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  1. - Top - End - #331
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    He keeps his voice quiet but pitches his voice slightly higher - not uncomfortably so, but notably - to avoid potentially alerting the beast, hoping that his voice would be swallowed by the noise of the burbling brook that it is drinking from. "This is most likely a spirit of the forest - of the hunt, if my memory serves correctly. Stories tell that a large hunting party of noble lords and ladies vanished when they pursued it." He pauses, considering the options, his eyes intently fixed on the metal spiked horns. "We didn't come here to fight forest spirits, and doing so may anger the fey while depleting resources. We should either move along quietly or try to befriend it - perhaps it could lead us to the mystery disappeared house?" He had little experience befriending wild beasts. Usually he was hunting them. Would a spirit of the hunt be placated with an offer of food, or offended by it? Would challenging it to a task earn its loyalty, or at the very least agreement? Could it even be reasoned with at all? Perhaps he should look further into the Frost giants when he had some downtime. There were passages he'd seen that indicated they had an affinity for animals beyond that of other giants, and if he was going to be spending time traipsing around the woods it would be prudent to find any advantage he could get.

    He shuffles slightly and unhooks the shield from his back, strapping it to his arm as quietly as possible. Though he didn't wish to fight - a waste of time and energy that they needed elsewhere - he would be ready for it if things turned sour. The axe stays hooked on his belt though. He wouldn't show himself as an aggressor.
    DMing:
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  2. - Top - End - #332
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 16 HP: 25/27
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: --
    Concentration: --

    Set didn't realize he'd been holding his breath until Vargath's words gave him cause to blow it out, muscles relaxing slightly as he opted to discuss their options instead of rushing in headlong to kill or be killed. Set assumed a friend such as this spirit could be immensely useful, both in finding the home they sought and in any future endeavors in its territory. Likewise, making an enemy of it or trespassing in the forest without making it clear that they were only hoping to cleanse its land of the Were-curse seemed equally awful. At best, they'd survive to tell the tale of killing it. At worst...

    Silently, Set pulls the coin from his pouch and stares down at it for a moment, frowning. What were the odds of this chance meeting? True, they were searching for a fey-touched home, but was the stag connected to that place, or just roaming its own land? Whatever roll of the dice or coinflip had allowed for this meeting, Set's own coin could only keep him from doing what he must. Besides him, only the not-sisters knew Sylvan, and as capable as he knew both Evergreen and his North Star were, neither had shown a penchant for diplomacy. Set pockets the coin and takes just one more moment to think back on his childhood in the royal palace before stepping out of the overgrowth to the ravine's edge. He shrugs off any who might stop him without a shred of recognition regarding his own hypocrisy as he launches headlong into the path he thinks is best without discussing it first.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
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    "Greetings and salutations, Noble One," Set starts, speaking formally in Sylvan and dropping to one knee before placing his Favorite out in front of him on the ground. "You have my deepest apologies for intruding on your territory and your time. I come directly from Maus Moeller and beg permission to address you so that I might make my intentions plain and gaze on your magnificence for a few moments longer."


    Set gulps, keeping his eyes lowered respectfully, but still easily able to picture the spirit's gore-spattered antlers in his mind. His Favorite seemed a small, fragile thing compared to the great spears the stag wielded readily.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show

    Persuasion: (1d20+3)[21]

    Last edited by Riggdgames; 2020-09-14 at 08:56 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #333
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    In the Hartswood

    The great hart doesn't seem surprised, aggravated, or alarmed by Set's approach, remaining serene and noble in it's bearing. When Set prostrates himself before it, it lifts it's head and acknowledges the rest of the party, it's eyes revealed to be a brilliant spring green that pierced like arrows, seeming to view deeper than skin level. There is a brief, nasal snort from the creature as it looks up the ravine at Vargath, Birel, Selissa, Fanlomen, and Jemriah, followed by a softer snort as it looks back down at Set. One hoof paws at the stream, splashing a bit of water, and it lowers it's head down towards Set, taking in a few sniffs of air. It's copper coat moves and shifts like true skin, without a single sound, glimmering in the sunlight. Silence falls for several heavy moments before a voice, loud as thunder but soft as a breeze, booms through the forest. No birds start into the air, no animals flee from their homes, and not a leaf falls from the trees, but the force of the words seem to put pressure against your whole bodies.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
    Show
    Stand, man of many faces. Speak your intentions. Are you here to hunt? If you are hunting me, you are doing a poor job of it.
    The Bear is Back.

