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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    A month after completing their exploration of the Whispering Cairn, the unlikely company is breaking their fast one foggy morning when a loud knocking is heard at their front door. A young boy is there with a message - "Mr. Balabar Smenk requests the presence of all five of you at his place of business today at midmorning," he says, nervously. "He says he has important things to discuss regarding several altercations with some of his employees, breaking into property and stealing what is not rightfully yours, and a manner by which these, and other, debts can be forgiven. Failure to do so will result in the law being informed of your actions." He swallows loudly, looking very uncomfortable. "He says that the notes you took from his friend, Filge, should have made you uncomfortable, and that he shares your discomfort. What would you like me to tell him when I return with your answer?"

    The young man is practically shaking from fear, but stoically refuses to abandon his errand. "I got family that needs the money I make delivering messages for Mr. Smenk - even the unpleasant ones," he says, insisting upon an answer from the assembled group.

    Spoiler: Out of Character
    Show
    Things depend upon the party agreeing to this meeting. Lyr owes him money, and within certain interpretations of the law his issues are legitimate. The PCs should come to the meeting prepared to adventure, and I am going to continue under the assumption that you all go...

    Balabar Smenk lives and works out of his mansion, a sodden old building at least a century past its prime. Upon arriving at the open gates the company is greeted by a thin man with spectacles and a notepad. "Ah, yes, Mr. Smenk's midmorning appointment, I presume? Come this way, please." Leading the party through the grounds to a corner room with an outside door they find the mine manager working at a desk inside an office with several large windows. "The five people you needed to see this morning, sir. Will there be anything else?"

    No, no, that will be all, Pennysworth, says the rotund man, wheeling his chair around to look at the assembled adventurers.

    Spoiler: Balabar Smenk
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    "So, you are the troublemakers who have caused me so much trouble over the last month. First attacking my man Kullen, then breaking and entering in the observatory and assaulting my guest there, to finally robbing him! You all have made quite a mess of things," he begins, standing slowly. "No no, don't bother defending your actions - I know Filge is a necromancer and that Kullen and his men are grave-robbers. None of that matters in this town. They hadn't bothered the people who run things around here, and I have enough influence to see you all thrown behind bars for this. So let's get down to the real reason you are here, shall we?"

    As he speaks he leads the party to an antechamber with several chairs and couches, gesturing to the to be seated. "I have a problem, which is beyond the ability of my people to correct. As you have been the ones to prove this fact, I intend for you to take care of this problem in exchange for me forgiving the debts owed by your people." Smenk looks meaningfully at Lyr as he speaks. "For the sake of full disclosure, I will say this: I dislike what you all have done here, and it would pain me not at all for you to fail. However, it would be more profitable for me if you succeeded, and I do not trust my own people to do it.

    Last year I made a mistake and got involved with some unusual visitors in town. Apparently underneath one of my competitor's mines is an ancient cave series. Ragnolin Dourstone installed an elevator for these loonies, and enlisted me in providing supplies to them, all for an excellent price. I agreed, sent some men to spy on his business activities, even went there myself once.

    These cultists worship something called the 'Ebon Triad' - this conglomeration of three evil gods. I thought I could get away with charging them more for their supplies, seeing as how they were largely stuck down there - it was a mistake. This morning I woke up with my right-hand man's head beside me in bed.
    " He shudders, remembering the experience. "These cultists terrify me, and I want you all to take care of them. While I was there I pocketed something you have already found - the worm in embalming fluid. I overheard them talking about Kyuss and the Age of Worms, and gave the information to Filge. When you all ousted him from the observatory he came and told me about it before leaving for Greyhawk. Seems you all scared him pretty good and he had better things to do there than here... Anyway, I want you all to go down into Ragnolin's mine and deal with this cult for me. Do that, and I will forgive and forget everything that has gone wrong between us. I will even set you all up with disguises to get you to the elevator. If you don't agree, I have already set up a message to be delivered to the sheriff, providing him with all the evidence he needs to arrest, try, and convict you of all that I have described. I can stop this message, but will only do so after you have headed into the mine to handle things. Are we clear?"

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    The young man is practically shaking from fear, but stoically refuses to abandon his errand. "I got family that needs the money I make delivering messages for Mr. Smenk - even the unpleasant ones," he says, insisting upon an answer from the assembled group.
    Frederick frowns deeply at the boy's words, and after a few moments deliberation, smiles down at him. You may tell Mr. Smenk that we will see him today. No need for more or less.

    In addition, you have done well this morning. Bearing unpleasant messages is much harder than pleasant messages, and you have shouldered the burden respectfully. Be well, young man.


    He hands the boy a silver piece and sends him on his way, before turning to his companions.

