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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Red

    But you came back. Mister Fox made a deal. To be afraid of dying again... this is not how Mister Cayden would have it.

    Red blinks hard, then takes a deep, shuddering breath of the stale river air. No time for thinking now. There was work to be done.

    Having made a valiant effort at trying to stack and drag harpoons far too large and heavy for her to handle back down to the bank, Red bobs her head in gratitude as Rico helps her to shift the massive bundle on board. Even if the others weren't interested, there was decent iron to be had off those harpoons. Somebody would pay for that, surely.

    Leaving the others to wander as they would, Red lingers on the deck for a moment to watch with faint admiration as Rico, still larger than a bugbear, helps to nudge the barge around the remains of the turtle before shoving it up the river step by grumbling step. A gust of wind quickly sends the young woman scurrying indoors to shuck off her soiled clothes and don something drier, before reemerging with a rough cotton towel and a flask of tepid coffee swiped from the cook room, patiently waiting for her friend to come back on deck.

    *****

    GM post

    Shalelu curls her lip in a grimace as Rico plops the remains of the giant hand into Brin's lap. "The hand is all yours then, sister. Grant it blessings to rest as you see fit. Its owner might well have been a man-eater too, if it came from a giant, but I'll not presume. I shall inform the Captain that you'll need a moment."

    Turning on her heel, the elf is about to clamber back down the bank when she catches sight of Red wrestling with her unwieldy armful of harpoons. Cracking a faint grin, Shalelu shifts her attention to the red rag, solemnly turning the tattered cloth over in her palms before tucking it into her belt and proceeding to wave Captain Amin over.

    *****

    The surly Garundi captain favours your slaughter with a snort and a grudging nod, surveying the bloody mountain of flesh with his remaining eye as he massages his grizzled jaw. Leaving so much fresh meat behind is a sore decision to make, but the man is far too wise to linger and risk the attention of other water predators that a corpse of this size would surely draw. Lurking impatiently on deck until the last of you have returned to the barge, he is quick to wave the barge horses on, saving a half bow of appreciation for Rico as she helps to push your vessel upriver.

    With Rico's magically enhanced strength and the renewed efforts of the barge horses as they prick up their ears and whicker nervously at the scent of death, the remains of the giant turtle are quickly lost to sight as you sail on. The corpse, however, as Naya is soon to discover, is not the only thing that is now lost. A cursory glance at the deck suffices to reveal that the dress that she'd so gaily shed is nowhere to be found.

    While suspicion might have initially fallen on the vile-smelling fellow passenger who'd been clearly rather enamoured with the sight of Naya's bare flesh, a peek over the stern of the barge reveals the far simpler truth. Without Brin to keep an eye on it, it seems that Naya's dress had been blown overboard. It now rests, rather forlornly and much more shredded from when she'd last seen it, in the jaws of a large swamp alligator who trails in the wake of the barge, gnawing desultorily at this unappetising cloth snack.

    *****

    Day 56: Neth 17, 4707

    1700hrs.


    The rest of your journey to Turtleback Ferry, perhaps to the disappointment of the more adventurous of you, is distinctly uneventful. Aside from brief stops at the towns of Whistledown and Ilsurian to unload cargo (including the hundred and twenty chickens) and to take on fresh supplies, the barge makes steady progress, covering dozens of miles a day with a steady rotation of the draft horses. There is plenty of work to be done on the barge for those willing to lend a hand and time passes swiftly enough, whether you are busy helping the crew to haul bales of dried goods or snugly ensconced within the folds of your hammock with only your brandy bottle for company.

    The weather, however, grows progressively worse the closer you draw to Turtleback Ferry. A few hours after you'd cast off from Ilsurian and started up the Skull River, the rains had started. And kept on going. And going.

    No light drizzle or gentle summer shower this, but a steady, relentless downpour that lashed at every inch of exposed skin as if to drive you back indoors. While the crew trudged on with their outside work clad in thick tar-proofed linens or straw capes, heedless of the fat raindrops slapping at their cheeks and of the gloomy expanse of dark clouds as far as the eye could see, most of you may have been content to remain under shelter for respite from the bone-chilling winds. All the same, the constant drumming of water on the roof is enough to set even the most patient of you on edge after the third straight day of rain, and it seems that everything in the barge not under secure wraps is slowly turning slick with moisture. Without the sun and open windows, the greasy smells of the cook's permanently overdone meals lingers cloyingly in the air long after meals are done, as does the damp sweaty odour of improperly dried clothing. Such weather, as Captain Amin sourly informs you, is quite normal at this time of year and that you'd be lucky to have a dry day or two for the next several weeks until winter is over.

    In the rain and the gloom of twilight, it is difficult for most of you to see, but with someone on shore waving an smoking torch energetically in your direction, Captain Amin is able to steer the barge safely to the dock, cursing and shouting at his crew as they hurry to lash the vessel securely with ropes and chains to thick wooden staves.

    For those of you who dare to brave the wet deck as the crew moor the barge, you can just about make out the lights and outlines of several low-lying buildings not far from the jetty, as well as the silhouettes of people swaddled in heavy rain gear tramping about. Beyond that, the formless hulk of trees upon trees looms in the distance all around the village as far as the eye can see under a moonless sky clustered with rain clouds.

    "Cheery little place, isn't it?" Shalelu looks over your shoulder, the cynical smirk on her slim face at odds with her amiable tone of her voice. "That'd be the Ashwood over to the east and Kreegwood to the north. Thick with wolves and ogres and all manner of spooks. What the Black Arrows are supposed to be guarding them from."

    Meanwhile, Captain Amin greets the cowled figure who'd been waving the torch with a grunt and a curt beckoning motion. The figure vaults easily over the side of the barge and approaches him with the practiced rolling gait of one used to the swaying motion of boats, the voice unexpectedly lilting and chipper given your dreary surroundings.

    "Bargemaster! Thanks be to the First Hunter for your safe arrival. Father Shreed sends his greetings and asks if your vessel by chance bears any message or letters from Magnimar in return to the one you bore hence three weeks past."

