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  1. - Top - End - #181
    Titan in the Playground
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    Apr 2011

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

    "Well, there are some spells I could ask the Lady for, but they really only work if I have a suspect who I can actually look at." Brin sputters her lips in frustration. "Maybe if we just start removing those marks from people, she'll show herself? But I don't know any magic that can do that easily--not without cutting them out and healing the damage, but even then I'm not sure. Erm...has anyone new showed up in town since the sinking? Other than us, I mean?" She asks Orlandi.

    Then inspiration hits. "That man I healed last night...did he have the mark, too? My memory is a touch fuzzy for some reason."
    Take a deep breath.
    Take a step back.
    And wonder how you can make it funnier.
    -Ilorin Lorati

  2. - Top - End - #182
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    Setsuna


    Kiani's brow furrows in annoyance at Setsuna keeps up the attempt to drag her out of bed. Scowling, she pulls the blanket that the tiefling has recently vacated over her shoulders and wriggles under, clearly determined not to move anywhere for the moment.

    "Darling - no. I don't actually have to go with you just because you say so." The barkeep's voice is kinder this time, though the rough edge of impatience remains as she narrows her eyes at Setsuna. Even now, the tiefling cannot help but notice the Varisian woman's beauty - the regal tilt of her jaw, the intoxicating simmer of her eyes. "You're here to find a lamia that nobody's seen, fine. Go do that. I'm here to earn some coin at the bar. Let me do that. If a funny cult person jumps out and tries to kill me, I'll be sure to stick 'em in the craw first. But I'm staying right here."

    Sense Motive DC 13
    Spoiler
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    She's not saying so directly, but your gut tells you that Kiani doesn't particularly buy the part of your story that there's a lamia in town. Nor does she seem the type who would volunteer to do something about it even if it were true, if the past minute or so has been any indication.


    *****

    Red

    When Brin mentions the man from last night, Red touches the side of her head, eyes squeezed tight as she tries - and fails - to recall what she'd seen amidst all that blood in the dark. They hadn't been looking for a tattoo last night, after all.

    Shaking her head, she glances sidelong at Brin and reaches for another trout cake. Best to eat up, it sounded like this was going to be a long day as well. "No... I did not see. B-but... his wounds. They w-were not... like the ones in Sandpoint."

    *****

    Everyone else

    By now, Orlandi has begun to pick up the gist of what you are all talking about and is clearly rattled by what he hears.

    "Wh- How d'you mean by sacrifices? What cult? Do you mean that bloody woman ain't dead at the bottom of the lake with the fishes gnawing on her eyes?" Orlandi's pudgy face turns a distinct shade paler as he totters for the nearest chair, one hand unconsciously reaching for the spot on his hip where Noman and Red had spied the tattoo. Pulling out his dirty rag once more, the innkeeper mops his brow, glances down at the damp spot of perspiration, then anxiously back up at the rest of you.

    "Um. No. Nobody new in the Ferry, at least. Last person before you lot would've been Kiani, I guess. That's Yads's barkeep - he picked her up from her papa's caravan 'bout two, three weeks before the Paradise went down." Worry had deflated most of Orlandi's bluster. Wringing his hands, he blinks, then ventures a hopeful smile. "I don't suppose... you could get rid of the er- ink with a spell or sorts? I could pay for that..."

    It is at this moment that the door of the inn creaks open and Shalelu trudges back in, her boots caked with fresh mud, eagle feathers in her air askew from the wind, her cheeks ruddy from cold air. The elf arcs a slim brow in mild confusion at the scene before her - breakfast going cold on the table, the innkeeper slumped in a chair and looking worse for the wear, a scruffy newcomer who smelled strongly of wet dog, and the rest of you looking a little grim.

    "I was going to say that I'd been around the forest edge of the village and I'd met the tracker from last night - Bethi. She's pointed out the shortest way to the Fort. Said we ought to call on the Father right away for the map he promised. But... you all look like breakfast just curdled in your bellies. What's happened? And who's this?" She nods politely in Noman's direction, one hand resting casually on the leather-wrapped hilt of the shortsword at her hip.
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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

  3. - Top - End - #183
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Noman

    Noman eyes the elf, for a second his gaze taking a frightful intensity

    Spoiler: Perception
    Show
    Perception (1d20+18)[25]


    He then continues breakfast. As he chews, he says

    "This is the ranger? And she has feathers in her head. I am Noman. I came because I was asked to come. Now, are we going to the ship or moving on? It seems the ship is right in our doorsteps, but it will be here afterwards too. Does anyone know any tricks to help someone dive or breathe underwater? I am a fair swimmer but arrows do not work very well underwater."