  4. - Top - End - #334
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 16 HP: 25/27
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: --
    Concentration: --

    The pressure from the great stag's words push Set into the ground as he drops a fist into the mud to steady himself. For a moment Set puzzles over the translation, staring down at the ground. As he comes to terms with what the spirit says his mouth twitches, face glitching for a moment as it swirls into a soft mass of confusion before Set bites down hard on what's left of his cheek, willing his face to reform and his heart to slow before it can burst from his chest.

    Standing back up to his full height and pulling his spear off the ground, Set stares into it's green eyes for a moment before bowing his head once more.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
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    "I am...that is, we are here to hunt, Noble One, but not you. We seek the Werewolves that spread their curse over this land. But even still, before we hunt them we seek the tools needed to hunt and kill them effectively. We seek silver before our Werewolf hunt begins."

    Pausing a moment to glance back up at the great stag's response and to peer into its eyes, Set carries on.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
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    "There was a creature like us, a man named Milo Chevvile who made his home not far from here some years ago. His cabin has since passed out of sight for those like us," Set says, hesitating for a moment. "But little and less escapes your sight, is that not right Noble One? Do you know the cabin of which I speak? There is said to be a great cache of silver within its walls."


  5. - Top - End - #335
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Fanlomen flinches at the sudden booming of the hart's voice. He doesn't understand what is being said, but he watches the discussion with reverant awe. His first reaction upon seeing the massive metallic beast would have been to flee into the underbrush to at least have somewhere to run to or attack from, but it didn't seem necessary. His mind was spinning in the presence of such a great spirit, but he keeps quiet and either waits for someone to translate, or for something to go wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
    This seems like a really cool concept, so I feel like you're going to get a lot of applications. Best of luck sorting through them all. That said, I'm going to do my part to make your job that much harder by adding one to the stack.

  6. - Top - End - #336
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Well, it hadn't immediately charged the group. That was a good sign. Vargath looks between the stag and Set trying to gauge from facial expression, tone of voice and body language if things were going well. The language was lost on him - but he was glad for Set's knowledge. He tries not to think too many steps in advance, but he can't help but consider alternate uses for a trade with the fey if they can get the silver without them. Martial or magical assistance against the wolves or secrets of the witch would certainly not go amiss. He makes no moves though. Best not to antagonise while Set looks to have things well in hand. He hopes. There's the slightest slackening of Vargath's shoulders, letting him relax just a little bit, though he was still ready to go at a moment's notice.
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  7. - Top - End - #337
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    The female wood elf froze at it spoke, gritting her teeth at the sheer pressure of its words.

    Silently, she slid her arrow back into her quiver and slung her bow across her back. Selissa continued to slip through the underbrush, aiming to circle around the deer spirit. She blinked as Set spoke in Slyvan; an unexpected language for someone apparently from a 'desert', which she understood was a big sea made of sand instead of water.

    Tense, barely daring to breathe, she tried to get behind the spiritual beast.
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

  8. - Top - End - #338
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Birel Amastacia
    High Elf Wizard
    AC: 13/16 HP: 20/20
    PP: 13 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Conditions: Mage Armor
    Concentration: --

    Birel wasn't familiar with this particular kind of fey creature, so she'd been pondering how to best handle it when Set just.... walked up and started talking. A dangerous gamble, but now that he'd done it there was no benefit into trying to go another way. She listened to it and Set, paying careful attention for any kind of trick or sign of danger.

  9. - Top - End - #339
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    In the Hartswood

    The spirit waits patiently for Set to speak, standing completely still with the exception of it's eyes. Those begin to change color, going from spring green to the orange blaze of fall leaves, then the deep red of winter berries, then back to green again. Whether this is indicative of the spirit's mood, no one can tell. Selissa silently slides up behind the hart, and still it does not seem to notice. It speaks again, mouth not moving, and with the same invisible force.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
    Show
    Hunting weres? That could be a good hunt. I approve, and give you permission to hunt in my realm. But you are right. Without weapons capable of harming the weres, your hunt will fail.