    "Naw, Eilnda. No letters. Jus' passengers. That's all the answer de Fat Man gon' give." Captain Amin jerks a rueful thumb in your direction, squinting at you all as he continues to munch on his wad of tobacco.

    The figure immediately strides over to where you all stand, her weather-stained cape billowing slightly in the sweep of an early winter wind. From beneath the peak her dripping hood, you can just about make out the face of a pale, freckled young woman as she beams with relief, tapping the tips of her fingers together to make the upward point of the Erastili arrow. "Praise be to Old Deadeye. Are you the ones sent by Magnimar to help us? We've been waiting and waiting, we'd thought they'd never reply!"
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2016-11-23 at 11:43 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Naya

    Day 51

    For a second or two, the sylph looks at Rico, confused, but ultimately gets the idea and says a quick spell, gradually relieving the ranger of all the mud and blood and... other nasty things found inside giant turtles. "Here you go, miss Rico - but if you don't mind, stay for a while? You need rest" - why yes, she said she doesn't want to tell that to Rico just minutes ago. It didn't make it any less true.

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    Prestidigitation, because why not.


    Day 56

    The loss of her dress Naya endures with stoic calm - and a faint smile for those watching really carefully - and takes no effort to replace it for the rest of the journey, though she does tyr to prevent unfortunate accidents by staying inside every time the barge passes a settlement - and by mostly coming out onto the deck at night in general, having only two hours a day for sleep helping her greatly with that. At the very least, it certainly seems she has less trouble with the rain than most of the others, not having to deal with the sensation of wet cloth clinging to the skin.

    As the barge nears its destination, though, she has no choice but to reluctantly lend a pair of stripes of cloth and tie them around her chest and waist respectively - a flimsy outfit like that is unlikely to survive any hardships, but it should play its role of preventing a scandal upon meeting... whoever they're supposed to meet at the Ferry.

    "Lord-Mayor was hesitant to act..." she volunteers, stepping forward, "since... wait, did you say you sent a letter to Magnimar three weeks ago? Because the reason we were sent here in the first place is because Lord-Mayor haven't heard any from Turtleneck Ferry for over six weeks at the day of our departure. Captain, sir... that letter of three weeks ago, whom did you hand it to in Magnimar?"
    Tome of Radiance, a Magical Girl sourcebook for 3.5/PF.

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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    Setsuna spent most of the rest of that week trying not to steal glances at Naya, but as they finally dock she stretches her legs and then, hearing Naya, quickly moves to correct her. "You are mis-remembering, Naya. It was Fort Rannick, not Turtleback Ferry, that the Lord-Mayor has not received word from in some weeks, which we are also here to investigate," she explains for Eilnda's benefit. Turning to the newcomer, she tries to smile pleasantly, a difficult task in the unpleasant weather. "But first, can you tell us what is happening? We would not want to make things worse because the Lord-Mayor miscommunicated."
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Naya

    "Oh... sorry. I got confused then... I... never really learned much about geography here..." the sylph blushes furiously, as usual much more conscious of her mistakes than of her appearance. "But then - still, we haven't heard anything about your message..."
    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 - #95
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    The young woman's smile fades somewhat at the sight of Naya dressed in what appears to be little more than bandages pilfered from some chirurgeon's cabinet, one eyebrow twitching in distinct disapproval and her voice much colder than before. "I'm afraid you have it wrong, miss," she offers with frigid politeness, standing a little straighter than before. "I see that you are a stranger to these parts, but we are Turtleback Ferry, not Turtleneck Ferry. And if you are not the ones sent by his Grace to help us, then who...?"

    "Desna preserve us-We are the ones who were sent. That is us that you are thinking of." Shalelu mutters in exasperation under her breath before raising her voice to catch the young woman's attention, already bowing gracefully from the waist with a slight flourish of her dripping cloak as she steps out of the shadow of Rico's hulking shoulder. "Mother Moon, may she shine on your village and light your way. I am Shalelu Andosana of the Crying Leaf village. We come on behalf of his Grace, Lord Grobaras of Magnimar. "

    Shalelu's manners are far from the pomp and court that you'd seen at the Lord-Mayor's house, but even this little display of grandeur suffices to impress the young woman back into her welcoming grin of worried relief. "Oh, that is most marvellous to hear, ma'am! I am Eilnda, first acolyte to Father Shreed. He will be so glad to hear that help has arrived, he's been worried sick. It's been weeks since anyone's seen the Arrows. Every patrol we've sent up - they've not come back! It's madness, I tell you, everyone's feeling like something bad's on the way, and the things have just been going from bad to worse, what with the hunters going missing left and right, and the Paradise just upping and sinking like that into the lake - and the rains come early this year too, it's like them ogres up on the Hook done recruited a dragon or something to fly about and stir up the storms-"

    "That is... grim. News. We must hear more on this. But perhaps we might do so more comfortably on land, where things are a little less wet than out here. I trust that the good Captain Amin has better use of his time than to watch us dally." To her credit, Shalelu keeps a stiff upper lip in the face of the barely coherent babble, her face betraying neither derision nor confusion as she seizes advantage of a moment's hesitation in the word torrent as the acolyte pauses for breath.

    Eilnda nods enthusiastically, her excitement putting the less charitable of you in mind of an eager-to-please puppy. "Yes! Yes, of course. I will head to Father Shreed right now to let him know you've arrived. The inn's just over yonder - Turtle's Parlour - you can't miss it. I will bring you word as soon as I can!"

    As soon as Eilnda has bounded off the barge deck and out of earshot, Shalelu turns to the rest of you with a scowl, massaging the back of her neck as she grumbles in a weary undertone. "Should I assume that our generous sponsor, that greasy tight-fisted moneybag, has conveniently neglected to mention to us certain facts about this... situation down here at the Ferry? I was under the impression that I was to merely escort you to the Fort as a condition for my access, and that you were to find out the reasons for the lack of communications from its commander - not help to solve this town's problems, and it sure sounds like there are very many problems indeed. "
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Miraqariftsky's Avatar

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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Previously...