  4. - Top - End - #184
    Titan in the Playground
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    Feb 2010

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

    Setsuna

    "You can not---it is--" Groaning, but at Kiani's stubborn refusal to come with her and at the pain flaring in between her eyes, the naked tiefling is exasperated, "Fine! I will prove it! Just keep yourself safe!"

    Even Setsuna could see she wasn't going to get anywhere in her state. Hangovers weren't something she was accustomed to dealing with, nor lover's quarrels though one would be hard pressed to refer to what was happening as such, but she could still recognize when her words were being written off. In a whirlwind of cloth and steel the tiefling quickly redresses as best she can and nearly walks into the door before stopping in time.

    "Please stay safe, we need to talk," she says before darting out the door and moves to try and track down the others, blushing as she realizes she's going to have to explain where she was last night.

    It is late...maybe the bar? Someone there must have seen them at least.
    Lilith Avatar by AsteriskAmp

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

  5. - Top - End - #185
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    Noman's Perception Check

    Spoiler
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    There is little about this elf that escapes your eye. She is young in the eyes of her people and comely enough despite the flint-like set of her face. This is one who is no stranger to hardship, for her leathers are worn, the pommel and cross-guard of her sword nicked and scratched, a visible callus on her palm. She's had martial training for sure, if the pride in her stride and smooth concert of muscle under her muddied cloak is any indication. Definitely someone who'd be good to have at your side in a fight, rather than to have her coming at your throat instead.

    She's probably telling the truth about where she's been, given the grass seeds caught in the threads of her cloak and the faint scent of damp earth on her person. (You do wonder about the bow over her shoulder though - it's immaculately cared for, to be certain, but is of much more intricate make and quality than you'd expect to see on an itinerant elf wanderer. It's probably an heirloom of some sort.)


    "Aye, I am the ranger. The feathers are to honour my mother." Shalelu says with a solemn voice, giving Noman a hard, questioning look of her own. Apparently deciding that he can't be of harm if none of you are objecting to his presence, she turns her attention to Orlandi, whose smile seems to have frozen in place.

    "Good sir, a cup of hot tea and some more bread would not go amiss. Nor would you find me ungrateful if there was honey to go with it."

    Shalelu presses two coppers into the innkeeper's doughy palm and gently but firmly nods towards the kitchen. Taking the hint, Orlandi lumbers to his feet and scurries off, his brow still knitted with worry. Once he is gone, Shalelu turns to the rest of you once more. "Ought I presume that there have been, to borrow a phrase from our good constable, developments on our situation?"

    *****

    Setsuna

    Setsuna gets little more than a muffled grunt by way of farewell as Kiani takes the opportunity to burrow back grumpily beneath the covers, not bothering to get up to lock the door even as the tiefling tries (and fails) to shut it quietly behind her.

    It is not as late as the tiefling believes it to be. Upon staggering down a short corridor and shoving open another heavy door, Setsuna finds herself at the top of a short flight of stairs, leading down to what would seem to be the backyard of the Bottoms Up tavern. The rain, thankfully enough, has stopped, and the chill of the bracing autumn air helps a little to clear the throbbing fog in her head. Aside from a shaggy hunting dog with a thick chain collar about its neck, guarding a door of a stores shed, there is nobody here to behold her emergence from her night of decadence.

    The inn is just over there. A hundred paces to your right. In case you'd forgotten from last night. Maethilur adds, somewhat tersely.
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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

  6. - Top - End - #186
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    jamieth's Avatar

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

    "There were, miss Shalelu", Naya nods, "We... know why the barge sank. But... it doesn't explain the thing about the rangers at all, and... and we might not have much time... I... don't know. The Fort, and the Lamia - they're both important, but... we can't split our strength. If she's anything like Xanesha... we'll need all out strength to face her. Can't allow anyone else to be turned to stone or... worse... or..." she blinks, "Wait... the last newcomer to the town was that barkeep Miss Setsuna went with?" the sylph jumps up and hurries towards the door, "We have to warn Miss Setsuna!"
    Last edited by jamieth; 2017-01-21 at 12:40 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 :-)

    Extended signature

  7. - Top - End - #187
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

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

    Setsuna

    Frowning, at the air given the difficulty one has when attempting to frown at a sheathed sword at your own waist, Setsuna tries to respond but her words catch in her throat every time. Eventually, she manages to eek out, "I...did not mean for this to happen...and I did not know that alcohol dulled our connection..." It's not an apology, or even an excuse, really, but it's all she can say.