    The stag turns it head and looks to the north, releasing a small, whining grunt, before turning back to Set.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
    Show
    The cabin of the were hunter is exactly where it always has been. But it is also far away from there. It is hidden by the power of the Liar. A shame. He was a hunter to be honored, the one you call Milo Chevvile. I can not directly move against the Liar, but I wish to witness your great hunt. Bring your hunting party before me and I will give you the sight to pierce his veils, if only for a time. But I can render you no more aid. This is your hunt, and I will bear witness to it whether you conquer the wolf men or are torn to pieces and turned. I care only that there are hunters, prey, risk, and skill. This is all that I am.


    It turns from Set to the party grouped above the ravine, then back down at Set.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
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    Gather, and receive my blessing.
    Last edited by purepolarpanzer; 2020-09-17 at 08:21 AM.
    The Bear is Back.

  10. - Top - End - #340
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 16 HP: 25/27
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: --
    Concentration: --

    As Set watches the hart's eyes change, he falters slightly, gritting his teeth under the weight of its booming voice as he tries to recover his bearing. He nods slowly, taking a deep breath and thanking the Noble One in Sylvan before glancing back at the others.

    "It has approved of our hunt for werewolves," Set reports to the Mighty, translating the great spirit's words for him, the Not-So-Fake-One, and Daggers. "Let's accept its blessing before we go any further. I do not know this Liar it speaks of," Set says, unable to stop his face from growing a bit warmer, "and I'm not sure if I should ask or if we're already imposing enough."

    "You don't know of whom it speaks, do you?" Set asks his North Star quietly as they are gathering at the edge of the ravine. Glancing at the rest, Set frowns for a moment, turning around 360 degrees as he searches for Evergreen. "Where did Selissa go?" he whispers more urgently.

  11. - Top - End - #341
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    Birel Amastacia
    High Elf Wizard
    AC: 13/16 HP: 20/20
    PP: 13 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Conditions: Mage Armor
    Concentration: --

    Birel steps forwards to receive the blessing and shakes her head to Set, "Unfortunately, I haven't heard of this Liar before. As for Selissa, well you know wood elves. Always hiding in the bushes when they should be coming forth to introduce themselves." At this last part she gives Set a self-amused little grin.

  12. - Top - End - #342
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Fanlomen chuckles, and adds to Birel's insight, "Hiding in the bushes is safer, and often wiser. Many things you meet in the forest only introduce themselves by fang and claw, or are such that you wish to introduce yourself to by fang and claw."
    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
    This seems like a really cool concept, so I feel like you're going to get a lot of applications. Best of luck sorting through them all. That said, I'm going to do my part to make your job that much harder by adding one to the stack.

  13. - Top - End - #343
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    "I don't know what you said," Vargath rumbles approvingly, "but a blessing certainly would be welcome." They weren't really in a position to be turning away help, and a spirit of the hunt could be trusted..."ᛈᚨᛊᛊ ᛈ ᛞᛖᚾ ᛗᛖᛏᚨᛚᛚ. ᛞᛖᛏ ᚢᛁᛚ ᚠᛟᚱᚠᚢᛚᚷᛖ ᛏᚱᛁᚾᚾᛖᚾᛖ ᛞᛁᚾᛖ."...probably. He steps forward, putting aside his hesitation. Now was the time to show mettle, not meekness. "It may be safer, but if she's disappeared too far then she'll miss the spirit's gift."
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  14. - Top - End - #344
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Slowly, Selissa eased an arrow out her quiver, leaving her bow slung across her back, and-

    -tapped the fletching lightly on the flank of the stag. It tinkedsoftly.
    "<We're not hunting you, forest king,>" she agreed in sylvan, sounding vaguely pleased with herself. "<But perhaps I would have done a good job of it if I was.>"

    She took a step back and gave a shallow bow to the spirit.
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

  15. - Top - End - #345
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    In the Hartswood

    The great stag watches each of you make your way down into the ravine. When Selissa appears as if from nowhere and taps the arrow on the stag's flank, that booming voice begins to laugh uproariously, with such force that sends some of you back a step. The stag backs up so that all of you stand in front of it. The laughter is slow to die away.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
    Show
    May each of you have hunter's sight. If your prey goes to ground, hides, or takes flight may your senses track it wherever it may go.


