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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Naya listens to the wizard's explanations with all her attention; after all, for her, pretty much all of it is as much a news as to the Watch Captain. And at least Captain's last words somewhat reassure her; Ironbriar, at least, sounds like someone who... deserved it? His knights, however... was their only fault being loyal?

    "Excuse me..." she approaches the Watch Captain, "could you tell me... those other two... do you know know what kind of people they were?"
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

    "Jamie" is fine. TH is mostly there to make sure the name would be free on any forum I'd want to register :-)

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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    HRR-nrr-HRR-gzz-NGSzzSzzz-NGRR-gzzzz...

    Despite the incoming cavalcade and the renewed commotion, by some dint of exhaustion, Rico stands there, half-hunched, hand-on-hilt but gormless and drooling. And snoring while standing.

    ...NOGGIN?!

    "WHOWHICHWHAT?! WAAAaauuug... ...gwaugh... waitasec. Uggghhhh..." At Uriana's exclamation Rico suddenly startles awake once again, stumbling, tottering, blinking furiously and almost laying into whoever is the closest poor damn bugger to her position.

    bgwaaugh... She yawns again, sags... then slaps herself awake once again with a ham-like hand.

    PITIFUL. After all that training. Day in, day out, how long did you run and ride and swim? How many swords and spears and hammers and shields did you break in training? And a simple day-long ride does you in? Pathetic. GET. UP. LITTLE. GIRL. GEHHDDUPP!

    Inwardly growling at her old master's voice wracking her once again, Rico's ears perk up, nostrils flaring as she sees Captain Uriana and her cohort. With a clank and a groan and a squart of sweat, she hauls out a salute despite her leaden limbs and says, "Ma'am. Uh... yeah. Wot he sedd, dassright.

    ...erm, and sorry 'bout that. Mebbe we can stick a bellows in his throat?"


    Thanking Brin as the orcblood's slight neck wound is seen to, she asks, "Everybody else healed up? Red an' Hellgirl, they good?"

    The passing of a comrade. In violent circumstances. And you being unable to help. Dammit. Am I gettin' soft here? TCH!

    Cultist scum, aye. But that don't mean ye weren't people. And you, duped by yer scum-ass superiors, Irini. Tsk.
    Spotting Irini struggling with Hisam's body, Rico's gaze narrows, her ears twitching. "KOFF. Scuse me, ma'am." She sighs and tromps over, her hooked lance shouldered, squats opposite the young Hellknight and says, with open hands, "Hey. Fer wot it's worth, I'm sorry fer yer comrade's loss."

    "If you want my help fishing him out, I can..." Rico grates uncertainly, but forges on. "...but iffen ye don't, here, at least take this ta make the job easier."
    Last edited by Miraqariftsky; 2015-12-06 at 01:09 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    Captain Uriana squints dubiously at the journal, but waves her hand in dismissal when Taladron offers to turn it over. "You the one Sheriff Hemlock's gang hadda fish out of that goblin nest, huh? You hold onna that first. Not as though I could crack that nut. I'll come back to you when I want a translation. And I'll remember you said you had it, front of all these witnesses, so I've got my eye on you."

    When it is Naya's turn to raise a question, the Captain gives her a quizzical look, clearly unimpressed with its naivete. "Um, they're Hellknights, ain't they? Not under my juris-diction. Can't help you there, missy. And ye gods and goddesses, no! You aren't sticking no bellows into a corpse neck, woman! Have some respect for that deadders, yeah? 'sides, that's evidence there. You're not tampering with that." The Captain's gruff reply to Naya trails off into a half-shout of horrified amusement, causing some of the surrounding deputies to snigger though not unkindly. "All the same, Constable. If you be rolling that noggin this way, I'll get someone to send a pigeon for one of the nearest Goldie priest to cast the needful spell. Mouth's still intact, so he shoulda be able to chat, methinks."