    Well, that is an interesting development. I would so dearly love to pay Smenk a visit he is unlikely to forget, but methinks this will not be the time to... make recompense for such debts...

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    Spoiler: Troublemakers
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    "So, you are the troublemakers who have caused me so much trouble over the last month. First attacking my man Kullen, then breaking and entering in the observatory and assaulting my guest there, to finally robbing him! You all have made quite a mess of things," he begins, standing slowly. "No no, don't bother defending your actions - I know Filge is a necromancer and that Kullen and his men are grave-robbers. None of that matters in this town. They hadn't bothered the people who run things around here, and I have enough influence to see you all thrown behind bars for this. So let's get down to the real reason you are here, shall we?"

    As he speaks he leads the party to an antechamber with several chairs and couches, gesturing to the to be seated. "I have a problem, which is beyond the ability of my people to correct. As you have been the ones to prove this fact, I intend for you to take care of this problem in exchange for me forgiving the debts owed by your people." Smenk looks meaningfully at Lyr as he speaks. "For the sake of full disclosure, I will say this: I dislike what you all have done here, and it would pain me not at all for you to fail. However, it would be more profitable for me if you succeeded, and I do not trust my own people to do it.

    Last year I made a mistake and got involved with some unusual visitors in town. Apparently underneath one of my competitor's mines is an ancient cave series. Ragnolin Dourstone installed an elevator for these loonies, and enlisted me in providing supplies to them, all for an excellent price. I agreed, sent some men to spy on his business activities, even went there myself once.

    These cultists worship something called the 'Ebon Triad' - this conglomeration of three evil gods. I thought I could get away with charging them more for their supplies, seeing as how they were largely stuck down there - it was a mistake. This morning I woke up with my right-hand man's head beside me in bed.
    " He shudders, remembering the experience. "These cultists terrify me, and I want you all to take care of them. While I was there I pocketed something you have already found - the worm in embalming fluid. I overheard them talking about Kyuss and the Age of Worms, and gave the information to Filge. When you all ousted him from the observatory he came and told me about it before leaving for Greyhawk. Seems you all scared him pretty good and he had better things to do there than here... Anyway, I want you all to go down into Ragnolin's mine and deal with this cult for me. Do that, and I will forgive and forget everything that has gone wrong between us. I will even set you all up with disguises to get you to the elevator. If you don't agree, I have already set up a message to be delivered to the sheriff, providing him with all the evidence he needs to arrest, try, and convict you of all that I have described. I can stop this message, but will only do so after you have headed into the mine to handle things. Are we clear?"
    Frederick raises an eyebrow at Smenk's initial accusations, deigns to stand, and by the end of it is doing all he can to restrain himself.

    You are the most disgusting excuse for a human being I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. You make claims that are outlandish and absurd, and expect us to play your game based upon some empty threat? Do you have any idea how easy it would be for us to ensure that you never left this room alive? Do you have any idea how much several of us want to do that exact thing?

    You speak of troublemaking? I call grave robbing and necromancy more trouble than putting a stop to grave robbing and necromancy! I care not a whit for you and your perceived debts nor your misguided and perverted ideas of justice! By the gods, you fool! Ask for aid where it is needed before attempting to coerce your BETTERS!



    As the blood slowly drains from his face, Frederick takes several breaths, and lowers his voice. Staring at the man in stone faced antithetical calm, he speaks quietly. Give us these disguises, and we will deal with your infestation. You had better see to it that you do not need our aid again, else you will wish otherwise.

    Spoiler: ooc
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    if you want an intimidate check (it's probably appropriate :-\), (1d20+16)[19]

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Arkiana remains quiet throughout Balabar's speech, and only raises an eyebrow at Frederick's tirade.

    "Well now...excuse me. I do not believe we are acquainted."She stands up and bows her head towards Balabar." My name is Arkiana VanDuren, student of the Wizard College and apprentice to Allustan the Wizard." she clears her throat "It was at his instruction that we investigated your men and necromancer. If you have an issue with our actions, then I am sure he would be happy to discuss that with you. As for calling the sheriff, as my rather large friend here has pointed out, that will do you little good in the short run."

    Casting a quick glance at Lyr, she faces Balabar again. Continuing in a calm voice""You seem like a business man, so I will not play games. We have absolutely no incentive to help you. If we do nothing, you arrest us, this cult finds you and lines up your head next to your goon's. We may be in jail, but you will be dead and your soul off to whatever hell you've been damned eternally to.

    If you continue to threaten us, we kill you, silently. Our gnomish friend here sets up an illusion that lasts just long enough for us to skip town and we get off free. Or better, we frame one of the other mine managers for the deed. The gods know that there are plenty of people that would love to see you dead. Perhaps Chaum Gansworth finally got enough support to put you down."she says with a shrug.