    But there are more important things to deal with. Romantic prospects would have to wait until Xanesha's sister was slain, and so Setsuna swiftly made her way back to the tavern to look for her companions. Luckily, they were easy to spot and Shalelu had just dealt with the potential eavesdropper, so the tiefling wastes no time in delivering her news, "We have a problem! Kiani--I mean, the bartender last night, she has a tattoo of the Sihedron...I think she is in danger, but she will not listen to me."

    Spoiler
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    It probably won't take much of a sense motive check to notice that she seems confused and that any jumpiness or eagerness to act is likely just her trying not to think about something.
    Lilith Avatar by AsteriskAmp

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

  8. - Top - End - #188
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    jamieth's Avatar

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

    Naya

    "We know, Miss Setsuna", Naya lets out an obvious sign of relief seeing the tiefling alive and well, "Those tatoos, they were a mark of a regular at the Paradise... a special customer", she quickly adds before Red would correct her again. "We... think that Lucretia sunk her own boat... and no one knows where is she now... and what she looks like. I... was going to go look for you... I suspected Kiani might be Lucretia. She... she's the only stranger in town, besides us..."
    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 :-)

    Extended signature

  9. - Top - End - #189
    Titan in the Playground
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    Apr 2011

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

    "Lady bless my eyes, that I may see clearly." Brin looks hard at Setsuna, one eye wide and the other squinting as if that would somehow give her a better view of any lingering auras of enchantment. "You don't feel confused, do you? Like, um...your memories don't add up? Something like that? We know that Xanesha wasn't above using charms, magical and otherwise to get the upper hand."

    Then she remembers, and glances away quickly. "But I don't need to tell you that. We should see Kiani first, before we do anything else."

    Even, sadly, finish breakfast. Brin stands up from the table, favoring her half-eating plate with the mournful stare of a soldier marching away from a young family she'll never see again. Sighing out the whimper of a hungover sailor leaving port on a dry ship--doomed to months at sea without a tipple stronger than stale cask water--as she takes the first step from her morning meal.

    She reaches back and snags a pair of trout cakes for the road.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Detect magic on Setsuna, just in case...
    Take a deep breath.
    Take a step back.
    And wonder how you can make it funnier.
    -Ilorin Lorati

  10. - Top - End - #190
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Nov 2012
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    Denial

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

    GM post / Red

    Brin's Detect Magic
    Spoiler
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    You do not discern any traces of magical auras on Setsuna's person. If the tiefling has had any magic cast on her since last night, it was not of sufficient power to leave a lingering trace.


    It was pretty clear to Red where Setsuna had been last night. But she'd trashed all that out with Rico and she didn't intend to go back to that issue any more. Leaning forward, she tugged on Shalelu's sleeve, her voice low but urgent in its insistence. "The innkeep... he too, had a mark."

    "That so. This Lucrecia has certainly been around, it would seem. Especially if she's half as popular as what I've been hearing about. Bethi was telling me - hustlers, con-men, Sczarni looking to make a quick coin, all descending on the town and giving their little volunteer watch patrol groups a big headache. Even pulled up one or two gnomes from the Shimmerglens." Shalelu folds her arms and scowls, her jaw raised and thrust forward. "Bees to a honeypot, moths to a flame. I'll admit that I still don't understand all of this runewell and soul business, but I'm guessing if there was any intent to round up all the greedy bodies in the region... she got them all good, all right. But we don't have time for that now."

    Plucking forth the dirty rag that Rico had espied atop the war harpoon embedded in the turtle's side several days ago, Shalelu spreads it across the tabletop with her fingertips, as if afraid to dirty her hands. "We had a good talk last night, the mayor and I. Family business. As it turns out, he is also conversant in the Giant language and was able to tell me the meaning of this." She stabs a finger at the clumsily stitched rune in the centre. "Krig. It means to fight. It also happens to be the war-chant and banner of the Kreeg ogre clan that roams these parts. We already guessed that the bigfolk up here might be causing a ruckus if they were getting organised enough to set up a hunt on that scale. But Father Shreed agrees with me here - if the Kreegs have this banner out, the rangers aren't just silent - they might be as good as dead. Kreegs terrorised this region for years enough to have the forest named after them, before the Rannick rangers pacified them for the past decade, and if the ogres are on the move, with even half-breeds like the Grauls feeling bold enough to start attacking villagers..."

    Shalelu pauses to let the implications of this sink in, before taking a quick glance in the direction of the kitchen to ensure that Orlandi hadn't returned yet. "Sihedron markings popping up around the town, it's a sure sign of Lucrecia's mischief, all right. But if we don't make contact with the Fort quickly and find out what happened, there might not be a town to defend at all. Because as good as we might be at fighting, there's no way the six- hm, seven of us can defend this Ferry against an all out assault from the biggest ogre clan in central Varisia. That's why I was out and about this morning. There's little more than a wooden palisade on the borders - a hungry bear could smash through it in minutes, never mind a horde of determined bigfolk with their hooks. When I spoke to Father Shreed, He agreed to do what he could to muster stronger patrols about the town. And for us, we need to get to that Fort - and hurry."

