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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    And the kitchen indeed he does see, as depicted in the dollhouse. There is a wash basin full of clear, clean water, a counter armed with an array of cutting tools and a cutting board, a rolling pin, a cabinet filled with fine ceramics and glassware, a cabinet filled with silverware - all of the forks, spoons and knives appear to be real silver. On the far left end of the room, from the door, is a large stone dome-shaped oven. Beside it is a thin wooden door to a well-stocked pantry full of fresh produce and even some smoked meats.

    Spider crawls inside the kitchen and makes a beeline (spiderline) to the dumbwater. Using a pair of limbs with surprising dexterity, it operates the pulley system and lifts the dumbwaiter out of the way, then peeks in below it. "Over here, Kellon! This is my secret hiding place." When he comes over to look, Spider-Thorn moves aside. In the bottom of the dumbwaiter shaft is a small pile of loose coins and a small wooden toy horse.

    Spoiler: Dumbwaiter Loot
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    5 gold and a wooden horse figurine.


    While Kellon explores the kitchen, Gweyir opens the other door beside it and takes a look inside, where a wood-paneled dining room is dominated by a mahogany table and eight high-backed chairs. More highly polished silverware and glassware is laid out upon the table, and a crystal chandelier hangs above it. The walls are decorated with images of deer loping through the woods - woods with trees displaying horrified visages writhing in the bark, and wolves lurking in the foliage.

    A large tapestry depicts horse-mounted aristocratic hunters with dogs chasing down a wounded wolf.

  2. - Top - End - #152
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Prehysterical's Avatar

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    Considering the state that most of the house is in, Kellon is astounded at the kitchen. Kellon follows when Spider calls and stops himself from chuckling at the child's self-congratulation. "A very good hiding spot," he tells the child. The gold coins got into Kellon's pouch, but he leaves the wooden toy horse alone.

    Popping his head into the dining room, Kellon questions Gweyir. "The food in the pantry is still edible! It looks like these fruits and vegetables were just plucked from a garden. How is that possible?"

  3. - Top - End - #153
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    Spider('s guest) seems to beam up at Kellon at the praise. When the horse is left behind, Spider tucks it into a small bag made out of spider silk that it seems to have woven together at some point.

    In the next room, Gewyir is looking up a the tapestry with some disdain. She glances back down at Kellon when he speaks. "Hm? Let me see." Following him back, she inspects the food in the pantry, kneeling down and picking a carrot out of a basket. "It certainly should not be fresh. Kept in the open like this it should have rotted away long ago." With her other hand she breaks off a tiny piece of the carrot and places it in her mouth, chewing. A frown grows on her face and she spits it out onto the floor.

    "Perhaps just a glamour. Was it rotten?" Anton asks.

    "Tastes of nothing," the druid answers, standing back up. "You may not be wrong. The way all the scenery changed gets me as well. Something's off about this house, and it's not just the spirits."

  4. - Top - End - #154
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    A small part of Kellon is sad that the food isn't actually real, but at least it's also not a poisoned bait. He stops to ponder something that has been bothering him. "Why is it that the first two floors are so clean, but the third floor is a-" Kellon looks down at Spider and changes his wording. "a dust-ridden mess? Maybe they aren't actually clean, but there is some magic that makes it appear that way? But why?"

  5. - Top - End - #155
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "I don't know," her tone makes it clear that Gweyir does not like her answer any more than Kellon does. She steps past the others back into the main hall and regards the room, more cautiously than before.

    "Maybe the answers will be in the basement," Anton suggests. Thorn's voice makes a quiet whimper from Spider's form, and Spider and Rose both attempt to comfort him with quiet encouragement and lullabies.

    "There is but one room left to explore," Gweyir states, looking at last to the final door. She opens it. Inside is an oak paneled room, a blend between a hunter's trophy room and a sitting room to entertain guests. Above the fireplace sits a stag's head, stuffed as a trophy. Three whole stuffed wolves are placed around the room, as if circling the seating before the fireplace. The two padded chairs are draped in animal furs, and between them is an oak table with a cask of wine sitting upon it, along with a pair of carved wooden goblets, a rack upon which rest two tobacco pipes, and a candelabra. In one corner of the room is another wooden table, surrounded by four chairs. Wine glasses are arranged before each seating place; a chandelier - less fanciful than the one in the dining hall - hangs above it.