    Once again, you're dead, and we are in a terrible position. There is, however, a way for us both to get what we want.

    You pay us."
    She points to Lyr."Double what he owes you to each one of us."
    Last edited by Untarr; 2014-10-07 at 10:51 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "I have a problem, which is beyond the ability of my people to correct. As you have been the ones to prove this fact, I intend for you to take care of this problem in exchange for me forgiving the debts owed by your people." Smenk looks meaningfully at Lyr as he speaks.
    Lyr scowls silently at Smenk and his hand involuntarily clutches into a fist, but he remains silent as the man continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "These cultists worship something called the 'Ebon Triad' - this conglomeration of three evil gods. I thought I could get away with charging them more for their supplies, seeing as how they were largely stuck down there - it was a mistake. This morning I woke up with my right-hand man's head beside me in bed." He shudders, remembering the experience.
    Lyr's eyebrows raise at the mention of "three evil gods", and he assumes a skeptical posture for the rest of Smenk's description.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "I overheard them talking about Kyuss and the Age of Worms, and gave the information to Filge. When you all ousted him from the observatory he came and told me about it before leaving for Greyhawk. Seems you all scared him pretty good and he had better things to do there than here... "
    Finally learning the location of Filge from the very man who'd refused to see him is the last straw for Lyr. Muttering an elven expletive
    Spoiler: Elven
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    bloody fat imbecile toadkisser!

    he spins away and paces off a few steps away from the others, trying to calm himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    ""You pay us." She points to Lyr."Double what he owes you to each one of us."
    When did I ever tell her about...? Lyr tries to remember. Oh, well... bloody woman probably read it in a book somewhere! Doing his best to hide his surprise, he crosses his arms, nods at Arkiana, and glares at Smenk.
    Last edited by MuffinMan; 2014-10-08 at 01:18 AM.
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    There is, however, a way for us both to get what we want.

    You pay us."
    She points to Lyr."Double what he owes you to each one of us."
    Frederick lets out a short gasp, and mutters under his breath. I wish I had thought of that....

    Wait, Lyr owes him money?!

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    The young man is practically shaking from fear, but stoically refuses to abandon his errand. "I got family that needs the money I make delivering messages for Mr. Smenk - even the unpleasant ones," he says, insisting upon an answer from the assembled group.
    Jan's annoyance vanishes as she smiles reassuringly at the messenger boy.

    Jan's initial expression is one of insulted annoyance as Smenk monologues, but is gradually replaced by one of transfixed curiosity; so much so that Frederick's diatribe startles her into awareness of the current situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    "...Our gnomish friend here sets up an illusion that lasts just long enough for us to skip town and we get off free."
    Jan's face is amiable but otherwise inscrutable.

    After Arkiana's outburst, Jan looks nonchalantly at Smenk.

    Spoiler: Sense Motive
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    Sense Motive check to anticipate Smenk's reaction to the combined outbursts of the party, planning to interject with a Diplomatic or Intimidating overture as appropriate:
    (1d20-1)[7]
    Last edited by JWallyR; 2014-10-09 at 12:02 PM.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Janstina Silentall for Age of Worms

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Smenk remains seated and yawns broadly, weathering the tirades and responses of the company stoically. After letting the silence sit heavily for several moments after they all finish he says, "Are you all quite finished? Good.

    To respond to your points,
    " he begins to tick off his fingers as he responds to the PCs' responses, "While you argue passionately, Sir Frederick of Heironeous, your points do not hold water in this town. I have been called much worse, done much worse, and done it all legally. We are not here to discuss the morality of either Filge's nor Kullen's actions - they worked for me, and I willingly take full responsibility for their behaviors. Their actions have been legal in Diamond Lake, while yours have been less so. Finally, 'betters' is a funny word to use with one who has no interest in his standing in regards to you. I have great influence in this town, like it that way, and am uninterested in most of what you have to offer in the form of competition." He shrugs and turns to Arkiana.

    "Miss VanDuren, I have already discussed events with your master, and while he and I disagree on many, many things, he actually supports my plan, no doubt for his own reasons. I am a great deal less worried about the short term and your rather empty threats than you likely hope. I am not at all worried about the 'hells' you mention - I have faced greater threats than you five and still kept my skin intact and likely will again. In addition, your statement that you will just up and leave town ignores the home you have all been so industriously working to improve over the last month, as well as any reputation you might hope to salvage or repair. Finally, your resident champion of the Shining One will not stoop to such actions willingly, as he knows they are inappropriate in the eyes of his faith.