    "Hold yer horses..." said Rico, every joint and crease still splartch-ing, every footstep stinking. She grabbed Red and Brin, then nodded at Naya, "...now, please? Efficiency, eh?"

    "HMMMMMMM." The cleaning done, she took the tin cup and slurps with an appreciative rumble.

    ~~~~

    As they journeyed, something had been niggling at the constable's consciousness. At first, she couldn't quite put a finger on it. But after that long and in such close quarters, she eventually realized...

    Have I gotten TOO used to Hellgirl's naked antics? Heck, have WE?

    Summin' CAN still be done about Naya, though. An' pretty sure she ain't got no curse ta worry 'bout. The way these folk be lookin', summin' tells me they won't be quite so kind on such shenanigans.


    Having little patience to go beating around bushes... her bush doesn't seem so bad, th--- She snarled, then snorted as she resolutely stomped over to her backpack. Then paused in thought as she considered...

    ...and strode over to their resident sorceress and gave her a folded stack containing a white cotton undertunic, a black leather knee-length pleated skirt and a leather jacket whose red is so weathered it has faded into an exhausted shade of pink.

    "Wot? TAKE DEM. Repay if ye feel ye need ta, but take 'em. Not just fer personal-practical stuff. Ye couldn't feel da vibe o' these folk? Ye think we be havin' an' easy time houndin' down leads iffen they're jaw-waggin' an' brow-wankin' about ye? Dem's decent quality clothes, don't worry. Sorry dey ain't fashizzable, but wot works, works."

    Presently...

    A huge chunk of traveller's cheese happens to be stuck in the orcblood's mouth as they arrive. Unfortunate as this may be for meeting new people, and in a diplomatic capacity at that, she has no choice but to tug and chew and tug and chew.

    But as she listens to the tidbits from the locals, even as tidbits of brown and yellow flakes fall across the front of her coat, her constable's sense pricks to something afoot. Leaving the chunk of cheese in her mouth, she whips out her trusty logbook... seventh volume, now... and sets to taking fastidious notes.
    Last edited by Miraqariftsky; 2016-11-25 at 01:51 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    [ooc]OK then, a slight retcon to the meeting the natives scene[/ooc]

    Naya

    On the boat


    "Well, if you insist, miss Rico..." the sylph sighs, "I don't want to cause problems, just... doing what I like, when I can..."

    ***

    In the town

    "It... it seems there was quite a lot Lord-Mayor neglected to mention, miss Eilnda*", Naya nods, leaping off the barge to the shore, "But maybe you could tell us a bit... more? I mean... I understand rain, and missing hunters, and patrols, and ogres, but - Paradise? Drowning in the lake? What do you mean?"
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  8. - Top - End - #98
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Red

    "T-the problems. M-maybe... it is because... the B-black Arrows aren't h-here."

    Red couldn't tell if she was stuttering as usual or because of how hard she was shivering under her cloak. She'd spent so long down in the flatlands - years, in fact - that she'd forgotten how bitterly cold the temperatures could get up in the mountains even without rain. And after all those years in the monastery too - whatever would Rathi have said? First thing tomorrow, she was going to find whichever store in this place sold warmer clothing and buy up all the woollen things it had.

    *****

    GM post

    "Yes, Red. That might just be it. If the Black Arrows aren't doing their job, then I'm not surprised that there would be all sorts of mischief happening up here. Now I highly doubt there's actually a dragon roaming about. If there was, the Ferry would have been razed to the ground by now, not a soul left - this is a fact, I know it to be true. But this Eilnda mentioned ogres..." Shalelu's voice drops to a worried murmur as she rubs her chin, her green eyes flashing cat-like in the twilight gloom. "Damn it all. Ameiko would've said I jinxed things by thinking that bigfolk had come out to play."

    "Still. Standing about here in the cold and rain won't help us find out what happened to those rangers. Let's go find some hot grub and a dry bed, shall we?"

    *****

    Whether out of a firm intention to avoid the sylph who had offended her eyes or because of the pace she was moving at, Eilnda doesn't seem to hear Naya's question. If anything, the young woman quickens her pace, splashing through wide puddles on a dirt path as she runs towards a large stone building, endowed with what seems to be a three-storied bell-tower, that perches on the very edge of the shore.

    Fortunately, the dock carriers, already busy with unloading various bales and crates from the barge, remain within earshot. The nearest one - a burly man with a fiercely bristling moustache - wipes the rain-water dripping from his nose and jerks his stubbled chin gruffly in Naya's direction. "Paradise, lil' missy. She'd be wot you'd call, eh - pleasure boat. For drinks an' cards an' dice rolling. Sank not two weeks ago, middle of the night. Took two dozen souls down with her an' good riddance to bad rubbish. Old Deadeye's judgment, I tell yer, for their sinful city ways. We're a respectable folk, down here at the Ferry." He nods meaningfully at her over his armful of bulging sackcloth and netting, staring at her with baleful blue eyes before turning away and stumping off to the other side of the jetty.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Rico scowls into the rainy night as stray droplets find the edges of her logbook. She tucks it away quickly, ensconced in the depths of her greatcoat.

    Spotting Red's discomfort, without thinking, she pops her hat off and slaps it onto her friend's head. Just as swiftly, she dons her old kettle hat helmet which had long lain just hanging by its straps off her neck. Her ears flick as she rumbles through a shiver.

    Huh. It IS cold. Well. Shouldn't be much worse'n a storm at sea, eh?

    She stares at Shalelu and snorts, then shakes her head slowly as she says. "Jinx? Don't let your imagination undermine your spirit, ma'am. Do wot we can. Let the evidence speak..."

    Then she coughs as she continues in a whisper. "...an' as of now, though as yet incohclosiff, de evidence IS pointin' THATTAWAY, izzennit?"

    Agreeing with the needs of simplicity, she follows them towards the Turtle's Parlour, then shortens her pace just enough to slip the Fist of Fox more securely beneath her cloak. Much as she is loathe to cover the Caydenite sigil on her shield, every bit of goodwill needs to be marshalled with these villagers.