    As for Hellknight Irini, she gives Rico a sharp, withering glance, but nods her acceptance of the offer. Together, they manage to wrangle Hisam's corpse back out of the water, where it flops over, exposing Hisam's face, frozen in a ghastly snarl with his teeth showing. "Ugh. It- it's fine. Wasn't close to him... nor Greta. She was always a snot about armour inspection and all." Irini sniffs and scowls, thumbing an invisible speck of dust from the end of her nose. "Just... just damn it, you know? I worked my keister off for this assignment. This was supposed to be my big break. Being attached to a Justice... only the best recruits get selected for this apprenticeship. Less than a day and I let his Grace die on my watch? Guess there's worse ways to get sent back to Korvosa without earning my lance," she mutters sourly, sitting back on the wet floor with a resigned but bitter expression on her face.

    Meanwhile, another of Captain Uriana's deputies has come in to make a report, causing the Captain to raise an eyebrow and peer over in your direction.

    "My girl here says there's a locked room upstairs on the third floor. I could call for a smith to bust it open, but you say you've gotta key?"

    *****

    Red

    "I am all right. I will be fine... See?" Red gingerly massages the newly healed spot on her throat, still not daring to raise her voice back to normal volume. All the same, she gives Setsuna's hand a friendly squeeze of reassurance. "Help the others too."
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2015-12-06 at 12:02 PM.
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    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
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    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Naya

    "B-but, Ironbriar was a madman, and a high-ranked member of some kind of evil cult... surely this should be a reason to reconsider your actions?"
    Naya asks Irini hopefully, "That... that is if we manage to gather enoug evidence... the locked room, right... I'll go with you; I'm mostly out of zap, to tell the truth, but I just won't be able to sleep if I don't see it all to the end..."
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

    "Jamie" is fine. TH is mostly there to make sure the name would be free on any forum I'd want to register :-)

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  5. - Top - End - #35
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Sirus

    Getting up, still severely wounded, Sirus points at the key.

    "The door. Upstairs. Must be. Opened. There. Is. Something hidden. There."

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin

    "Oh, right." Brin responds to Sirus's reminder of the locked upper reaches of the mill. "Let me just get you back on your feet first, in case there are more surprises up there." She uses up the last of the group's old wand and fishes out one of the one recently salvaged from the dead cultists, plying it until Sirus is fully healed.

    Once everyone is healthy to Brin's satisfaction, she follows them up to check the locked door--assuming the guard captain allows it.

    Spoiler
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    So Setsuna, Taladron, Rico, Red, and Sirus have been helped. Anyone else need healing? These are still a few charges left in that OOC post.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    Irini shoots Naya a withering glare, something of the iron-clad arrogance that Brin and Rico had witnessed outside once more descending on the Hellknight as she draws up her shoulders and stares coldly at Naya. "With all due respect, missy, I'd advise you to shut it. What do you know about the Hellknights just exactly?" Thrusting out her chin, Irini bangs a clenched fist over her heart, right above the prowed horns of the demon skull etched on her breastplate, practically hissing through her teeth. "We stand for justice! We stand for law! And if we have to battle with devils to bring an end to chaos and corruption, then so be it! You would do well to hold your tongue, missy. Cultist or not, 'tis known by all that his Grace Ironbriar sent countless lawbreakers to their rightful place on the gallows and the gaol. If he turns out to be criminal himself, then so be it, you have given him his due as representatives of Sandpoint Watch. But you will not denigrate the Order that saved my city!"

    Over in her corner of the room, Captain Uriana pricks up her ears at the sounds of an argument brewing but wisely elects to remain out of it. The politics involved in further riling a Hellknight potentially in trouble with the law was beyond her pay roll. "Come then. To this locked room. And don't forget that key," she remarks blandly, waving those of you willing to head upstairs towards the door as if nothing was going on at all.

    *****

    Only PCs who have recently posted will be assumed to have intentions of going up to the locked room.

    The workshop on the third floor (D6) is nearly as Sirus had seen it while on his scouting mission, with a thick layer of sawdust strewn about the floor and multiple workbenches cluttered with woodworking tools. Given the mess, it is difficult to tell whether the sawdust has become more flurried in the wake of the cultists' preparation for your arrival.