    I have already prepared myself should anyone in your company rashly attack me, as such tactics have already been attempted once before against my people,
    " he looks pointedly at Jan before continuing. "I think you will find me a great deal more than just some fat businessman without a taste of combat or talent for strategy. Besides, it is bad for business."

    Gesturing to Lyr he says, "Regarding debts, I will consider your counter-offer, but given that 'Pilgrim' here has already attempted to settle his debt with me of his own accord, I assume he would like to walk away from here without the baggage that has often followed gamblers of his type before. Attempting to coerce me into paying you all seems to defeat the purpose of returning to a neutral point with me, don't you think?"

    Standing, Balabar Smenk walks to a pitcher and pours himself a glass of wine, takes a sip calmly, and turns back to the gathered adventurers. "In any case, I will provide you the disguises, as your half-orc comrade has requested. You are welcome to take the time to speak to Allustan before entering the mines, should you so choose. When he and I spoke earlier he expressed some interest in doing so, but also said that there was little he could do to more effectively prepare you for what you will face there. I will consider the possibility of payment, and we can discuss it again when you return. Do you have any useful questions that I may answer to better prepare you for your errand of cult-disposal?"

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "Do you have any useful questions that I may answer to better prepare you for your errand of cult-disposal?"
    Just one. From what you and your spies saw down there with the cultists, would a halfling or a gnome stick out much among them compared to the rest of us here? Disguise or not?

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    Gesturing to Lyr he says, "Regarding debts, I will consider your counter-offer, but given that 'Pilgrim' here has already attempted to settle his debt with me of his own accord, I assume he would like to walk away from here without the baggage that has often followed gamblers of his type before. Attempting to coerce me into paying you all seems to defeat the purpose of returning to a neutral point with me, don't you think?"
    Lyr's scowl deepens and he crosses his arms as Smenk mentions 'baggage', and he mutters under his breath as the man finishes his point.
    Spoiler: Elven
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    It's called 'payment for services rendered', you fat fool.


    When Smenk finishes his verbal counterattacks and asks them for questions, Lyr makes an effort to smooth out his features and control his voice as he steps forward. "Yeah, I have a few questions. What do you know about these cultists? ...besides the fact that they're evil, which has been established. How many of them are there? What are they armed with? How long have they been down there, and what do we know about the layout of the caves? And finally..." Lyr takes a breath before continuing, "why can't the garrison handle it? Surely a full squad led by the Lord Commander could drive out these vermin in short order - why involve us?"
    Last edited by MuffinMan; 2014-10-08 at 10:22 PM.
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    Waylan, Kestros and Auspice (Wrath of the Righteous)


    Lydia (Age of Worms - loot tracking)

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "Miss VanDuren, I have already discussed events with your master, and while he and I disagree on many, many things, he actually supports my plan, no doubt for his own reasons. I am a great deal less worried about the short term and your rather empty threats than you likely hope. I am not at all worried about the 'hells' you mention - I have faced greater threats than you five and still kept my skin intact and likely will again. In addition, your statement that you will just up and leave town ignores the home you have all been so industriously working to improve over the last month, as well as any reputation you might hope to salvage or repair. Finally, your resident champion of the Shining One will not stoop to such actions willingly, as he knows they are inappropriate in the eyes of his faith.
    Arkiana smiles condescendingly.

    Oh, bless your heart. I guess you missed the fact that you let an apocalyptic death cult have a foothold in Diamond Lake. That same cult that just sent you a decapitated head? You know that you can't handle them yourself. If you could, we wouldn't be sitting here right now. You need us. And sir, we are worth more than some forgiven debts and threats.

    Leaning back in her chair.

    And besides. I know you well enough to never take just your word. If you want to offer us payment, we will put it in writing. Otherwise, we can order the carpenter for you. Though he will only need measure up to your neck. You can take solace in the fact that your coffin will be cheaper being a head shorter.
    Last edited by Untarr; 2014-10-08 at 10:41 PM.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    And besides. I know you well enough to never take just your word. If you want to offer us payment, we will put it in writing. Otherwise, we can order the carpenter for you. Though he will only need measure up to your neck. You can take solace in the fact that your coffin will be cheaper being a head shorter.
    Jan gives Arkiana a sidelong, askance look before addressing Smenk.

    I'm glad to see that your temperament isn't as excitable as that of some I know. Although it may have seemed that we have at times been at cross purposes, I for one don't see any need to unnecessarily complicate this conversation. In fact, I would go so far as to beg forgiveness for the understandable confusion regarding our motives in that... 'disagreement' with Kullen a few weeks ago. If not for that misunderstanding, we might be having a very different sort of meeting today. She smiles blandly at Smenk. While I won't pretend to speak for my friends here, I can assure you that I have no desire to cause you trouble today, and in fact look forward to dealing with our mutual enemies. She grins with twinkling eyes.