    The stag lowers it's head to the stream, dipping it's antler into the water, and quickly rising up to send out an arc of water. Droplets splash each of you directly in the eyes, and for a moment there is a sharp stinging sensation as you blink away the moisture. When you open your eyes the stag is gone, but in it's place is a beautiful longbow made of seasoned hardwood and horn that almost seems to have an inner glow.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
    Show
    I respect your skill, forest-daughter. I hope that you show the same ability if I ever decide to hunt you. This weapon belonged to the last wood elf who sought to take my head. Hopefully it brings you more luck than it did him.


    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Assuming that it is Selissa who picks up the bow, a voice in Elven says "Words carry far, but a longbow carries one message even farther. Whisper death to an enemy from farther than a shout can travel, and I will both reward you and challenge you again." loud enough for Selissa to hear (anyone who speaks elven can make a DC 15 perception check to hear it, but ONLY if you speak elven). If someone else picks it up, it says nothing.
    The Bear is Back.

  16. - Top - End - #346
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Selissa breathed out, long and low, in relief. The spirits of the forest were - well, they were never completely predictable. Then she smiled, small and pleased, like that of a cat.

    She picked up the bow and listened to its words. She gave an experimental pluck of the bowstring. A larger pullweight than her short hunting bow, of course, but workable. She took another moment to admire the craftsmanship of the horn and lacquered hardwood of the limbs of it.

    "Good," she said simply, and nodded to the others that they could keep moving.
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

  17. - Top - End - #347
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 16 HP: 25/27
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: --
    Concentration: --

    Nodding slowly at Daggers, Set responds, "I could see that. I trust you and Selissa know better than I the wisdom of hiding first and introducing yourself later in the forest. Where I am from there are fewer places to hide so I've always thought introductions are inevitable, friendly or otherwise. Well, except for the spirits. In my land they are often called 'Mirages' as they tend to appear only on the horizon before melting into it, unless they wish to be known."

    Set's heart jumps into his throat as Evergreen reappears behind the great stag, goading it seemingly without fear despite being utterly dwarfed in its presence. The spirit's response sends him back a pace, the laughter seeming to vibrate through him. He reclaims his spot, chuckling nervously without humor and inwardly sighing with relief before accepting the spirit's blessing.

    Spoiler: Sylvan
    Show
    "Thank you Noble One," Set whispers to the air. "Our prey shall not escape with your blessing."

    "A fine looking bow," Set says in common, approaching Evergreen to examine it closer. "I've no doubt it's message will find our prey," he continues with a half-smile and nod to her.

    "Should we carry on?" Set asks the rest of his companions, but noticably turning to address the Mighty. "The spirit did not say how long the blessing would last, but it did make it clear that it would not last forever."

  18. - Top - End - #348
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    "Indeed, we shouldn't tarry." Vargath agrees readily. It had all turned out better than hoped. A worthy detour. He gives a slight bow to the spirit, inclining his head. "My thanks for the assistance, we shall put it to good use." Would that every encounter they had in this dismal place went so well, but he knows that this would be the exception, not the norm. Best to take what solace they have while they can.
    DMing:
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  19. - Top - End - #349
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    Birel Amastacia
    High Elf Wizard
    AC: 13/16 HP: 20/20
    PP: 13 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Conditions: Mage Armor
    Concentration: --

    After they leave the presence of the mighty fey, Birel claps Set on the back and says, "Well done! I can't say I would have been bold enough to just walk up to it and ask it a favor for free. Glad that turned out all right." and she gives a sigh of relief.

  20. - Top - End - #350
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 16 HP: 25/27
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: --
    Concentration: --

    Unable to keep himself from beaming over at her, Set coughs, dropping his eyes and regaining his composure before responding to his North Star. Set opens his mouth as if to thank her, but shuts it again, pausing for a few more moments. "I would not have guessed that," he says finally, appearing to think about it. "What I mean to say is, if you asked me who among us would be bold enough to come right out and ask the spirit for a favor, I would have thought of you," Set says glancing back up at her. "You strike me as someone who does not hesitate to voice their thoughts, but perhaps that's not altogether like asking for help from a strange fey. Still, just yesterday back in that tavern I watched you stare down four men with murder in their eyes and calmly tell them where they could stick their weapons if they were man enough to fetch them. Someone else might have used a few words to apologize or said nothing at all. Might be a different situation, but it seems to me you don't lack anything when it comes to being bold."