    *****

    It is now 1000hrs.

    There isn't much to do in the way of preparing to go to the Fort. A quick poke of your head out the door is sufficient to appraise you of the fact that there is but one general store and one smithy in the entire of Turtleback Ferry. And neither, if you judged by their ramshackle weathered exterior, would have anything in supply that you weren't already carrying or would be carrying anything worth your time to seek out and purchase right now.

    Orlandi the innkeeper does not object when those of you hungry enough to do so snag the breakfast leftovers for the road. Having scurried back in with Brin's requests, the man is too dejected and worried, on top of feeling guilty, to continue pestering you. Upon laying down his tray's contents, he slumps back into the kitchen, from where you hear the occasional clang of an iron pan and the odd heavy thump. (Anyone curious enough to sneak a peek through the swinging doors to the kitchen finds that the thumps are a result of Orlandi pressing his head against the wall in a theatrical gesture of despair - it's almost enough to make those of you annoyed with him for overcharging you feel a little twinge of empathy.)

    Once everyone is ready to hit the road, you emerge from the inn to find that the village has finally bestirred itself and risen to work. Out on Claybottom Lake, a cluster of small fishing boats bob up and down, while the bronze clang of a gong in the distance sends a turtleshell ferry boat with outriggers clamped to the shell scudding through the waves with firm, even oar-strokes. The streets remain mostly empty - anyone strong enough to work would be out in the forest or on the waters, after all - with only a tangle of young children playing a skipping game on the porch of the Bottoms Up tavern and some older villagers watching you carefully from the docks, passing a smoking corn-cob pipe between them.

    As you squelch your way down the muddy path that runs through the village, you have a surprise courier with the promised map of the land - Father Maelin Shreed himself. By daylight, he appears even more grizzled than ever, his eyes an unearthly shade of sapphire blue. Thrusting a crumpled roll of parchment at the nearest one of you, the old man grunts and gives an arthritic nod towards Brin. "Emon's doing better now, Pharasmin. His wife has much to thank you for, as do I. We don't have much here in the way of spellcasting, there's just me and Elinda, who ain't grown out of her britches yet as far as following Old Deadeye goes. But if you needs a blessing or a little holy magic, or anything in the way of path-finding, we'll do our best. Ask me anything. 'wise, I've got some patrols to see to... gotta make sure them bloody ogres ain't up to no good 'round town."

    He give Shalelu a knowing, grim nod.
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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

  11. - Top - End - #191
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Noman

    Shalelu seems quite competent in her assessment. This was good information, and he nods his appreciation to her. Noman is ready to go at a moment's notice. As they go out, he instinctively looks at the sky and the weather. Not bad, not bad at all.

    Taking out his bow, strung, he starts to move on, limping very slightly, but somehow moving fast.

  12. - Top - End - #192
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    "Well, you don't look ensorcelled." Brin sighs after giving Setsuna a thorough eyeballing. She pauses and pops one of the fish cakes into her mouth, chewing the over-large mouthful rather boorishly. "So I guess it can wait until after we see to the fort." She adds, reluctantly agreeing with Shalelu. It was hard to argue against haste with the possibility of an entire ogre clan stirring up trouble. "How many of them Kreeg do you suppose there are, anyway? I mean...are we talking a small army here, because I don't know about taking on whole mod o' giant-kin without sending back to Magnimar for proper reinforcements.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Outside, Brin keeps picking at her traveling feast, as many tasty-looking odds and ends as she could wrap up in a large handkerchief. Not that it stayed bundled for long, what with the exertion of traveling from the inn all the way across the modest township, and the sight of people putting in a hard day's labor had always sent her appetite into overdrive. Breakfast was the most important meal of the day, after all, all the more after a three day binge with the attendant hangover. Brin thinks hard on dipping into her jug again, but no, she'd need to be clear-headed for whatever they found at the fort. So the wrapped package of snacks dwindles quickly, a necessary sacrifice to keep her hands, mouth, and mind distracted.