    Spoiler: Diplomacy
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    To modify Smenk's attitude toward the party: (1d20+11)[20]
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Janstina Silentall for Age of Worms

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Spoiler: Sense Motive
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    (1d20+8)[10]
    I keep forgetting to roll these for Smenk's responses.
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    Waylan, Kestros and Auspice (Wrath of the Righteous)


    Lydia (Age of Worms - loot tracking)

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "Finally, your resident champion of the Shining One will not stoop to such actions willingly, as he knows they are inappropriate in the eyes of his faith."
    Frederick continues to glare at the man and grumbles, just loud enough to be heard, Clearly, you are ignorant in regards to my faith. There is nothing inappropriate about killing those who do evil. He flexes his fists repeatedly, but holds his ground, standing near the door.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Albinobrow View Post
    Just one. From what you and your spies saw down there with the cultists, would a halfling or a gnome stick out much among them compared to the rest of us here? Disguise or not?
    "Ah, the doctor speaks, and with such rational maturity! Dourstone uses many of the smaller folk in his mines - your kind can often get into places easier than the larger races. You will have no trouble getting into the mines on account of that. Regarding the cultists, all I can say is that I saw several figures of human size, but none of your size, I am sorry to say."

    Quote Originally Posted by MuffinMan View Post
    "...What do you know about these cultists?...How many of them are there? What are they armed with? How long have they been down there, and what do we know about the layout of the caves? And finally...why can't the garrison handle it?...why involve us?"
    Looking at Lyr, Smenk nods in response to the questions, saying, "Excellent questions, all of them. In the interest of your success, I will answer as best I can...

    I know that these cultists are made up of three separate sects amalgamated into one cult. They do not get along, and largely do not mix. During my only trip into the depths I saw only one, small section of their complex, so I cannot tell you how many there are in total. This visit was made about eleven months ago; prior to this point I am unsure how long they have been there. Once down there I was blindfolded and led to a small chamber where I spoke with three individuals I can only assume were the leaders of their individual sects. One was a militant, older man wearing the emblem of Hextor. He did not speak, instead allowing his companions to do the talking. Another was some monstrous creature who had sewn eyeballs into what were otherwise empty eye sockets on his head.
    " Smenk shudders at the remembered sight. "He spoke in a disjointed way about visions, trust, the future...it made little sense. The last individual wore a mask and did most of the speaking, laying out the cult's needs and negotiating with me for their supplies. After our meeting was over I was escorted out the same way I was brought, blindfolded again. The only bit about the layout I can tell you is that the entrance has a large pool of inky black liquid and three tunnels branching off it. I would suspect each sect dwells in their own area, isolated from the others, but cannot confirm that suspicion."

    Taking another sip from his wine, he takes a deep breath and answers Lyr's final question. "The garrison might be capable of handling this cult, but that is neither their purpose nor likely to happen. First, the cult has yet to do anything that we can easily point out as illegal. The death of my right-hand man could have been done by anyone, in theory. Dourstone is within his rights to house whomever he pleases in his mines, and it is not a crime to worship gods, even if those gods are vile and cruel. So far they have remained largely in their caverns, and as such it would be difficult if not impossible to get the garrison to leave it's assigned duties for this purpose. The local police are not capable of handling them. I suspect, however, that all of you are capable of dispatching these fiends. Entering the caverns with stealth and dispatching each sect individually - without letting a general alarm out - should be entirely possible with a party of five. I have done similar work myself, in years past." He leans back, remembering something from his past with a small smile on his face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    Arkiana smiles condescendingly...
    Annoyance showing only slightly, Smenk responds, "Miss VanDuren, continuing to stress the dangers of the situation presents no counter to my earlier points, nor any additional reason to acquiesce to yours. To be frank, I was unaware that they were 'apocalyptic' until you brought it up just now. They are murderous, but that isn't uncommon in Diamond Lake. I lack my old adventuring team or I would handle them myself, claiming any loot found within the caverns for myself. I could leave town, return with said team, and remove the threat, but there are business needs that I am loath to leave in the hands of my associates at this time. You are a convenient team that I do not mind losing should things go wrong and feel confident can be pointed in the direction of this vile cult and allowed all the glory of success, should you earn it.

    As for my word, what good is a paper contract in any case? You will either succeed in this venture and leave the mines unbeholden to me, likely richer and better equipped than you are now, and knowing that you have done this town - and apparently the entire world - great good. I am not claiming the spoils and can write up said contract, but it will not be worth the parchment it is printed upon if you do not trust me in the first place.