    Set walks a few paces, lost in thought as his memories dip back further still. "My brother used to say, 'If you stack every word in every language on top of each other, altogether they weigh less than a grain of sand, but a few words in the right place can move 10,000 spears.' I mean, supposing a king said them or something, but words are powerful even for the rest of us," Set says, grasping for the right words as he tries to explain himself. "When I saw that spirit I didn't think about whether to be bold or cautious, I just thought a few words might serve better than my Favo--my spear. And I thought I might be able to find the right words," he finishes, eyes crinkling from a small smile behind his shemagh.

  21. - Top - End - #351
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    In the Hartswood

    The party moves back onto the overgrown path and continues into the depths of the wood, now viewing everything just a bit... sharper. It is difficult to describe, but even the least perceptive of you can view the serrated edge of the leaves growing on the trees, the dripping sap of broken twigs where an animal has passed by, and the missing berries from a bush that has been picked over by a squirrel. It is slightly surreal, to notice the smallest details so vividly, and terribly distracting.

    At the Site of Chevvile's Cabin

    The group enters into a small clearing at the absolute end of the ragged, barely-there path. It is roughly circular, about fifty yards in diameter, but the forest is beginning to reclaim the area, with thick bushes and small trees creeping into the edges of what was once a clear cut homestead. A large crab apple tree, ancient and gnarled, sits off-center, with green fruit hanging down from the branches. The center of the clearing is dominated by... nothing. A notable absence of anything at all. With the blessings of the spirit enhancing your vision, all of you can see a path of flat stones, overgrown with weeds and covered in leaves, that starts at the end of the path and spans all the way to the center of the clearing, right up to the empty spot in the middle, just to the left of the crab apple tree. But there is truly nothing- no foundation, no depression, no remains of boards, not a damn thing to indicate there was once a cabin here.

    But the blessings of the hunter are not wasted in solving this puzzle. All of you note that no brush, bushes, or weeds have grown in a rectangular area in the center of the clearing. Set, Vargath, and Fanlomen all note a small trail, no larger than an acorn, that looks like it has been dragged from the rectangular area to the base of the crab apple tree. Fanlomen and Vargath also realize that you all are not alone. A miniature bird, a mix of yellow, white, and black markings, sits on the outermost branch of the crab apple tree, partially hidden behind leaves. When it spots the party enter the area, it flits into the air and flies to a hollow about fifteen feet up the crab apple tree, then flits back out a few moments later. It lands back at it's original post and watches you all completely silently. This would be relatively unremarkable, if it were not for the absence of any other form of wildlife inside the clearing. The small bird's behavior reminds Vargath of a sentinel keeping watch and Fanlomen of a forward scout, hidden in plain sight.
    The Bear is Back.

  22. - Top - End - #352
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Vargath carefully considers the 'gap' where the house should clearly be. He walks the perimeter of where nature has stopped intruding, running his fingers gently against empty air and the grass, trying to discern any irregularity, anything that might hint at a break in the...illusion? enchantment? Whatever it was. His eyes stray to the small trail leading from the 'gap' to the tree with its watchful bird. "Perhaps the enchantment is tied to the tree?" He ponders aloud, drawing attention to the small thin trail with his fingers. "If the spell relies on the tree's energy then cutting it off should dispel the mirage." His axe was at the ready, but he didn't make a move, yet. Set had shown himself capable of conversing with animals, perhaps he could speak to the bird and find a simpler way that didn't require him to exert himself in the stifling heat chopping down a tree. "Perhaps you can speak to the tree's occupant and convince it to share any knowledge? Felling the tree is a rather final act."

    He digs the toes of his boots into the trail between 'house' and tree, scratching around, in the vain hope that the spell would be so simply made as to need nothing else. It seemed unlikely - if they had sent search parties before they'd have traipsed across it even accidentally. Still, a muddy boot and some churned grass cost him nothing to try. Just in case.
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    Red Hand of Doom IC | OOC
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    Tales of Neutral Ground IC | OOC
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  23. - Top - End - #353
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Birel Amastacia
    High Elf Wizard
    AC: 13/16 HP: 20/20
    PP: 13 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Conditions: Mage Armor
    Concentration: --

    Birel looks over the situation and then walks over to where it looks like where one corner of the building would be then walks up the the "there should be a building here" space with a hand outstretched in front of her. She's expecting to touch a door or wall almost immediately, but if not she'll walk all the way through the center of the clearing to the other corner in case the illusion is also disguising the size of the building as an additional trick. She'll then perform the same the other way to make an X to fully cover where it might be hidden.