    Still, within the shadow of her helm, she scowls deeply. Those suspected deaths... and THAT MANY... no matter the drinking or the whoring, those were still LIVES, they were PEOPLE, you arrogant git.

    There's sumfink fishy goin' on 'ere... An' it ain't just yer garden variety disagreemefying.


    She reaches out puts a hand on Naya's shoulder, heavy yet not hammering. A brief squeeze, to console and steady her...

    ...then she taps Red and Shalelu's hands, points at her eyes, swirls a finger about. "Watch out.", she mouths.

    And then she stops in her tracks as she spots Eilnda popping off towards...
    ...a belltower.

    Acolyte to Father Shreed, she said. Innocent? Nualia was ALL KINDS OF... INNOCENT. And a BELLTOWER! Then again, not all belltowers are evil. But bears investigating, this.

    She corrects herself, and continues heading towards the Turtle's Parlour.
    Last edited by Miraqariftsky; 2016-11-27 at 12:43 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    One could say what they wanted about Setsuna's fiendish heritage, but it did come with certain perks, one of which being her usual perkiness being entirely undiminished by the chilly rain that seemed to keep everyone else gloomy. It was, after all, just a little water and for her, not the slightest bit cold. Not, of course, that it made the idea of a warm meal and bed any less comforting as she nods her head in agreement with Shalelu.

    News of two dozen deaths on a pleasure boat, however, dampen her spirits a little. But it was some time ago, and Setsuna quickly returns to normal, realizing that there's nothing that could've been done, even if she'd been here. Accidents happen, after all. Still, she turns to the dock worker as Elinda storms off. He may say he's glad that they died, but still she says, "I am sorry for your loss."

    On the way to Turtle's Parlor, however, she turns to Shalelu, "The Lord-Mayor did not tell us of anything noteworthy happening here either, but since we are here we should help them as best we can. We can not help with drowned people, and my magic can not control the weather, but we can try to find these missing hunters after we figure out if the Fort is safe...but since we have to wait, can you tell me what you know about these 'Black Arrows' that also seem to be missing? If they were keeping this area safe why would they leave?"
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Brin

    Few investments in Brin's life--long or short, depending on whether you used a human or elven perspective to measure it--had paid off as handsomely as the magic jug of nigh-inexhaustible spirits she'd managed to pick up in one of Magnimar's more sordid quarters. The incredible container had not only furnished an ample supply of accelerant for properly disposing of the half-digested giant's hand, it had lubricated the entire voyage in a manner most agreeable. Why the trip passed so quickly that it seems but a blur in Brin's memory, and the replenished brew works its magic even now, numbing her to the chill downpour and taking the edge off the fresh pile of roadblocks thrown up immediately upon arrival in Turtleback Ferry.

    Indeed, the divine elixir is such a balm upon the sting of ill-news as to utterly inure Brin against all disappointment as she listens to the litany of misfortunes befalling the town. Or possibly she's too busy struggling to suppress her lunch's latest bid for freedom to comment until the cadre is already marching towards the Turtle's Parlour.

    "Don'na let 'em get to yuh, Naya." Brin claps a supportive hand on the sylph's hand-me-down covered shoulder as she stumbles along--a gesture that is entirely a show of comradely support and absolutely not designed to counter a momentary bout of dizziness. "Bet therez pleny o' people wot enjoyed the view since their floatin' den o' ineq...uh...inde...er...sin sank. Prolly all backed up since the tragurdy. Wuz a pubic service, I say! Public, even!" She nods, quite convinced by her own argument, then glances sidelong back at the puritanical old dock-hand. "'E's juss bittered by a slack yardarm. Too blinded by hissown sad droop to care fer the sorry plight of dead or the hor...uh...ran...eh...concupiscent."

    She gives Naya a friendly shake--almost assuredly not the result of an inebriated stumble--then turns to the serious matters at hand. "Prolly all connectered. The missin' patrol, hunters, silence from them Arrows.... Not like to be coin-incidents. 'Specially not wit the letter we found." She states the obvious. "An thuh 'Paradise'...a boat o' greedy souls. Greedy." She nods sagely, sure the others have made the same connection. But they hadn't been blessed with the jug's insights, so Brin decides to spell it out. "Just like Lord Fox-rot an' the Snake Lady wuz collecting."
    Last edited by Bhaakon; 2016-11-29 at 05:16 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Naya

    "But... that would mean Fort Rannick really have fallen, just as the letter promised it will?" Naya asks concernedly, "And... if Xanesha's sister operates in a similar way... it's not ogres that we should worry most about, is it? I mean, sure, they're tough and strong, but... they're also large, and, well, let's be honest, noticeable. But if there's a cult here... cultists might be just like regular people - right until the moment they try to kill us, or... something..." she sighs. "I don't think they'll wear something like those masks, would they? Not in public... public here won't let something like that slide, I suppose - they seem rather... stuck up", she smiles weakly, remembering the dock carrier's tirade aimed at the Paradise.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    There had been plenty of time on the barge journey to relate to Shalelu the more sensitive and sordid details of your self-appointed mission to pursue the possibility of Xanesha's corruption reaching all the way to this distant backwater village. (Even if the elf herself had merely cracked a bitter smile with no mirth when queried about her own reasons for paying the Black Arrows a visit.) And while any other person might have dismissed your group's concerns over the siphoning of souls for sin magic as little more than the chasing of wild-geese, Shalelu had actually been there - in the secret catacombs under the Sandpoint Glassworks and in the depths of the Thistletop goblin lair when you'd foiled the mad Nualia's plans - seen the runewell, witnessed Cipriano's brief but glorious return to life.

    Thus, at Brin's suggestion that the sinking of the Paradise boat might have been for the purpose of harvesting greedy souls, Shalelu is the first to nod her head in stern agreement. "I hate to say it, but once you've put it like that... Old Deadeye is stern and set in his ways, but blasting a gambling boat to the bottom of a lake is hardly his style. Whoever wrote that letter that you found is sure to be at the bottom of this. It's not going to make the people here too happy, but we're going to need to find out more about that boat and who ran it. Perhaps find the wreck, if we can. But no, Naya, I don't think it's cultists we've got here so far - seems like just good old fashioned devotees of Erastil who don't like city folk very much. Still, best to peek at that letter once we're in and dry. Might give us a clue on what we ought to keep an eye out for. Come now."