    "Erm, thaff's good tur hurr. The words barely make it past a mouthful of honey biscuit, which she hastily washes down with a swig of quickly cooling coffee before continuing. "Let's hope I don't have to take you up on offer, uh, Father." Titles had always given Brin the fits, even relatively informal ones, and she nearly stumbles over Maelin's. "Or provide further...services." Of course, for a Pharasmin that usually only meant one thing.
    Take a deep breath.
    Take a step back.
    And wonder how you can make it funnier.
    -Ilorin Lorati

  13. - Top - End - #193
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    "No idea. He said it could be anywhere from a dozen to five times that number. Said they breed, I quote, worse than flies on blown carrion." Shalelu replies to Brin, making a grimace at the thought of rotting flesh. "Still, the quicker we move, the sooner we can get a drop on them. They might outnumber us, but I'd wager we'd be able to spy and scout them out all the better then."

    *****

    In the present, Father Shreed inclines his head gravely in Brin's direction as he steeples his fingers before his heart, a shade of his usual acerbic manner reasserting itself. "I would hope not too, with the Father of Hunters guiding your path. I trust that Lord Grobaras would have sent us canny fighters, not jumped-up nobs what can't tell which end of the filly goes where. Just don't leave the trail I've marked out for you on yon map. You don't want to be running into them filthy Grauls half-breeds now."

    *****

    Map of lands surrounding Turtleback Ferry (for players' reference)
    Spoiler
    Show


    It is now about 1100hrs.

    The crinkled map that Father Shreed is limp to the touch, with the sharper-nosed of you catching a whiff of some beast's musk each time you lean in for a closer look. But the marks that that old man has pencilled onto it are clear enough, as is his spidery, stilted handwriting.

    "He could've mentioned that it's a trek enough for most of a day. We'd better hope the rain stays off. Good thing you packed all that food, sister Brin," remarks Shalelu, gazing reproachfully at the vistas of slate grey clouds overhead, shielding her hands with her eyes. "Three miles to the nearest bridge and then it's all the way uphill. With any luck, Erastil really will bless our path and we won't have to scramble about in a mudslide."

    You set off along the rocky coast of the Skull River to the north of the Ferry, ducking easily through a fungus-eaten gap in the wooden palisade surrounding the village. ("If those ogres attack while we're gone, the whole place's doomed," mutters Shalelu darkly as she stoops and angles her bow to fit through.) The prospect of an imminent long uphill climb after the wooden bridge is hardly a pleasing one, especially to those of you still working through the tail-end of your hangovers. Nevertheless, the going remains manageable for now, as you scramble over ancient lava slag and moss-wreathed driftwood as you make your way upriver, leaving behind the bare patches of farmland that provide the Ferry with its fresh produce.

    By the time you reach the bridge - which is little more than several tall conifers with their branches lopped off that have been lashed together and braced on either bank with shallow stone buttresses - most of you have worked up a good sweat, your breath lingering as small clouds of fog before your face. The swirling waters of the Skull River gleam a frigid blue as you clamber over, your nostrils flaring with the scent of crushed pine and damp earth under your hands. The so-called bridge seems sturdy enough to your boots and hands, but you've seen the size of the boulders that lurk beneath the roaring surface of this swift river and it would be best not to fall in.

    "Sixteen more blessed miles and we'll find out what happened to our rangers, aye." Thumbing a bead of sweat off her brow, Shalelu readjusts the eagle feathers in her hair and glances at those of you who are catching your breath. "We're by the Kreegwood now. Perhaps we'd best go in formation, make sure nothing gets us by surprise."

    Spoiler
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    GM-rolled Perception checks
    Setsuna: (1d20+5)[16]
    Rico: (1d20+13)[15]
    Noman: (1d20+18)[28]
    Red: (1d20+12)[24]
    Naya: (1d20)[3]
    Brin: (1d20+16)[22]

    Shalelu: (1d20+14)[25]


    Noman only:
    Spoiler
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    As you leap nimbly from the bridge, your ears prick up. There - on the wind - that animal scream. It puts you in mind of the gutter-cats you've heard serenading each other in the drains and alleys of Magnimar, though the high-pitched note of this yowl is of pain and fear rather than amorous intent.
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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

  14. - Top - End - #194
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Noman

    Noman spent the journey fidgeting, looking at the sky, stopping to drink water and surprisingly, bemoaning everything but the actual trek. Despite his erratic behaviour, he manages to stay easily at the front of the march. He also develops the habit of using nicknames for addressing people, even when they glare at him... or particularly then. The ranger Shalelu, was the first to be named Feathers. Brin followed with Sliteyes, to underline the fact that her eyes seemed closed after her hangover. He seems undecided about the rest.

    As soon as he touches the ground, Noman almost freezes, his fidgety expression leaving his face for one of blank-looking intensity. He turns at the others, making them stop.

    "Did you hear that? Something in the wind, like an alley cat in pain. Something... strange."

    He takes three arrows out, holding them deftly in his fingers.