    But been here they must have been, for a grisly sight awaits your group in the middle of the floor - the lame cat that you'd abandoned in a bid to catch the Night Scale snipers in the other sawmill. The half-elf cultist that Red had crossed blades with hadn't been lying. The cat - if the flayed, beheaded mess of blood and bone can still be called a cat - has been butchered, with most of its hide ripped off its face like wet onion-paper. The half-orc deputy who'd remained up here to await your arrival, whom it seems has been attempting to bury what's left of the cat under some sawdust, looks up solemnly as you step out the stairwell, unable to quite disguise the grimace on his face.

    "Wighto." The deputy salutes as Captain Uriana emerges, his long tusk-like incisors forcing him to lisp. "Was jus tryin' ter mek de lil' wun decent-like, ti din seem wight, lyin dere liddat..."

    The Captain nods almost wearily, barely gracing the tiny body with more than a dismissive glance. "At ease, Constable Magotar. You're free to do as you please when the case is closed, just don't be burying the evidence 'fore we've had a chance to document it, hm? Now why don't you show these ladies and gentlemen here to that locked door that Constable Radinia was just tellin' me about?"

    As the Captain gestures with the bladed end of her halberd, Constable Magotar immediately lumbers into action, beckoning all of you forward to the locked room in the southeast corner of the workshop (D7). For the one holding the key, you find to your surprise that despite Sirus's report of the door being magically warded, the key turns easily enough in the lock. It would seem that the room was designed to be accessible only by Ironbriar himself and once you have pushed the doors open, it is easy to see why.

    A musty odour hits you with the force of a slap in the face as you take your first tentative look into the gloom behind the locked doors. This cramped room had once been an office of sorts - the high-backed chair, locker, and desk shoved against one wall make that much clear. The array of human faces hanging on the wall, however, are most certainly not your typical office furniture. All three walls of the room are filled from floor to ceiling with these macabre decorations - each face stretched flat over wooden frames by strips of leather or black twine. There isn't much light to see by in here and that somehow makes things worse, each eyeless face seeming to grimace in its own unique paroxysm of pain, looking sightlessly down on you with their lips sewn shut.

    Perhaps you'd wondered before. Perhaps you hadn't. Regardless, you now know the true reason why those who style themselves as children of Norgorber hail their patron as Father Skinsaw - they literally saw the skin off their victim's faces.

    Perception DC 13
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    Holding in your nausea, you manage to spot the faint outline of a trapdoor in the ceiling, cleverly disguised by the natural cracks and ridges in the wooden planks. If you had a ladder or sat on Rico's shoulders, you could probably reach it without any problem.


    The locker in this room is sealed. Roll Disable Device DC 15 or Strength DC 17 to break open.

    *****

    Map
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2015-12-09 at 12:37 AM.
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Taladorn

    Taking in the Justice's rather macabre office, Taladron rolls his eyes and has two thoughts. The first thought being, Well they certainly didn't even bother to be subtle about their misdeeds. I think we are safely off the hook now and we can stop this sneaking around nonsense. The second thought was that there seemed to be an odd shape on the ceiling during that eye-roll.

    "Looks like we have yet to arrive at the top floor." Taladron says as he points to the trapdoor located in the ceiling. "Whatever lies beyond that door, we should be cautious. They have obviously cast aside any pretext of innocence beyond this room. As grisly as this room may be, even worse may lie ahead."

    Spoiler
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    Perception (rolled OOC): [15]
    Last edited by bcool999; 2015-12-08 at 11:53 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin

    "By the spiral."
    Brin mutters as she enters to room full of flayed faces. Ignoring the Catpain's prohibition against disturbing the evidence, she draws her dagger and begins cutting the faces off their stretchers. There wasn't a dignified way to do this really, so she just starts stacking them. Matching them with bodies their would probably be impossible now, just like those fouls masks they'd pulled off the cultists. Brin hates to admit it, but she might have to deal with some of those stuffy 'orthodox' Pharasmin to deal with this.