    Do you have anything useful to bring to this conversation, then? Or is your master incorrect about the sharpness of your intellect?
    "

    Quote Originally Posted by JWallyR View Post
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    Smiling, Smenk looks at Jan and says, "I can certainly see how your charm allowed you to get close to my men without them suspecting. Well played!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    Frederick continues to glare at the man and grumbles, just loud enough to be heard, Clearly, you are ignorant in regards to my faith. There is nothing inappropriate about killing those who do evil. He flexes his fists repeatedly, but holds his ground, standing near the door.
    "I admit to not being an expert on your faith, but I am somewhat confident that attacking me without using the proper legal measures to first handle the situation is neither valiant, nor chivalrous, nor honorable. If I am such an 'evil' man that I deserve your righteous wrath, then surely it can be meted out in the appropriate court of law, as I am not resisting a legal arrest of any kind at this time and your attack at this moment would be an assault at best..."

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    Smenk is apparently being honest and forthcoming with his information. He feels confident of his position and believes what he is telling the party.

    It is possible his attitude towards the party has been improved by Jan's efforts, though it is difficult to conclude anything.

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    [COLOR="#B22222"]Smiling, Smenk looks at Jan and says, "I can certainly see how your charm allowed you to get close to my men without them suspecting. Well played!"
    Jan's eyes twinkle in a friendly, if mischievous way, and she gives a brief, theatrical curtsey before stepping back to run an arm reassuringly around Frederick's muscled calf.
    Last edited by JWallyR; 2014-10-09 at 05:41 PM.
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    As you have more than sufficiently made clear, being evil is not necessarily outside the bounds of law. Particularly in Diamond Lake. He raises his lips in a sneer, and continues. Arkiana, I cannot say much good for Smenk, but he is... a man of his word. A ruthless, cunning, vile man of his word, but a man of his word.

    Smenk, I would sleep lightly, were I you. Heironeous' wrath will be swift, when it comes.

    When will we get these disguises?

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    Annoyance showing only slightly, Smenk responds, "Miss VanDuren, continuing to stress the dangers of the situation presents no counter to my earlier points, nor any additional reason to acquiesce to yours. To be frank, I was unaware that they were 'apocalyptic' until you brought it up just now. They are murderous, but that isn't uncommon in Diamond Lake. I lack my old adventuring team or I would handle them myself, claiming any loot found within the caverns for myself. I could leave town, return with said team, and remove the threat, but there are business needs that I am loath to leave in the hands of my associates at this time. You are a convenient team that I do not mind losing should things go wrong and feel confident can be pointed in the direction of this vile cult and allowed all the glory of success, should you earn it.

    As for my word, what good is a paper contract in any case? You will either succeed in this venture and leave the mines unbeholden to me, likely richer and better equipped than you are now, and knowing that you have done this town - and apparently the entire world - great good. I am not claiming the spoils and can write up said contract, but it will not be worth the parchment it is printed upon if you do not trust me in the first place.

    Do you have anything useful to bring to this conversation, then? Or is your master incorrect about the sharpness of your intellect?
    "
    Arkiana's condescending smile disappears so fast at Smenks' comments that one would question the sincerity of it in the first place.

    "Oh, so you can handle this." Arkiana says, blinking deliberately. "Therefore, when you said "I have a problem, which is beyond the ability of my people to correct" and "these cultist terrify me", you really did not mean that. "Arkiana sighs with relief. "That is good. You see, I was concerned and confused..

    Because, on the one hand you were saying to us "I am afraid of the cultists", but also saying "I am not afraid of you". Which meant that while the cultists could harm or kill you, we could not. Meaning, you think the cultists are more powerful than we are. But yet, you were sending us after the cultists. Which only makes sense in the context that you were setting us up to get killed by the cultists.

    Therefore, I found it necessary to goad you in the hopes that in your emotional outburst you would reveal more information about just how likely we were to die down there. I needed to make sure that you were not sending us against an adversary that you knew could kill us for you. "
    Leaning back in her chair... "Which is not a question you would have answered on its own, if, that was your original intent.

    Using us as a convenience makes sense. So please, accept my apology. I am working on becoming a more amicable wizard, though at times it is useful to bring out that part of me.


    Tilting her head slightly, she continues..."If you could, please tell me what the mask looked like."

    Spoiler: Knowledge Rolls
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    (1d20+10)[18] Knowledge Religion
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    For more information on the creature he described and the mask.


    Spoiler: Celestial
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    Sometimes you have to let morons think they've outsmarted you...
    Last edited by Untarr; 2014-10-10 at 07:39 AM.
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    When will we get these disguises?
    Nodding, Smenk replies, "I have them prepared in the next room. You may take them immediately after we finish our interview."