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    He has no Nature points.

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Naya

    "I... don't hear anything..." the sylph shakes her hand, "Want me to fly there and take a look?" she looks at the group, waiting for a decision, "If I turn invisible, there shouldn't be any danger..."
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  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    The tiefling was uncharacteristically quiet and reserved for much of the trip, rarely speaking up and straying further back and isolated than she usually was, frowning and lost in thought, paying just enough attention to keep up with the group and ocassionally looking guiltily at the ground, Mae, Red, and glancing back toward the town. What am I supposed to do? The grueling trek was actually somewhat pleasant in comparison to the guilt about last night and the uncertainty about the future, since it forced her to keep her eyes on the path and focus, and the brisk air helped in culling her hangover.

    So distracted was she that she didn't even realize that Noman was with them until he called out a warning and drew his bow. Making a mental note to ask the others who he was later, Setsuna put a hand to Maethilur's hilt and took up a defensive posture, her face oddly more relaxed than it'd been all morning, relieved at the prospect of a fight where everything was simple and she didn't need to deal with difficult thoughts. Turning to Naya, "No, what if we need to fight today? We will not be close to town, you should save your power...if it is just an animal being hunted we should just move on, but if not we should hurry across," she says looking toward the bridge.
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  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Red

    It was good to be out and about, to be on the road again. Too much time in that damned boat with the stinky crew. The spar with Rico had gotten her blood up and Rico's shield had knocked the anger out of her. Thus, even with the occasional skid on a slippery rock and the mud pulling at her boots, Red stalks along the riverbank with a faint smile pulling at the corners of her mouth and traces of a skip when she leaps over fallen trees, hardly at all bothered by Noman's constant patter of complaints.

    When Noman warns of a sound, Red strains to hear what he hears, glancing with some apprehension at the bristling array of pines ahead of them. "... I hear nothing. W-was it... a wild animal? We should... not split up."

    *****

    GM post

    "A cat? In these parts... a firepelt cougar, I'd guess. Not likely that you'd have anything smaller. Your normal housecat would get eaten by wolves - or worse - in no time at all. Where did you hear the sound? Firepelts aren't aggressive, but running into a hungry one won't do us any favours. Otherwise, Setsuna is right to say we should not tarry."

    Shalelu eyes Noman's bow but refrains from unslinging her own for the moment, merely laying a hand on the pommel of her sword as she glances about her with a sharper eye than before.

    Spoiler
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    Perception checks

    Setsuna: (1d20+5)[19]
    Rico: (1d20+13)[21]
    Noman: (1d20+18)[22]
    Red: (1d20+12)[22]
    Naya: (1d20)[13]
    Brin: (1d20+16)[32]

    Shalelu: (1d20+14)[15]


    For Rico, Noman, Red, Setsuna, and Brin only
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    No sooner has Shalelu finished speaking when your ears prick up at the sound - the frightened, almost angry cry of a feline in distress. But this time, it is followed up by the distant barks and howls of what sounds a lot like a pack of hungry wolves, presumably on the hunt for this feline.

    Knowledge (Nature) DC 12
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    There is something not quite right about those howls. For one thing, wolves are supposed to be silent when hunting - any one of you who has lived on the road and been reassured by haunting, ululating wolf-song that the pack was far away from your camping-spot would know this.


    For Brin only
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    It might just be the voices that always mutter at the back of your mind when you've been down in the cups for too long. But you would swear that you can actually hear someone singing - a burst of terribly off-key garble that accompanies the howling, too indistinct for you to make out the words.
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  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Noman


    Noman, his bow still almost drawn, looks at the others almost accusngly.

    "Well, tell me something, you tree-huggers. Aren' t wolves supposed to be silent and cautious? Because this sounds like more like a Magnimarian tavern fro equines."

  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Setsuna

    Ears twitching at the noise, Setsuna turns to face the woods and puts a hand to Maethilur's hilt, more terse than usual, "Go, hurry across the bridge. I can hold them off if they come this way."
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  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Naya

    "Whoever it is, we really need to get going!" Naya almost runs across the bridge and stops on the other side, facing the rest, waiting for them to follow, "If anything comes after us, better to have them cross the bridge under fire, isn't it?"
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  21. - Top - End - #201
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    "I don't hear anything myself, and I don't know how good your ears are, sir. But caution is always well-advised. Come all. If our newest friend has heard wolves - or worse - then we'd best be on our way. It would not be good to leave Naya alone on the other side. Setsuna, I have your back."