    "Any doubt that we're in the right now?" She asks, bitterly.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Naya

    "I'm sorry, Lady... I... I didn't mean to..."
    the sylph squeaked after having been lectured byb the remaining Hellknight and followed the others to the upper floors.

    And regretted that immediately as the locked room was opened, stepping back struggling to contain herbreakfast. Come on, girl... you saw worse in the tomb of... Yes, but that stuff was ancient. This here...

    Can't run away, still. Need to see it to the end...

    "We... need to open that door anyway. If someone would lift me up there..."
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

    "Jamie" is fine. TH is mostly there to make sure the name would be free on any forum I'd want to register :-)

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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    The tiefling wasn't one to shy away from danger, but she hadn't fully recovered and there was nothing dangerous about the skin-masks, save for the danger of losing one's lunch, so when Setsuna entered the room, it was obvious that she wasn't happy about being there and clearly wanted nothing more than to leave. She didn't even have the presence of mind to offer to help Brin gather up the grisly evidence and could only wait quietly while someone with more lifting strength than she helped Naya reach the hidden trap door in the ceiling.

    "Why...why would anyone do this? It just...makes no sense..."
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin

    "Some people are just...wrong." Brin answers Setsuna's question a little more acerbically than she would if she wasn't busy scraping people's faces off stretchers. "They need to be put down, not given a bump on the head and a stern talking-to."

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Sirus

    Sirus' eyes widen for a split second before his inexpressivenes reasserts itself. He knew what Norborger was about, but knowinga nd seeing are not the same thing. He pauses for a moment and then turns to the constable. He does not say anything but his stare, somewhat tiredly, seems to ask.

    Do you see now?

    Tired or not, his eyes pick a small gap where there shouldn't be any. He points to the trapdoor.

    "There"

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    Frowning, the tiefling can't help but wonder deep down if maybe the Pharasmin was right. But still she shakes her head. "It still is not right. Maybe just talking to them would not have been enough, but they still did not need to die."
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Taladron

    "Let's see if they even bothered to lock the door." Taladron says as he pulls a small brass key out of his component pouch and points it at the door before twisting it and whispering "Open" in elven.

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    Casting Open/Close on the trapdoor to open it. Should work assuming it is not locked and weighs less than 30lbs.
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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    Captain Uriana and the small gaggle of deputies that remain upstairs had followed your group over to the locked room. While most of the deputies look shocked and nauseated, with one willowy recruit actually backing away with a distinctly green tint to his pale complexion, the Captain herself seems collected enough, despite the odd twitching in the corners of her mouth.

    "Wouldn't ha' figured his Grace to have his own private house of horrors," she observes with almost maddening calmness, tapping her chin. "Still, one never knows and it just goes to show. Constable Magotar, start keeping record. Recruit Yevin, if you're gonna hurl, take it outside. And once you're done clearing your tum-tum, get a pigeon off to the Tower to tell the folks down in Alchemy and Homicide that we're gonna need a team down here to do some body-matching and case-matching and- hey. HEY! You there!"

    Having realised that Brin was taking down the face-skins, the Captain flares her nostrils and bangs the end of her halberd on the floor, jabbing a meaty finger in the elf's direction. "Mitts off the evidence! You just siddown and let my boy Magotar do his damn job, THEN you do your priesting. Or I'll chain and toss you in the clink 'long with that live perp you got tied up below, and I don't care if you're Pharasma herself incarnated into the body of some weed-elf."

    In the confines of the small room, the Captain's voice is near deafening and there is little doubt that she has the means to carry out her threat if she so chooses. Over her shoulder, the half-orc deputy who had been tasked to do the recording holds up a well-gnawed stubby pencil and a massive dog-eared ledger, waving hopefully at Brin to catch her attention. "Miz Preest? Iffer cud hav jesta few mooments? Ter tek doon wut's ere... Den we ken mek all dese poor deadders decent. Say de wight wordsa peece?"