    There are two cabinets in the room. The northern one is unlocked, containing a wooden box with a deck of playing cards, and a set of wine glasses. The western cabinet is a glass display case that Kellon recognizes from the doll house. Inside on display are three crossbows, of varying sizes. Accompanying each weapon is a quiver of full metal bolts, half iron and half silver. This cabinet is held shut by a lock, and the glass seems thick.

    Spoiler: Cabinet Loot
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    Inside he can see a heavy crossbow, a light crossbow, and a hand crossbow. There are three quivers, each containing 10 regular bolts and 10 silver bolts.

  6. - Top - End - #156
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Kellon doesn't even need to look in Gweyir's direction to feel her disapproval of the space. He steers clear of the wine and crockery and stands before the glass case, looking at it in serious consideration. His eyes widen in sudden remembrance and flit to look at Spider. "Spider, my little friend, you were wanting to show us how you can use little bones to pick locks, right? Well, I think this is the perfect opportunity to try!"

  7. - Top - End - #157
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Crawling eerily around the frame of the door, Spider transfers from the wall to the ground fluidly and approaches the cabinet. "I'll show you my special talent!" Spider announces happily, drawing a set of bones from the little bag, sharpened to points and with little ridges made in mimicry of lockpicking tools.

    Spider sets the bones into the little grasping mandibles of its mouth and stands up against the cabinet, fiddling with the lock with surprising dexterity. After only a few moments, there is a click as the cabinet unlocks. "Huvay!" Spider mumbles around the bones still held in its mouth. Anton claps his hands from the doorway, and Gweyir has an impressed smile on her face.
    Last edited by RandomWombat; 2020-10-23 at 08:57 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #158
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Spider's enthusiasm is simply too infectious. Combined with the spider's muffled cry, Kellon gives a hearty laugh. "Well done, little one! You just did with your mouth what most folk can't do with full fingers!" He reaches down and scratches Spider's head affectionately, taking care with the tips of his claws.

    Opening the cabinet, Kellon tells the other two, "Well, if no one has any objections, I'll be taking this monster here." He hefts the heavy crossbow. More than three times as heavy as his old crossbow, but he knows that the pull strength is greater, as is the range and stopping power.

  9. - Top - End - #159
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Gweyir approaches the cabinet as well, joining in giving Spider affectionate scratches on its back. All of the attention elicits what might generously be called a purr, and more accurately be called a tittering noise. She plucks the light crossbow from among those on display and claims the bolts that go with it.

    Examining the hand crossbow, Anton admits, "I'm really not familiar with the smaller design. Perhaps I could borrow your spare?" he asks, motioning to the still slightly damp driftwood crossbow Kellon carries. "Either way, we may as well take it. Could be worth something." Gweyir nods and picks up the hand crossbow, tucking it away.

    "Maybe we can teach Spider to use it," she suggests half-jokingly.

  10. - Top - End - #160
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    In response to Anton's request, Kellon reaches back with a practiced motion and pulls the crossbow from over his shoulder. He holds it out for Anton to take. "Never had to use this too much, but I was always happy to have it when I did. T'won't be the weapon that fails ye, I'll tell you that!" After Anton takes the lighter crossbow, Kellon takes some of the bolts from the cabinet.

    Kellon knows that Gweyir's jest was not meant to hurt, but he points a claw at her to reinforce the idea. "If you had told me before yesterday that a spider could learn to pick locks, I'd have told you to stop drinking seawater. If Spider can manage lockpicks, then Spider can sure as thunder learn to pull a trigger!"

    Looking between the others, Kellon reluctantly voices what they are all thinking. "Well, that's every room in the house... except for the basement. What are you thinking? Straight into the sea serpent's lair, or do you want a bit of time to rest? I know that you've spent most of your magic, Anton. I will abide by whatever decision is made."

  11. - Top - End - #161
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    "Given an hour, I can prepare us an additional healing elixir and restore some of my spent magic," Anton suggests. "I do not think it would do us well to sleep in this house again if we do not have need. I'm wondering if this... decaying of decorum," he motions around at the formerly innocuous, now macabre scenery, "Is only the beginning of some process."

    "Have you noticed anything changing since you've been staying here, Spider?" Gweyir asks, looking down.

    "Nope."