    Beckoning the closest of you, Shalelu takes up position next to Setsuna by the log bridge, one hand finally notching an arrow to her bowstring as her eyes scan the surrounding trees. As Noman passes, the elf is careful to meet his eyes and jerks her chin towards the front of the party; she might have picked up nothing herself, but she is clearly taking no chances with the fact that she might have missed something. All the same, when the last of you is across and it is Setsuna's turn to cross, Shalelu leans in closes and mutters low: "Keep an eye on that one. He might be trusted, he mightn't. If he is, every extra pair of eyes and hands to keep us safe on the way to Rannick is a welcome one. And if he isn't... well, you're the swiftest of us. I trust you're not too addled from drink to take him down, are you?"

    Clapping a leathered hand on the tiefling's shoulder, Shalelu nods grimly and gives Setsuna a nudge. "Come on, up and over you go."

    *****

    No wolves or other wild creatures boil forth from the trees to savage your group as you cross the log bridge, nor are you assaulted by ogres as you finally set foot on the winding path leading up to Fort Rannick. (For Noman and anyone else bothering to listen, both the feline cries and the howling seem to have stopped with your crossing. A comforting fact for those who prefer their troubles out of sight and mind, but perhaps more worrying for those of you who prefer to know where exactly you might expect to find your fangs in the dark.)

    From here, the beaten dirt trail begins to wind upwards, skirting the edge of the Skull River. The ground here is slippery, kept moist by the constant spray and splash of the river as it surges and eddies against the rocky banks. You feel the flex of the cold earth, slick beneath your boots as you climb, arms out to steady yourself as you push aside curling ferns and stray branches. Fortunately, for the less agile of you, the path soon veers away from the river and into the forest, the roar of the river fading from hearing, to be replaced with the soft chirp of crickets and the wet crinkle of leaves underfoot. The sun has not yet risen high enough to release these woods from the shadow of the massive Hook Mountain, with mist still clings to the tops of the trees, though your path remains mercifully clear for now.

    "Imagine if it was raining. We'd probably get washed down the path and all the way back to the Ferry," remarks Shalelu wryly, squinting up into the tops of the trees as some unseen bird bursts into panicked flight at your approach, steam rising from her lips as she speaks.

    This time, there is no mistaking it. No sooner has Shalelu finished speaking when you hear the mournful wolf howl, not more than a few hundred paces to your left off the path. Though in these woods, the echoing cry makes it sound more like several dozen of the beasts rather than just one.
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Naya

    "Say whatever you may, there's something wrong here", the sylph shakes her head, "Mr. Noman's right, wolves aren't usually that noisy... and, let's be honest, if it's really volves, we... we can handle them. We handled worse. And it's close enough... we'll lose barely any time if we check it at least."
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  23. - Top - End - #203
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    Setsuna

    Holding her black blade at the ready and carefully watching the treeline for any sign of movement, ears perked up to listen for the sound of anything coming closer, but thankfully nothing seems to be coming to them, and so she sheathes Maethilur again as Shalelu whispers into her ear and nods her head, "I am...still not entirely sure why he is here. But I do not think he is an enemy...but if something happens, no, I am fine...it is not the alcohol that is distracting me anyway," she answers quietly, still not sure what to do about the Kiani situation. There was nothing to be done about it here and now though, so she shakes her head, "I will keep an eye on him though."

    *****

    The next leg of the journey is easier, but then she heard the wolves howling. "Naya is right...we should at least see what is happening."
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  24. - Top - End - #204
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Exhausted by the march--and absolutely not by the throbbing, angry, cold pain beating about inside her noggin--Brin trudges along with the other as she can, doing her best to avoid reaching into her pack for a hit off her jug. The supreme exercise of will keeping her from doing so become a bit easier as the auditory hallucinations start. Singing...no, just wolves and wind. I should relly lay off for a few days, maybe...

    And it's a good thing she does, because cross that log bridge and climbing the treacherous path would have been something slightly more dangerous than a simple inconvenience if she were staggering drunk. But staggering hungover isn't quite as bad. She can at least walk straight if she concentrates. It just takes actual concentration, which inhibits her ability to otherwise pay the wolves much mind until their howls seems nearly on top of the the group.

    "No...uh...maybe I can take a look without actually going in person." Brin cuts in, then reaches for her waterskin and takes a sip. Sometimes that helped. Sometimes.

    Spoiler
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    Use Remote Viewing ability to scan the area of the howls, if possible.
    Take a deep breath.
    Take a step back.
    And wonder how you can make it funnier.
    -Ilorin Lorati

  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Noman

    His face suddenly expressionless, Noman turns to the others, bow unslung.

    " Would you like me to go have a look?"

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post / Red

    Red swipes her hair away from her eyes with the back of a fist, giving Noman a firm shake of the head when he offers to go alone. "We should... not split. You are right. Wolves... should not be n-noisy l-like this. Something is... not right."