    Those of you who aren't distracted by the grisly wall decorations or the potential squabble over the proper method for handling the remains of the dead involved in a criminal investigation, however, are just in time to see the trapdoor above swing up and back, thudding dully as it reaches the extent of its hinge. It is difficult to make out what exactly is up there, though from where you are, you can see that it appears to be a sort of small alcove, lit by beams of sunlight that stream in from narrow windows.

    Perception DC 17
    Spoiler
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    In between all the shouting going on in the room, you can just about make out the faint sound of wings flapping and whirring in the alcove above - almost like bats or pigeons in a chapel belfry. You can't see anything moving about, but you're willing to bet that there's definitely something small and avian up there.


    The locker in this room is still sealed. Roll Disable Device DC 15 or Strength DC 17 to break open.

    *****

    Red

    That elf - that cultist - he'd spoken the truth. He'd really-

    Red kneels quietly in the sawdust in the workshop, her head spinning a little as she clamps her head between her hands and tries to think.

    The faces inside the room were awful. They were terrible. She knew they were. She also knew she ought to be sick and angry about all those people killed by Ironbriar and his mad cultists, but for some reason, she wasn't. And she could only think about that damned cat. Yeah, it'd been a sorry excuse for a cat, starved and wounded as it'd been. But it'd been alive just a while ago. Warm in her hands. It had a chance, even a small one-

    Don't like it? But that's what we did. Cut it from ear t'ear, tore its face off...

    Feelin' dizzy yet, tiny?

    'n that's how we do...


    Raking her fingers through her short hair, Red squeezes her eyes shut and clenches her fists, bile rising in her constricting throat. He'd almost done it to her, too. Killed her. Tore her face off. Was that how all the others in that room had died too? With this bad elf making fun of them? Like how her father had sometimes-

    She can't stop herself. Her eyes find the pile of crushed meat and fur, all the sawdust that the half-orc constable had tried to pile on all caked to the blood. Poor baby. It must have been so frightened. And all those poor people whose faces were stretched up there on the walls...

    The tears burn as they roll down her cheeks and drip off the end of her nose.

    *****

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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Simatzu

    The old man, having been left largely alone and apparently essentially overlooked, begins humming to himself off key as he begins shucking his clothes after he has had some friendly magic applied and taken several minutes to recover his breath. "Sorry, just a moment," he says, using some water from the wheel to scrub himself of blood, then redonning his clothing and assembling his weaponry from where Brin left it, cleaning and sharpening each blade that was so much as drawn before placing it back in its appropriate hiding place, apparently a little ritual of his. In his native tongue he recites a little nursery rhyme.

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    "The farmers tend the fields and reap the heads of wheat..." as he works on the Kamas... all the way to, "And the hangman's noose if he's not quick will slip his own neck!" as he ties the kusarigama as a belt and dons his sleeves once more to make his clothes appear like a simple farmer's outfit.


    "Gods save me, I'm getting too old for this nonsense... Oh hell, if I want to catch up with them there'll be stairs. Raggum-fraggum..." he says as he starts climbing. "Where the hell did I drop my walking stick?"
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    My motto: Repensum Est Canicula.

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    Leiningen will win, even if he must lose in the attempt.

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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Setsuna

    Having been too lost in fighting her own guilt at what happened downstairs, Setsuna was even less observant than her usual oblivious self and at first glance failed to even notice the flayed mass that used to be a gangrenous feline, but as Red falls to her knees the tiefling snaps back to reality. I can deal with what happened later...it can't be changed, but I need to be strong for the others.

    Telling herself that, she tries to put the bloody mess out of her mind as she takes a knee beside Red and gently turns her away from the cat when the rogue begins to cry. "Look at me...there was nothing we could do. It is sad...it deserved better than this...but if we had done nothing those halflings would have been killed. And the people who did this..." she tries to not look upset, but does need to take a breath, "the people who did this can never hurt anyone, or any thing, else, ever again. So do not cry. We can not change the past, but you helped make the future better."
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Brin

    It takes some effort to bite her tongue after being dressed down by the idiot captain, who seriosuly needs to get her priorities in order, but Brin manages to fume in silence for a few moments until the clearly more intelligent Mr. Magotar asks for her aid.