    At hearing about the tree's occupant she sees the bird, more importantly her birds see the bird and flutter over and chirp at it.

  24. - Top - End - #354
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 16 HP: 25/27
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: --
    Concentration: --

    At the Mighty's words, Set's eyes snap from the empty space where a home should be to search the tree, looking high and low, expecting to find a magnificent spirit-eagle or falcon native to these lands. While the blessing of the hunter allows Set to perceive the small creature flitting from branch to branch, he frowns in confusion as he continues searching for a few moments more until it dawns on him. The small bird, as unimposing a sight as the stag was magnificent, was the occupant.

    Set's first instinct is that Vargath is playing a joke on him. For a moment Set resists, puzzling over the words in his head, but he just can't see how to take Vargath seriously. Despite all Set had done to try to aid them, Vargath thought it would be funny to make out like Set could talk to a woodland bird just the same as the great spirit they'd come across before. The thing's brain couldn't have been larger than an acorn and even with the hunter's blessing, Set couldn't see anything remarkable about it.

    Did Vargath expect him to start tweeting at it? Or did he just think his words would be good for a quick chuckle from the others before they all settled down to actually doing something? Set glances around from face to face, searching for their amusement at his expense. While the others don't appear to be sharing an inside joke, Set's North Star is nowhere near to guide him. It occurs to Set that the rest might still be on edge about joking around with him, what with the Shadowkeeper's presence now made plain to all of them, but Vargath would of course be the exception. What did he have to fear? He already contended with the giants within on a daily basis.

    Despite himself, Set felt his face grow hot, mouth twitching as a pit formed in his stomach. On first meeting Vargath, it had been obvious to Set that he was competent and capable, and Set had warmed to him much faster than usual. But that was before, wasn't it? Before Set had revealed the nature of the dark presence inside him. Before he'd been shown to be a liar and paranoid about another companion traveling with them.

    The cursed do not have companions. The cursed only have tools that they can use so that they are better tools for their own masters. Stop pretending they are companions. Some may yet accept and even help you, but at the end of the day, you can only count on yourself. You are alone.

    "Why don't you sing to it yourself," Set responds, unable to keep the venom completely out of his voice as he tries not to stomp over towards Birel to help her find the edge of the illusion.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Nat 1 on Insight (Vargath) in Discord.


  25. - Top - End - #355
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    He's taken aback by the sudden aggression, though his stance doesn't change and he tries to keep his expression neutral. Perhaps he'd said something wrong? It had seemed a reasonable extrapolation. Talk to one animal, talk to all animals. If the bird was connected to the tree which was connected to the disappearing house then...Vargath sighs. Maybe he should have explained his thought process. Nothing to be done about it now, offense caused. "If he'd heard me sing before he wouldn't be so quick to make that suggestion." He tries to defuse the tension to anyone standing near with a truthful joke. Vargath is as tone deaf as they come, his talent for music approaching something close to negative talent than merely no talent.

    For the briefest of moments though, he does consider talking to the bird directly. Perhaps a more authoritative approach. When Birel's own birds flap over though he holds back. No need to intrude before they've got their results, for good or ill.
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    Red Hand of Doom IC | OOC
    Playing:
    Tales of Neutral Ground IC | OOC
    The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters IC | OOC

  26. - Top - End - #356
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    At the Site of Chevvile's Cabin

    When Birel's finches flutter up to the smaller bird, it unleashes a shrill series of chirps and hops back on it's branch, assuming a defensive stance. In a high pitched, lyrical tone the chickadee shrieks out "STOPSTOPSTOP! Back away from the Lord's castle! No intruders allowed! Back away, foul finches, or I shall call the guard and ready the catapults! No quarter shall be given!" It's voice is even more shrill than one would imagine, perhaps because Birel's finches outsize the smaller bird by two times or more. It turns to Birel and peeps out another warning. "Call back your forces, Lady, or I shall see them slain!" Selissa and Birel both notice small thorns suddenly start to grow from the branch the finches are circling, slowly to be sure, but far too fast for a natural tree.
    The Bear is Back.