    It doesn't take long to gather your belongings, except for Brin, whose questionable sobriety combined with the swaying of a moored boat makes even walking about no mean feat. The trio of hunters have already departed, slidling off through the rain on their own errands. While the more polite of you remember to take the time to thank Captain Amin and his crew, the rest of you pace impatiently back and forth on the docks, more than eager to get out of the rain as quickly as you can. Not that this stops Shalelu from tarrying, shortening her strides in order to keep pace with Setsuna.

    "That's precisely the problem, Setsuna. The Black Arrows would never leave. They're honour bound to Magnimar and Old Deadeye to hold back the bigfolk from venturing beyond the Ferry and down to the plains. They're supposedly the most disciplined and deadly order of rangers in the entire Varisian south. Only the hardiest of peoples even make it into the ranks. For forty-five years, they've kept their oath. They wouldn't just up and leave. Leastways, I don't think they would... not unless something really bad had happened..."

    Sense Motive DC 14
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    Your ears prick up at a catch in Shalelu's voice as she wonders what might calamity have happened to the Black Arrows - a flicker of hesitation in her usual laconic manner. You hadn't picked it up earlier, but you sense that she's genuinely worried about what's going on with the rangers that she'd been warned not to trifle with.


    *****

    The common room of the Turtle's Parlour is long and drafty and smells vaguely of damp cabbages. But more importantly, it is dry, save for where muddy water pools at your feet as you shuffle in. A small fire burns sulkily in its grate against the far wall, where a large aged bullmastiff sprawled on a thread-bare rug gazes at you plaintively through its rheumy eyes, whining softly as you enter but otherwise making no effort to investigate your presence. Aside from the dog and the pot-bellied scowling Varisian in a greasy food-stained apron who immediately bustles in once the bell hanging over the entrance tinkles, there doesn't appear to be anyone else staying at the inn right now.

    "A fine guard you make, Chavia," grumbles the innkeeper, exposing scarlet chew-stained teeth as he wipes his hands on the front of his breeches, peering over his wiry moustache at all of you with a mixture of undisguised curiosity and hostility. "If you're lookin' to set for the night, it's five gold per head, two to a room. "

    Knowledge (local) DC 10
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    5 gp for a single person for a night is exorbitant, even in a place like this. It's way above the usual 2 gp you might expect to be charged for a simple room with a bed and a pot to piss in.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Brin

    There's some concern slipping into Shalelu's voice, a crack in the elf's pleasantly confident demeanor. Brin might feel a sick obligation to pick at it if she wasn't more concerned with the ground's repeated attempts to slip out from beneath her feet. Or if the Shalalu hadn't been so darned nice on the trip. At least Tall-adron had the good taste to act the part of the superior, know-it-all elven wizard. Needling Shalelu actually made Brin feel bad, which just made her more frustrated. But the jug helped wash that away.

    At least until she stumbles into the Turtle's Parlour, shakes the extra damp from her auburn mane like a soaked duck hound, and takes in the innkeeper's preposterous demand.

    "Manē khabara chē tamē mātra darēkanē apa ḍabala pān̄ca krā'una māṭē ēka sāthī pravāsī pūchō na hatī, tō tamē mākhaṇa cījavastu'ōnō nāśa karavō athavā tē lūṇṭī lēvī dēḍakō." She growls at the man. Unlike her Taldane, Brin's Varisian is nearly untouched by the fat-tongued accent of inebriation. Practice, no doubt. She reaches back into her pack and withdraws a package tightly wrapped in protective oilskins. Lovingly, she unwraps the carved hardwood box and lifts the lid, revealing her venerable set of harrow cards--about her only possession that was older than she was. "Huṁ jāṇuṁ chuṁ. Kēvī rītē huṁ mukta vān̄cana sāthē amārī rākhō cūkavē chē. Huṁ mahāna Zafira sauthī mōṭā putrī, badhā pachī chuṁ. Tē karatāṁ vadhu amārā rōkāṇa āvarī karīśuṁ."

    Brin leans in close, holding her left hand to her mouth as if to muffle a whisper, but the move really just displays her spiral palm tattoo to the greasy innkeep as she continues in the same raucously drunken tone. "Jōkē huṁ kadāca tamanē cētavaṇī jō'ī'ē, garama, śuṣka, sārī rītē mēḷavāya bhākhanārā'ō vadhu anukūḷa vān̄cana banāvavā māṭē hōya chē."

    Spoiler: In Common
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    "You didn't just ask a fellow traveler for five crowns apiece to double up, did you?"

    "I know. How about I pay our keep with a free reading. I'm the eldest daughter of the great Lady Zafira, after all. That should more than cover our stay."

    Though I should probably warn you, warm, dry, well-fed diviners tend to make more favorable readings.


    Spoiler: Rolls
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    Diplomacy! (1d20+8)[11]

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Naya, fumbling the Common Sense roll hard

    Having transitioned from decades in near poverty to a luxurious, though dangerous, life of adventurer way to fast, Naya never really learned the value of money, so the exorbitance of the sum requested goes right by her; not does she understand a word of Brin's outburst, Varisian not being among the languages she speaks even a bit of. So, missing the issue completely, she reaches into her trusty somewhat-bottomless sack and produced a trio of silvery-white coins without much care, looking at Shalelu as she does so. "That means something bad did happen, right, miss Shalelu? Perhaps we should go and see for ourselves... perhaps tomorrow? It's too late to go out today anyway, we won't reach anywhere before dark - and in this rain, it'll go dark early, too..."

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    3 platinums should cover our lodging with a bit extra
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

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    Orlandi's Knowledge (local) check: (1d20+7)[26] - ... well then!