    "Of course, officer, it would be my duty and my pleasure to see to the dead at your request." She ignores the captain as she digs her battered copy of The Bones Land in A Spiral from her pack and leafs through to the heavily dogeared section on burial rites at the back of the book. "Yes, I think this third liturgy would be most appropriate. The portion on the thoroughness and finality of The Lady's judgement..."

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Psshht. BELLOWS. Hah-ha-ha-ha-hahaha! The damned tiredness must really be messing with Rico's noggin already. Even as she respectfully nods to the chastisement, she lowers her gaze deeply, letting her hat's shadow obscure the wicked smirk cutting across her scarred face. She shakes her head then, reinstating her standard issue scowl.

    Touching her brim and awkwardly thumping Irina's shoulder she says, "Can't say ye don't have yer honour. An' ye can't say ye didn't do yer best given the circ'mstances, eh?"

    ~~~

    Coming upon the abominable abbatoir within, Rico's breath catches, disgust and wrath making her head throb. While her hands automatically document the crime scene and the evidence within, to nobody in particular, she grumbles, "Frakken madmen. Where the hell did all the NORMAL murderers and thieves go?"

    Massaging her temple, spotting the distress shared by Red and Setsuna, Rico tromps over, squeezes both their shoulders and says, "Red. Hellgirl. I knows izz hard now. Dis all be SHET, but we needta focus. We unwind come dinner. TCH. We keep SHARP, ya ken?

    ...miles ta go afore we sleep. Th'day ain't done yet.

    Y'all did good. Ya hear? Dunwurreh."
    Last edited by Miraqariftsky; 2015-12-14 at 02:07 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Red

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    Taking 10 for Disable Device, giving 29.


    Red buries her forehead in her arms, muffling the sounds of those around her. They were right. Setsuna was right. So was Rico. But that wouldn't bring the cat or any of those other people back to life, would it? It wasn't fair.

    She squeezes her trembling hands, curling her hair into fists. They'd just have to kill this other one then. Xanesha. Make sure that nobody else had to die like this.

    Sniffing hard, she knuckles at her cheeks, though the tears don't stop flowing. Looking over at her friends with red-rimmed brimming eyes, she nods briefly, her mouth drawn into a wavering line. She'd have to do better. No more people dying like this. Whatever this cult was up to, it must never happen again.

    Pressing her forehead against Rico's shoulder and giving Setsuna's hand what she hopes is a reassuring squeeze, Red clambers back to her feet. There was work to be done yet...

    *****

    IC post

    "Dah'll do gweat," Constable Magotar beams across his ritually scarred face as he sees Brin pull out her holy book. "Naoh iffa jes gimme a mooment, copy all dis down..."

    Constable Magotar proceeds to bustle about the room, painstakingly scrawling down a rough layout and inventory into his notebook, two of the other deputies have busied themselves with the locked cabinet in the corner. When Red approaches with a lock pick held up wordlessly, they willingly give way and watch over her shoulder with interest. Meanwhile, Captain Uriana squints up at the trapdoor in the ceiling.

    "Damn. They got some mighty huge rats up there or summat, from the sound of it. Constable Haz, a ladder, if you pleases."

    For those who investigate the contents of the locker once Red has wrangled it open:
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    Despite its nondescript exterior, the locker appears to contain a small fortune in pilfered oddments, stacked neatly in shelves. A fair number are of a historical nature - books, sea charts, and maps - though a rather fine looking oil painting depicting a city carved from a vast frozen waterfall with towering ice cathedrals and domes hangs from the inside of the door. Near the bottom are a few leather-bound spellbooks.


