in some sort of cipher and will need to be decoded if it is to be of any use to you.



She'd done it! Despite most of her face and upper body being drenched in a fetid mixture of brains, blood and dirt, Red can't help cracking a faint grin of satisfaction and relief through her mask of caked blood, panting as she wobbles on her good leg. She'd helped. She'd been useful. She'd killed some nasty people who'd deserved it. And she hadn't fainted this time either. Take that, jie!

Red tries to wipe some of the sticky mess off her face with the back of her wrist and merely ends up smearing more of it about. This was disgusting. Perhaps she could rinse off outside, in the river... if people still weren't trying to arrest them, that is... Or if someone had that magic spell thing for making things clean again... Still breathing heavily, she makes another ineffectual attempt to scrub her eyes before catching sight of a despondent Setsuna, who looked as if she was about to cry at any moment, and immediately, the triumphant smile fades from Red's face.


Glancing over at the others, who seem to be preoccupied with searching the bodies or tending to their own wounds, Red gathers herself and hobbles awkardly over to the tiefling, half-dragging her injured leg and biting her lip against the pain. There was something unsettling about seeing Setsuna's pale skin splattered with so much red colour. It made things seem... more violent. Like screaming without sound. Something warm broken on ice. What was that?

Reaching the tiefling's shoulder, Red opens her mouth to say something but finds that she has no words to give. Setsuna seemed far way. As if her mind had gone wandering. (Rathi had always said at times like this, that it was best not to say anything.) Instead, she reaches for the tiefling's wrist, gently patting it with her fingers, waiting to see if Setsuna was all right.