    The innkeeper seems none too impressed by Brin's offer, nor by the potent mizzle of alcohol on her breath. Doing his best to lean out of the blast range of her mouth, he purses his lips together and makes a surreptitious fanning action, clearly agitated as he tries to think of how to politely deal with the crazy woman who seems intent on boastfully shoving the contents of her palm up his nostrils.

    "Ēka śakyatā vārtā. Grēṭa Zafira kēṭalāka ḍajhana varṣa māṭē mr̥ta gayēla chē, anē tē kō'ī ēka nānī parī hatī....Tamē dārūnā naśāmāṁ chē... Kr̥pā karīnē ēka bēṭhaka dharāvē chē. Huṁ tamārā sāthīdāra māṭē hājara rahēśē- Ah, now, the rest of you kind ladies. If y'all actually interested in the rooms, then perhaps..." At the sight of Naya's coinage though, the innkeeper's perturbed demeanour abruptly evaporates, shifting smoothly into a barker's practiced prattle as he bows low from the waist - a difficult task, given the size of his paunch. Now this was more familiar ground for him.

    "... why yes... then perhaps we could arrange... for one person to a room. More comfortable for ladies, aye? Hehe." Clearly pleased with this development, the innkeeper scratches his nose and gestures at the empty chairs around the room. "Ain't like there's other folks to crowd the halls up these days. Come, lay down your loads. I'll get my boys to heat up the water and get your rooms ready. Lysan! Noramos!"

    Having paused to observe the negotiations with some amusement, Shalelu clears her throat as the innkeeper scurries about in his element, hollering at his hired help and barking at someone in the back room to find some clean sheets with all the haughty command of a little emperor.

    "Yes, Naya. Something bad has quite likely happened. It's too dark to venture out into the woods now, but perhaps a visit to Mayor Shreed would enlighten us. Or a visit to the tavern - assuming they have one of those in here." The elf frowns at the thin layer of dust on the table, drawing a finger through it and examining the accumulation of grey fluff. "I'm not much for drinking though. What say the rest of you?"

    Spoiler: Translation (from Varisian)
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    *A likely tale. Lady Zafira has been dead for several dozen years, and she was no elf... You are drunk... Please have a seat. I shall attend to your companions.
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    The innkeeper's fee seemed a little steep, even to her, but Naya didn't seem to object to it so Setsuna said nothing as the others sorted out sleeping arrangements. She had, after all, slept in the cold and the rain before, so whatever they ended up settling on here was going to be good enough. Instead, her attention was focused on the elven ranger, I do not think she was this concerned even when we were attacking Thistletop...

    Still, the tiefling nods her head at the suggestion of visiting the mayor and the tavern. She didn't use to drink very much, but prolonged exposure to Rico and her go-to solution of brandy had given the Minkan princess a newfound appreciation for the state of inebriation that Brin seemed born into. That didn't mean she wasn't at least a little aware of its effects on her though, "We should talk to the mayor first. We did not make a good first impression already, it would not do to meet him after going to the tavern. And we will find out what happened to the Black Arrows and make sure they are okay," she says, trying to be reassuring.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Naya

    "I don't drink myself", Naya nods,
    "It's too embarrassing, when people see me drunk... I act like an idiot... anyway, yes, we probably should meet Mayor... wait... Mayor? Miss Eilnda called him Father Shreed, didn't she? I thought he was, a local priest, or something like that?"
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  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    "I wuz adoptered..." Brin mutters sulkily as she wraps her cards back up in her oilskin. But she knows better to keep arguing with the group getting what she wanted.

    Mention of polling the patrons at the local watering whole does grab Brin's attention, though. The magic jug was indeed wondrous, but variety, it was said, is the mulling spice of life. Or something like that. "Yar. Where ish this tavern?" She asks slyly. "Perhapsh I might put my ears to the bar. Or the floor. Er...whatevers."

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Red

    Red gazes first at the mastiff drooling on the rug, then up at the others as she shifts her armful of harpoons, easing herself onto the nearest stool. Perhaps some of the villagers would know where these weapons had come from, if there were many bigfolk up here.

    "...I w-will drink. To Mister Cayden. For g-getting us safely here. But we should... see the mayor first," she informs the others solemnly. Looking down at her knees, she gently rubs her hands over the damp fabric, smoothing away beads of water. "T-the mayor... maybe he is also... a priest. In a v-village. It is... common."
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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    "Yeah, itsh more likely than yuh think." Brin slurs, nodding her agreement. "Lotsha moral authority, donashuns to skim, unscrup...er...dishon...uh...crooked use o' their god's gifts." She clucks her tongue with reproach. Temple-bound clergy always seemed to wallow in luxury and collect corruption like an oenophiles collects vintages. Not nearly as trustworthy as a fine, upstanding itinerant holy-woman. There was a limit to how much you could gouge folk when you had to carry your wealth around from town to town. Well, unless you could afford certain transportation magics, like Brin could. But she didn't use her wealth to buy a mayorship, did she?

    "OK, letsh see this mayor for ourselves, then. Then thuh tavern."

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    Your rooms at the Turtle's Parlour, blatantly overpriced as they are, turn out to be more than halfway decent considering that you're over 50 miles to the nearest city. The bedding is woven from rough, undyed wool and your sunken straw pallet has seen better days, but the bed itself is warm and dry. The chamber pots are covered, the water in the copper washing basins looks fresh, and there's even a little earthenware jar on the table filled with what smells like dried tea leaves. If this generosity extends past your first night, perhaps staying here might not be so painful after all.

    Eilnda, oddly enough for all her haste, hasn't returned to take you to see the mayor. In which case, taking yourselves to see him remains the better option. Leaving your superfluous belongings in the rooms and donning your still-damp cloaks, you trudge back out into the rain and head for the tall building with the belltower that you had seen Eilnda run towards.

    The innkeeper's promise of a hot bath upon your return does little to increase your enthusiasm for heading back outside. With nightfall, the rain seems to have intensified, falling in shimmering sheets of silver that bead down the peak of your hoods and churn the dirt path beneath your boots to sloshing mud. To your left, the waters of Claybottom Lake lap hungrily against the dock, almost invisible in the moonless night. The few locals whom you encounter cast curious glances your way but otherwise seem loathe to linger out in the cold. Nor does the distant haunting cries of wolves somewhere in the forests around encourage them to, as they make a beeline for the glowing lanterns of a squat two-storied stone house just next to the inn that you presume must be the village watering hole.