    Perception DC15
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    Your sharp eyes spot a slim brown envelope wedged between the pages of one of the thicker spellbooks. The envelope is of good quality paper, stamped with an elaborate crimson wax seal that appears to be in the shape of a praying mantis's head and outstretched claws folded as if in prayer. Flipping it open, you find a gilt edged sheet of paper with the following printed neatly on it:

    The Red Mantis Guild confirms the receipt of three diseased rat corpses and one vial of Vorel's Legacy, in exchange for the sum of two hundred plantinum sails.

    Blood Mistress Artanis Rimefleet
    Knowledge (local) DC 16
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    The Red Mantis are another of Golorian's cults, albeit of much more fearsome reputation than the Children of Skinsaw. They are an army of all female assassins based in Mediogalti Island that have adopted the loathsome Achaechek, mantis god of assassins, as their patron deity. They are known as the most effective and tenacious killers that can be bought. No wall is thick enough, no bodyguards tough enough, or safehouse hidden well enough to keep the Red Mantis from their prey. They take little notice of social or political status, seeing all marks as equal if their client pays the price.
    Last edited by Desril; 2015-12-13 at 01:05 PM.
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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Taladron

    Seeing the spellbooks, Taladron reaches out possessively and scoops them up. He doesn't dare read them now as they may in fact be trapped magically, but seeing the slim brown envelope, Taladron's curiosity gets the better of his judgement and he carefully pulls out and examines the document. After reading it's contents, Taladron uses a cantrip to hand the document over to the Captain saying, "Looks like the Justice also had dealings with the Red Mantis Assassins. Looks like he sold them diseased rats and a vial of Vorel's Legacy... if that refers to Vorel Foxglove then there are going to be a few very slow and painful deaths in the future."

    After handing over the document, Taladron moves to store the spellbooks in his satchel, but looks silently to the Captain for permission before he does so.
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    The locker opened, Naya instinctively reaches for the painting... reminding herself at the last moment that it isn't a tomb, and whatever they'll find here is evidence... not a trophy. Would sure look nice on the bedroom wall, though... now... "Officer... would you think any of these can serve as the evidence?" she points at the gathering of books and scrolls, "If not, I would guess they are best to be handed to the... eh...university, or something?* And... let's open that trapdoor, after all? I... would hate to leave without checking everything... even if I'll regret it later."

    My ooc guess would be Solemn Order of Sages, Librarians, and Teachers
    Last edited by jamieth; 2015-12-14 at 01:18 AM.
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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Sirus

    Sirus looks also in the closer, more out of curiosity. His quick eyes catch the slim brown envelope. A quick read makes his eyes tighten. He turns to the others, the constable included

    "Red Mantis. A disease. Has been spread. And Vorel. Is mentioned"

    He didn't have to say which Vorel. They all remembered.

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    Returning the squeeze on Red's hand, Setsuna steels herself as well and gets up to look around. These people were...wrong, but I can not just sit around...not while we still need to find out what exactly they were doing and who this Xanesha person is...

    Unfortunately, she wasn't much help while searching around, able to do little more than admire the skill put into the oil painting. She was completely useless when it came time to read letter that'd been located. "Red Mantis? Who are they, I have not heard of them before..." She represses a shiver at the thought of what diseases might've been shipped off when Brin mentions slow deaths, and goes back to looking.

    "This might be evidence...but..." she frowns, "There are no leads unless someone knows how to find this Blood Mistress. We still do not know how to find Xanesha, do we?"
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    "Oh, a ladder, finally" Naya steps onto the stairs and reaches for the trapdoor, "I'll just take a quick look..."
    That was familiar; bring able to both see in the dark and instantly disappear in case of danger made peeking into closed vaults and such her job in the Scarabs. Of course, generally she would only do so after Kaylee confirmed lack of traps, but it wasn't an ancient tomb, after all...
    Last edited by jamieth; 2015-12-16 at 02:16 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    IC post

    The Captain looks solemn at the discovery of the letter, grunting softly as she rubs her cheek. "Damning evidence indeed. Selling stuff to the Red Mantis - that's treason, that is. Mediogalti's pract'ly a nation, by most counts. Even without this cult thing and the murders, this would've shut him up good and proper for a long time." She huffs and shakes her head. "Them Hellknights won't like this. Doesn't do them much good to have been associated with a Justice onna wrong side of the law. If you want those spellbooks, mister, you can have them once Magotar's recorded down what's in them for the records. Saves me from the paperwork for citizen deputies when none of you're citizens, if we treat you all in the report as hired swords sent by Sandpoint..." Captain Uriana's voice trails off as she spots Naya eagerly clambering up the ladder that has just been brought in.