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    "Oh, so you can handle this...

    Using us as a convenience makes sense. So please, accept my apology....

    If you could, please tell me what the mask looked like."
    Furrowing his brow as he listens to Arkiana's response, Smenk shakes his head as he tries to follow her logic. "Apology accepted, I think...The mask was dark brown leather with iron studs. The man spoke with a slight lisp, and had tattoos visible on what little skin I could see outside his green robe. I saw nothing else significant about him that I can recall."

    Spoiler: Results of Knowledge Checks
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    Nothing from Smenk's description of the last sect leader stands out, but it is reasonable to guess that a follower of Vecna might wish to hide his face from others.

    "If that will be everything, I will have Pennysworth show you to the disguises prepared and then see you off. There will be a good...distraction at Dourstone's mine later this afternoon - I would advise you to use the opportunity to get into the mines themselves and make your way to the elevator installed there. Take the lift to the bottom, and then dispose of these cultists. Should you wish to speak to Allustan before you begin, you should have time, though I would encourage you to move with purpose and not miss the commotion begins."

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    There is nothing else from me. I think that will be all Mr. Smenks. Arkiana stands and bows before walking into the next room to get her disguise.

    After they have left earshot

    I apologize for my outburst. He was not making sense. At least, not about threatening us with arrest. Why threaten to arrest us when we were his only option to remove the cult? While I had full intention of going to the caves the whole time, I needed to know why he was choosing us. We have been thorns in his side since we've been here, he could have been using this as an opportunity to kill us.

    Looking over her disguise

    At least we now know that he isn't certain that we will die.
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Frederick nods curtly, signaling his desire to end the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    After they have left earshot

    I apologize for my outburst. He was not making sense. At least, not about threatening us with arrest. Why threaten to arrest us when we were his only option to remove the cult? While I had full intention of going to the caves the whole time, I needed to know why he was choosing us. We have been thorns in his side since we've been here, he could have been using this as an opportunity to kill us.

    Looking over her disguise

    At least we now know that he isn't certain that we will die.
    Frederick appraises Arkiana with a quizzical expression as they leave the building. You are... quite the character, Miss. Remind me to never underestimate you. I doubt I could be so foolish anyway, but that was quite well done.

    Though it would have been nice had he agreed to pay us.
    He continues grumbling under his breath as head towards the street.

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    I apologize for my outburst. He was not making sense. At least, not about threatening us with arrest. Why threaten to arrest us when we were his only option to remove the cult? While I had full intention of going to the caves the whole time, I needed to know why he was choosing us. We have been thorns in his side since we've been here, he could have been using this as an opportunity to kill us.

    Looking over her disguise

    At least we now know that he isn't certain that we will die.
    Jan's expression of annoyance is quickly replaced with one of surprise and glee! That's great! You even had me going for a minute there! Maybe next time I can help grease the stoop!
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Lyr keeps shooting sideways glances at Arkiana as they go into the next room, try on their disguises, and then leave with them. Is that what she's been learning from Allustan all this time? Burn me! Speaking up, he says, "So, about Allustan... Smenk said he was on board with us investigating this mine... Maybe we should check up on that? It's not that I don't trust him, it's just..." Lyr shrugs, flailing around for a moment and finally failing to find a way to salvage the accusation, "I don't trust him."
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    The party find the disguises to be nothing more than basic miners' outfits with assorted paraphernalia. Most of the tools are in poor shape, though the clothing is at least (mostly) clean. Beside each set of clothing is a sheet of parchment with a PC's name written on it, along with some makeup (largely in black). Pennysworth returns and directs the PCs to use the makeup to add smudges and dirty-up themselves when they wish to enter the mines and then escorts them back off the Smenk property, his answers to any questions noncommittal at best.

    Allustan's house is close by, if not exactly on the way to the Dourstone mine. As they enter the grounds they are met by the wizard. Upon seeing their disguises he nods, understanding clear in his eyes. "I am sure you will want to have confirmation about what that snake had to tell you," he says, walking with them to the mediation garden. "I can assure you of three things. 1. The law in this town is corrupt, and unless you play his game, it is likely to be unpleasant at best. I have not seen this in my visions, so I cannot say conclusively if it will endanger your efforts to stop the oncoming Age of Worms, but I doubt very much that it will help...2. There is definitely a complex of caves beneath the Doursone Mine, and it is very likely that the archlich, Vecna himself, lived and worked there eons ago as a mortal. Given Vecna's role within the Ebon Triad, it is not hard to imagine that such a location could be central to a cult in this area. And 3. I do think that you all are the best choice for investigating and destroying the cult. The Ebon Triad wishes to usher in the Age of Worms as part of their efforts to create evil Over-God from their three profane patrons, Vecna, Hextor, and Erythnul. While I do not think such efforts are even remotely possible - Combining three greater deities through mortal means? It is preposterous! - these cultists are likely a danger to Diamond Lake, and their involvement with Kyuss and the Age of Worms must be determined and stopped!"