    You squelch through the mud to arrive at the building with the belltower - a large lodge built of interlocking timber logs, with a massive rack of white antlers from what must have been some giant-sized deer on proud display over the front doors.

    "That's an Erastili lodge all right," murmurs Shalelu, squinting up at the antlers as she shades her eyes from the rain. "Let's go find our mayor then."

    Your knocks at the door go unanswered, so the bolder among you see fit to let yourselves in. Peering into the room beyond, the reason for Eilnda's delay becomes apparent - on the floor lies a crumpled and unconscious figure, several tattered and bloody makeshift bandages wound haphazardly around his head and chest. While the woman in a dripping rain cloak hovering anxiously by his feet looks up sharply at your arrival, Eilnda and the greying, hatchet-faced forester who are busy attending to him do not. Between the flickering light of the smoking torch held by the woman and the stronger glow of a light spell emanating from a leather wrapped quarterstaff held by the old forester, the shadows in the room dance and play on the high ceiling overhead.

    As the old forester presses a bony thumb against a hollow in the man's shoulder and grimly presses a palm against a dressing through which dark scarlet seeps, Eilnda looks up and spots your group.

    "Well don't just bloody stand there. If any of you know the art of healing, do something!
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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Slow to process the scene while intoxicate, Brin gapes at the wounded man until Elinda's reproachful order snaps her from her stupor. "Wots thish, the Lord Mayor too busy?" She mutters as she marches forward. "Well, the Lady o' Graves will handle it, then. Take yur bandages off sho I can take a look afore the healing." She says, and examines the man as quickly as she can before beseeching Pharasma to close them.

    "Mother o' Shoals, shave this man!" She beseeches. When nothing happens immediately, Brin enunciates slowly and more clearly. "Er...heal him Pharasma. If it's not too much trouble. Please." Finally the wounds begin to knit, and Brin lets out a sigh of relief. Or possibly a noxious belch. Or both.

    "What did thish?" She asks once the man is out of danger.

    Spoiler
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    Heal check to figure out what caused the damage: (1d20+10)[17]

    Channel: (4d6)[10]

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    With the rain being less of a detriment to her than the others, Setsuna has the ability to look a little more sullen at the sight of the antlers. It's not as though there was anything wrong with hunting, but even from just the trophy it left she can tell that it must've been a beautiful beast and is sad to see it dead. But there are more pressing matters, like the injured and dying man on the floor as they enter the room.

    Immediately putting a hand to Maethilur's hilt, Setsuna scans the area, looking for anything that might help as Brin moves to perform healing magics. "What happened?"

    Spoiler
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    Perception (1d20+5)[6]
    Sense Motive (1d20+10)[20] on whatever gets said
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  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Naya

    Naya, conjuring - almost instinctively - glowing nodes, sends them towards the wounded man; from her experience, several lights able to move about often provide better illumination than a single, even brighter, light source, not to mention deal away with the shadows. Unfortunately, there's little she can aid the wounded man - Major? - with, so, trusting Brin to do what's needed, she looks around. "When did this happen? Who..." no, if anyone saw it's happening, there'd be much more activity.

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    (1d20)[5]
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  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Occupied once again with another hunk of traveller's cheese
    And another round of furious note-taking,
    Rico was too slow to sally
    To the questioning
    And the haggling
    Asmodeus' arse, HWAT? That don't seem wise, AT ALL. Hey, hey! Why you not think of security? One person to a room? That's asking to be stabbed in the night!

    At Brin's antics,
    A nigglement of doubt
    Worries behind the constable's eyes
    Holy crap. Was I... THAT BAD... back when I was drinking?

    Presently, with glowering gaze, she leads the way
    No wolf cry nor night cold nor storm's bite
    To hold her from the scent
    Of deviltry afoot

    She casts her glare at windows and walls and doors
    Across the floor and even the eaves and rafters
    And onto the people within and upon
    The bloodied waylaid old man

    Bugger this long spear. Tsk!
    Shield now bared, and hand on hilt, she squats by
    As Brin sets to her work, and then grimaces to her her so...
    ...reaches into a pouch for some ginger, in her fist crushes it ungingerly
    And hands the sudden pungent mash to the plastered priestess
    And whispers into her knifely ears,
    "Breathe this. Please."

    Spoiler
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    ALSO! IS THE BLOOD GREEN?

    Heal! (1d20+10)[12] Wot did this?
    Perception! (1d20+13)[21] Is there anything amiss in the surroundings?
    Sense Motive! (1d20+9)[11] Is there anything amiss with wot they're saying?

    EDIT:
    Frak.
    Well...
    Add #1 and #3 to the lot of Aid Anothers to whoever's getting good in those rolls.
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  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Red

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    Heal: (1d20+2)[19]
    Perception: (1d20+12)[28]
    Sense Motive: (1d20+9)[16]


    Narrowing her eyes at the sight of the mangled man on the floor, Red edges as close as she dares to the knot of people working frantically over him, drawn by curiosity as much as pity.

    Those were horrific cuts the man had. So deep. So many. But not by a blade. And Red had seen more than her fair share of brawls and fights. Even taken part in a few of them with Rico. She could probably tell the difference between a wound from a broken glass bottle and a sword and a...

    "... Small anchor. Or big hook. See... the cuts are... short. Deep. Then... not so deep. And the hole... is like..." Unable to think of the right word, Red tugs at Brin's sleeve, then crooks her finger while scratching on the palm of her other hand.

    *****

    GM post

    Heal DC 14
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    With the man's bandages off, you behold several ragged and frightfully deep but short slashes crossing his torso and arms, as well as two large puncture holes at his shoulder and back. Based on the semi-clotted appearance of his wounds, you might estimate that he was wounded a few days ago, though rainwater and perhaps exertion seems to have reopened several of them.