    "Recruit Yevin. Constable Naystone. Get in position. Back the lady up. If she falls, catch her. If there's something nasty in there, geddat door shut and contain any menace." Without taking her eyes off Naya, Captain Uriana gestures at her deputies to flank the ladder, holding her own halberd in readiness.

    The first thing that Naya notices in the little alcove behind the trapdoor is the table. A crude wooden affair, it holds a tall narrow bucket of what smells a lot like decaying offal, as well an ink pen and several sheets of thin blank parchment weighed down by a rock.

    The second thing that she notices are the three pairs of beady eyes staring curiously back at her from behind the mesh door of a timber cabinet. For those who squint and take a closer look, these eyes belong to three large black birds perched within the cabinet, each the size of a cat. Their claws scrabble against their wooden perches as they hop about, trying to get a closer look at the blue-haired sylph through the gaps in the mesh.

    Knowledge (Nature) DC 10 - can make untrained
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    These birds are ravens - larger and more intelligent than the average crow. Their presence would certainly explain the stinky bucket of rotting meat, for while the birds are omnivorous, they are not adverse to tender scraps of meat when they can get it. While tame ravens are almost always wizard familiars, it is not unheard of for ravens to be domesticated as messenger pets, with their superior intelligence making them superior (though much more expensive to feed) than pigeons or other small birds.
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2015-12-17 at 09:09 AM.
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    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

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  28. - Top - End - #58
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    "Fall? Oh please..." Naya sounds almost insulted as the officer orders his men, but doesn't press the topic as she looks around. Seconds later she looks down and says to those waiting downstairs, "A writing desk, and some ravens. For writing and carrying letters, I would think... maybe we'll find some drafts... I think it's safe here, you can get up and look yourselves." With that, she pulls herself up and steps into the attic proper, taking a closer - enchanted - look on the surroundings.
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    Not sure if there's any windows; if not, Dancing Lights. Otherwise, Detect Magic just in case.
    Last edited by jamieth; 2015-12-16 at 02:25 PM.
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

    "Jamie" is fine. TH is mostly there to make sure the name would be free on any forum I'd want to register :-)

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  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    GM post

    Naya's Detect Magic

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    There is nothing in the room that bears a magical signature.


    One of the deputies is next into the alcove right behind Naya - Recruit Yevin of the churning stomach, perhaps eager to prove that he is no slouch despite his earlier nausea. Peering through the mesh at the ravens, he shouts back down at the other watchmen: "All clear, ma'am! 'Tis a bird cubby. Looks like the perps were using ravens to pass notes along. Should we confiscate them as evidence?"

    Meanwhile, down below, another deputy arrives and pulls off a smart salute for the Captain. "Ma'am. The goldie priest's here. She says that his Gr- I mean, the head perp's head- um, she says just the head will do if you want it to speak, 'cause the mouth's the important bit. Just that we might not get very good answers if his Gra- I mean, it wouldn't want to answer them when alive. Chitty to pay for the spell to be sent to the Tower if we're agreeable...?"
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    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
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  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders IC II

    Setsuna

    Looking around the room, Setsuna is relieved to hear that the head of Ironbriar will be enough to question him, though she still wishes it hadn't come to this. When the question on what to do about the birds is brought up, however. "If they are messenger ravens, why do we not send a message? They must not have too many places they go to. If we follow the one that delivered letters to or from Xanesha back to her."

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    K: Nature (1d20+5)[16] in dice thread
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