  27. - Top - End - #357
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Birel Amastacia
    High Elf Wizard
    AC: 13/16 HP: 20/20
    PP: 13 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Conditions: Mage Armor
    Concentration: --

    Marigold has already flown away at the shrieking and unusual amount of noise, but Periwinkle remained nearby until Birel with an amused smile on her face beckoned him back to her. "And who might you be little one?" she asks, absentmindedly still doing her search pattern.

  28. - Top - End - #358
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    At the Site of Chevvile's Cabin

    Birel's investigation of the area the cabin should be reveals no cabin. Hands and feet readily pass through the area, and there is no sign of illusion. The cabin appears to be legitimately missing from where it is supposed to be, including the basement.

    The chickadee responds "I am Chix, the Herald of the Lord of these lands! The Lord of the Changing Seasons! The Lord of Perspective! The Lord of SIZE! And you all are intruders, here without announcing yourselves or your intentions, with no writ of passage nor banners denoting your allegiance! One would think your ruffians! Outlaws! Ronin! How very IMPROPER!" The chickadee spits that last word as though it were a profound and deadly curse. "Introduce yourselves, or I shall order the archers to release volley and send you windwards with no further warning!"
    Last edited by purepolarpanzer; 2020-09-23 at 09:17 PM.
    The Bear is Back.

  29. - Top - End - #359
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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Birel Amastacia
    High Elf Wizard
    AC: 13/16 HP: 20/20
    PP: 13 PIv: 13 PIs: 11
    Conditions: Mage Armor
    Concentration: --

    Birel sighs at hearing "the Lord of Changing Seasons" and replies, "I am Birel Amastacia, resident witch of the village the cabin of Chevvile's belongs to. We are here seeking silver to hunt werewolves, with the blessing of other fey and the chief of the village both. As such we do not require writs of passage to travel our own lands. As your lord cannot make a proper claim of ownership to the property of those of the village without consent, I request you reveal it to us. Or is your lord no more than a thief come in the night to take what belongs to its proper owners?"

    She honestly has no idea if any of this will work. She has little information on what rules the Lord of Changing Seasons might abide by, if it is not an entirely chaotic being ruled only by its whims. Still, at worst this will serve to open up negotiations. Well at worst it would open up hostilities, but you can never rule that option out when dealing with unknown fey anyway.

  30. - Top - End - #360
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Madness of Men in a World of Monsters (D&D 5e IC)

    Set Al-Sayyid
    Changeling Fighter/Hexblade
    AC: 16 HP: 25/27
    PP: 11 PIv: 12 PIs: 9
    Conditions: --
    Concentration: --

    As Chix, Herald of the Lord reveals it's true nature, Set gapes openly at the dimunitive bird as recognition of his own foolishness dawns on him. Confusion gives way to embarassment and self-loathing as Set's eyes snap between the bird and Vargath. Squeezing his eyes shut, Set embraces the darkness and wishes for a deep pit to fall into. A whisper finds him in the dark, repeating a mantra that steadily grows louder.

    The cursed do not have companions. The cursed only have tools that they can use so that they are better tools for their own masters. Stop pretending they are companions. Some may yet accept and even help you, but at the end of the day, you can only count on yourself. You are alone.

    Finally that familiar voice reveals itself.

    All alone...except for me, Set. I will not abandon you no matter how many times your stupidity makes you try to fall on your own spear. They will tolerate you, for a time. But it can't last. They know what you are now, and if that wasn't enough, you are still you. You are not their companion.

    Set's shadow seems to fold over him as he slowly sits down in the middle of the clearing, apart from the rest, setting his Favorite down beside him. He can hear Chix's threats and Birel's sharp response, but they seem to come from far away. The voice echoing through his mind is much louder and much clearer as Set's fingers idly trace a scarab in the grass.

    I KNOW you can see it. Do not pretend, Set. There was one other who knew you as well as I do, and you slew him the moment I dipped a toe in those waters. A soft chuckle percolates from the depths, but even the reference to his brother Sirus does not cause Set to do more than flinch. There is no one else, Set. Not even your sisters know you like I do. The tracing stops as Set is fully consumed listening to His voice.

    There is only one thing for you to do. Grow. Reach your potential and become USEFUL. And stop flailing about trying to get closer to these people. If they continue to prove useful, then use them, but don't forget what you are.

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