    It looks like these wounds were caused by some serrated cutting implement wielded with great force - like a sickle. That, however, does not explain the peculiar width and length of the slashes, nor the punctures gouged in the man's shoulder and back, which are raw and split at the curve of the hole closer to the man's head. You've only seen wounds like this in one place before - at the markets, on the body parts of pigs and cows and goats, skewered and hung up for display by the butcher on the shop window...


    Perception DC 12
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    The woman in the cloak seems to be a fisherfolk of some sort, based on the tanned leather of her face and the reek of fish offal that reeks from her cloth even when wet. The extra light from Naya's spell also throws the dark splotches on her cloak into sharper relief - it would seem that she is the one who must have gotten the injured man to the lodge.

    The man's blood, perhaps to Rico's relief, seems to be of the normal dark red colour.

    The old forester seems to have only recently come in from the rain as well, based on the spreading puddle of muddy water under his knees and the droplets of rain clinging to his moustache.

    Perception DC 16
    Spoiler
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    As the old forester works to remove the injured man's bandages, you spot the gleam of a tarnished gold chain with angular links from under the collar of his tunic - an clear badge of office in a backwater like this. This man, despite his unkempt and grizzled appearance, is probably the mayor that you have come to see.



    "Young lady has the right of it. Them's hook wounds - ogre hooks. Like your regular fish hooks but made-a stone or bone and sized for bigfolk to snag and carve up whate'er catches their fancy. Usually 'nother ogre, but they use 'em on raids and human hunts too. Just like poor Emon here."

    The old forester coughs hoarsely into his sleeve, wiping his sodden whiskers with the back of his hand. He glares up at you with eyes of such piercing blue that they remind you of the sapphires you'd seen on Fat Gorby's rings only several days ago, looking you up and down critically.

    "So you're the team from Magnimar, eh. Just as well they sent a healer. Too many folk turning up half-dead these days, with the bigfolk gettin' onery. Nevermind all the sickness from the rains come early this year. You sure took your time coming, didn't you?"

    As for Emon, once Brin has channeled the healing touch of Pharasma, he groans and stirs, clearly still very much in agony even though he is no longer bleeding to death. Cracking open bloodshot eyes, he blinks and tries to take in his surroundings, his voice a mere croak. "Wha... Where 'm I?"

    "Home and snug, old friend." The woman in the rain cloak nods in grim relief, tapping her forehead with thumb and little finger extended - the horns of Old Deadeye. "Found yer by the path what leads to the Fort, crows landing on yer back. Fool lad, don't yer know better than to rile up the Grauls? Yer know they don't take kind to no one straying on their land."

    Sense Motive DC 14
    Spoiler
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    The old forester speaks with enough sincerity, though his demeanour be fierce and unwelcoming. You realise that this is likely because he is exhausted, based on the dark hollows under his eyes and the faint trembling of his limbs.
    Avatar by the awesome Strawberries.

    MINE:
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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

  28. - Top - End - #118
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    jamieth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    "We came as soon as Lord-Mayor authorized it", Naya protests, "And... you should take a rest now, sir. No need to worry about young Emon here... miss Brin would pull him from the very' death's door if needed. I can tell that from experience... we all can", the sylph smiles uneasily. "I can see you had a very hard time lately... but it won't do to push yourself any further."

    Spoiler
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    Diplomacy check to improve attitude:
    (1d20+5)[6]
    In case of failure by 5 or more, activating Amiable Blunder:
    (1d20+5)[14]
    (If first check fails by 5+, I reroll vs. same DC; on success, attitude doesn't change)
    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 - #119
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    "We wanted to be here weeks ago,"
    the tiefling protests, "but we can not change what happened." She looks relieved to see that Brin was able to alleviate the worst of the man's injuries but the relief is short lived when the old forester explains that this is far from uncommon. I've only heard about ogres, I didn't think they were truly this barbaric...

    Still, she turns her attention to the injured Emon, "Please, tell us what happened...it might not be related to why we are here, but if I can do something about what ever attacked you I will. This does not seem isolated." Belatedly she realizes that the others may not want to spend their time and energy monster hunting for the town, but it's just not in her to ignore this sort of trouble. I'll just handle it alone if necessary.

    Spoiler
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    Diplomacy to make up for Naya's blunder! (1d20+11)[15]
    Lilith Avatar by AsteriskAmp

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    . . . . . .
    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Denial

    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    The old forester merely snorts loudly in response to Naya's overture, though Setsuna's promise to do something about the situation elicits a smirk beneath his bristling whiskers as he gives a sharp tap to the side of his forehead. "Think. Think with your noggin, girl, not your arse. 'tis exactly why we sent for help. We ain't heard naught from the rangers up at Rannick for weeks. Well - clearly, the bigfolk haven't either. Emboldened, that's what. A-roaming outta their dens and indulging 'emselves on whatever humans they can get their bloody big paws on. Whether that's killing or raiding or raping."

    At this, the old forester pauses and shoots Emon a dark glance. Emon, for his part, manages a weak shake of the head, rasping hoarsely. "Naw, father. Got lucky. It was just one of the Graul boys, not their mammy. Hurk- Wanted the spoils of my trap - had myself a brace of fat conies... tried to run, but he hooked me good an' prop-"

    As Emon is interrupted by a bout of harsh coughing and the woman moves to pat his back, Eilnda nods grimly at Setsuna and the rest of you. "We'd gotten up a little town patrol of our own, see. To help keep a lookout with no word from the rangers and every group we'd sent up to the Fort gone missing. Bethi's one of our finest fishers and trackers. Old Deadeye must've guided her steps to find Emon here - he'd not come back from checking his traps and his poor mother was convinced he'd been caught and eaten. If not by wolves, then by bigfolk. Either those damn Graul half-breeds or the Kreegs up in the mountain... they'd never dare do this if them bloody rangers would just show up!" Eilnda's voice breaks as her nervousness asserts itself, clenching her fists and grinding her teeth.
    Avatar by the awesome Strawberries.

    MINE:
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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

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