    He pauses and looks around at the gathered men and women. "What more can I tell you before you go into the depths of the earth and deal with these madmen?"

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Frederick shakes his head, sullenly. You can tell us some things about your brother, but I doubt there is much you could tell me that I would be happy to hear. The state of this town disgusts me, but I feel like my hands are tied.

    While I cannot pretend to be unhappy about dealing with these cultists, I find myself disgusted with the circumstances.

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    "I think I speak for everyone here when I say that we would be in a better mood right now if we had heard of this plan from you."

    "But what is done is done. Now, I need to know anything you may have on the defensive tactics of the three religions. How they would typically protect their churches or hideouts. Also, I would like to hear if you had a recommendation for which branch of the cult would be the easiest to remove first."

    Spoiler: Knowledge Religion
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    (1d20+10)[22] Knowledge Religion to help with knowing anything more about what we are likely to face from each branch of the cult.


    In general, the goal is to use their isolation from each other against them. If we can take out a branch without an alert being sent to the others, we may have a chance.
    Last edited by Untarr; 2014-10-12 at 09:10 AM.
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Lyr looks up from picking at his miner's outfit. "I'm still not sold on these Worms, but defeating cultists and stopping evil Over-Gods sounds real enough. Vecna, Hextor, and Erythnul, huh?" He sighs. "Why can't there ever be cultists of Olidammara? They would at least know how to have a good time..."
    Spoiler: Knowledge: Religion
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    Attempt to 'Aid Another' with Arkiana, if possible, otherwise try to recall the same stuff: (1d20+4)[10]
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    Waylan, Kestros and Auspice (Wrath of the Righteous)


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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Furrowing his brow in annoyance at Frederick, Allustan listens to the requests for information before responding. "Smenk came to me in person early this morning, sharing his plan and threat with me. I did not have the time to intercept all of you before you would meet him at his home.

    You want to know about tactics? I am sorry to say I am not an expert in such things. I can tell you about the religions themselves, but this cult is clearly made up of heretics in regards to each of the parent faiths. Therefore, anything we can assume from general knowledge of the original faiths must be taken with a grain of salt.

    The deities themselves differ in personality severely. Erythnul is monstrous, violent, and unpredictable. Any cultists from the church of "The Many" are likely to be aggressive and chaotic in their approach. Vecna is duplicitous, secretive, and clever - his sect will enter combat from ambushes and likely attempt to divide the company to isolate the weaker members of your company. Hextor's cult will be as organized and efficient as their deity and is likely to function as a quasi-military unit.

    Isolating each sect may be the only way to safely engage them. They are unlikely to trust one another, in any case. The churches of Erythnul and Hextor have been competitors for thousands of years, each attempting to recruit violent, warlike worshipers from all corners of Oerth. Vecna will not be trusted by either of the other two, as the "Maimed One's" ambition and efforts to subvert other deities, much as he did other nations when he was a lich here in the Flanesse, is well known.
    "

    Spoiler: Knowledge Checks about the deities
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    Feel free to read any information found in this document on the three deities in question.

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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    "From what I know about these different religions, they shouldn't even be working together, let alone all under the same roof. As you said, Erythnul and Hextor have a long history since Hextor's rise and subsequent stealing of followers from Erythnul. Vecna's ultimate ambition is the complete domination or eradication of the rest of the pantheon. But, their personalities should shine through, no matter how fringe these cultists may be."

    Stopping for a moment, she closes her eyes in deep thought...

    "Erythnul is likely to have the least organised defense. We should start with that branch first. The other cults are unlikely to run to Erythnul's aid because the sounds of slaughter that accompany their religious ceremonies are fairly similar to the sounds of us slaughtering their members. Vecna and Hextor will likely present equal, albeit very different, challenges. We will need to evaluate the situation after we deal with Erythnul to decide which we go for next."
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    Default Re: IC AoW: Trans-Atlantic - The Three Faces of Evil

    Frederick, looking meaningfully at Lyr and Jan clears his throat to get his companions attention.

    It occurs to me, if these factions are as unlikely companions as you say, that we may be able to... encourage them to do some of our work for us. It would simplify our work immensely if the right words were put into the right ears to bring them to blows with each other. I do not know nearly enough about the groups other than Hextor's followers to know what might set them off, but with Arkiana's guidance and Jan and Lyr's quick tongues, could we not accomplish this task without necessarily doing all of the heavy lifting ourselves?

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