    Brin casting a spell would be a good break from climbing uphill, anyway. Biting at the mouth of her waterskin, Red takes a hurried sip. Being hunted by wolves wasn't a good thing. But compared to everything they'd fought in the past months... wolves weren't so scary anymore. All the same, she'd feel better once they'd sorted out what was going on.

    *****

    Brin uses domain power Remote Viewing.

    The pulsing at her temples and behind her eyes doesn't help Brin to focus as she gathers herself, ready to send her mind's eye in the direction she'd remembered the howl coming from...

    For Brin only
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    Perhaps it is the hangover. Perhaps it is simply the effect of seeking to see from where you have yet to set foot. But your vision wavers even as the outline of the forest shudders into sight, shadows flickering at the corners of your mind's eye, light bending and warping, leaving you with the feeling of stepping into potholes and falling off balance...

    There is a wolf. Or at least, fading in and out of focus, it looks a lot like one. A massive beast, bristling with wiry hair. You catch the flash of maddened crimson eyes as it stalks forward, circling, watching.

    There is also a man. Trussed up, half-naked and hanging from a tree with his hands bound with thick rope, his ebony skin beaded with dried blood.
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  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    Brin blinks back as the vision fades. "What... who would?" She stammers, shaking her head to clear the cobwebs. "There's a man strung up like and offering and...well, something that looks like a wolf. Mostly. I'm not quite sure what it is, but we need to hurry." She explains as quickly as she can as she charges in the direction of the vision.
    Take a deep breath.
    Take a step back.
    And wonder how you can make it funnier.
    -Ilorin Lorati

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Setsuna

    As soon as she heard the words 'strung up', Setsuna already started to move in the direction the noises were coming from. "We will figure out what it is when we get there," she says in regards to the comment about the wolf-like creature.

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    Not much to do here other than charge ahead
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  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Naya

    Nodding silently, the sylph rushes after the tiefling, too concerned to remember she can fly. Then again, 'looks like a wolf' can mean so many things. Better not to waste magic.
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  30. - Top - End - #210
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    Default Re: (PF) maggie's Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre IC

    GM post

    For those of you who hurry after Brin, Shalelu's cry to be cautious is barely heard above the rustle of branches whipping at your arms, twigs cracking underfoot into the moist earth, filling your nostrils with the sharp scent of pine sap. Above you, unseen birds twitter in alarm at your boisterous approach and whir into flight. It's hardly the most silent approach, but a man's life - if it isn't already gone - is at stake after all.

    Even with the lingering traces of her own hangover, Setsuna remains the more fleet of foot. Nimbly edging past Brin as the latter crashes noisily through undergrowth, the tiefling is the first to arrive on the scene. She bursts into a forest clearing, breathing hard and with her sword at the ready, the rest of you spreading out behind her as you come closer.

    Brin's vision hadn't told false. Strung up from one of the taller trees like a hog for market is an unconscious man, haggard and clad in little more than black smallclothes. His dark skin is filthy with dried blood and mud, muscles crisscrossed with thick rope-like welts and bruises. And just several feet from where the man's bare feet hang limp, paces an exceedingly large wolf with wiry grey fur, its muzzle wet with slaver. At your approach, it whirls with uncanny speed, red eyes gleaming and black lips writhing as it barks furiously and snarls, apparently intent on defending its prey.

    Map will be provided if / when the need arises.

    Heal DC 14
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    The man's wounds are similar to that you saw last night on Emon. He's likely been at the receiving end of an ogre hook fairly recently - within the past week or so, judging from the scabbing on his wounds. Judging from the gauntness of his face compared to the rest of his body, he's likely been starved as well.


    Knowledge (arcana) DC 14
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    That is no true wolf - the crimson eyes are a dead giveaway. This is a worg - a larger and much more intelligent canine cousin. Capable of man speech, worgs are cunning hunters and have been known to collude with other monster tribes, usually goblins, for their own ends.


    Perception DC 13
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    It takes a bit of squinting - difficult to do with the ravenous beast still before you - but you spot no traces of the Sihedron symbol on the man's body, whether in the form of a tattoo or a wound. Unless he's sporting the symbol under his underwear, on his buttocks or nethers, he's not linked to the Paradise fiasco back in the Ferry.


    Perception DC 30 (make another roll)
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    You almost miss it through the thick carpet of fallen leaves and branches, but just below where the man dangles, you note where the leaves have been overturned, the wet soil just a shade lighter than the rest of the forest floor. There is almost definitely some sort of trap hidden just under the man, though you can't be quite sure of what kind from where you're standing.
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