    "Hm... then again, maybe the house just considers Spider to be more of a feature than prey." She looks around following Anton's gesture, shuddering at the thought that the house - or something influencing it - might be watching.

  12. - Top - End - #162
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Anton raises a very good point. "Very well. May as well rest here, since there are seats and all." He tries not to think about the implication that they are being toyed with. That way lies madness, like a sailor too long at sea and desperate for any hint of land or a woman. "I'd almost be tempted to light the fireplace for a touch of warmth, but it might just open up a portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire or some layer of Hell for all I bloody know." Kellon sits in one of the padded chairs, the ability to actually sit on something comfortable a rare treat.

  13. - Top - End - #163
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Anton goes over to the card table and takes a seat, opening up his spellbook and getting to work. Gweyir takes the second seat in front of the fireplace, and Spider folds its legs beneath itself, lying on the ground in front of them. "Almost feels comfortable," the elf's gaze flickers to her side. "If not for the prowling wolves in the periphery."

    She sighs and tries her best to relax. "So you lived out in the islands, Kellon?"

  14. - Top - End - #164
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Kellon gives a contented sigh as he sinks into the seat before answering. "Aye. I never knew if the island that we lived on had a name, but we always called it 'Stormshield'. Something about the layout of the island made it a safe haven against the great storms that came through. Mother and Father thought it would be a nice, quiet place to hatch me and raise me and live out the last year of their lives." He speaks casually of the death of his parents. "It was rough at first, dealing with the idea of being alone and knowing it was inevitable, but they always warned me about it and gave me a great deal of advice. I buried them on that island. I even used their old rowboat as a coffin to protect their bodies in case the sand was swept away.

    I lived alone for a while. At first, I ignored ships when they passed and actively resented any shore parties. In time, though, I got lonely. I started wandering here and there, staying only as long as I liked. I don't know how much of that was due to my kind's wanderlust and how much was the Tempest sweeping me up in the current."
    He stops and looks at Gweyir. "What about you? How does a druid end up on a pirate hunters' ship?" At the time, Kellon had not felt like learning their names was worth the time... It is enough to make him feel at least a little guilty.

  15. - Top - End - #165
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    She fiddles with the pommel of the Dursts' silver sword, looking a little forlorn. "We are a circle of Dreamers, living along the coast of Tethyr. You lived in what we would call the Sea of Swords, notorious for many small uncharted islands... and many pirates," she relays, though it sounds more like she's dancing around the important thing by finding other things to say. "It was mainly wood elves. I'm technically half wood elf, but I take more after my father," she rambles a little before sitting up straighter and getting more to the point.

    "The 'wolf pirates' we were tracking were not only raiding ships, but also the shores. They only take the young, and they abducted my younger brother - among others. That's why I joined up on the Spurned Falcon. I hoped to learn where they take their captives."

  16. - Top - End - #166
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    "And now the Falcon is truly spurned and we are arguably abducted as well," Kellon observes wryly. "But why did they call them wolf pirates?

  17. - Top - End - #167
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Spider raises a single limb to pat Gweyir on the leg. But it's Rose's voice that speaks, "I'm sorry. I hope you can find him... I don't know what I would do if I lost Thorn."

    Taking a deep breath and swallowing, Gweyir nods. "Thanks, Rose." She looks back over at Kellon and answers, "The rumors claim that the pirates are part man and part beast. Some go further and call them wolf men. They could be gnolls."

    "Or werewolves," Anton speaks up, drawing Gweyir's gaze. "Lycanthropes. Transform under the light of the moon into wolves, or partially between. Infectious," he holds up a hand at that word, as if in warning.

    "I never considered that," the druid admits with a frown. "Usually on the sea you'd expect something like weresharks."

    "Weresharks... never heard of such a thing. But I suppose anything is possible." The man's work affords a second glance, as there appears to be a half-formed glass vial made out of shimmering reddish light floating in front of him, slowly gathering more material as he works in his spellbook with one hand and performs arcane gestures around it with the other.

  18. - Top - End - #168
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Kellon gently reminds Gweyir, "It could also be that that particular lot are just hairier than usual or have some kind of wolf symbol. Magic isn't always involved, even if it is common throughout. Still, not that it matters at the moment. We have far bigger problems on our claws." He looks out the window and curses, "I'd rather fight an entire fleet of pirates than spend another day with this damned Mist!"

    Anton's magical preparations are visually interesting, but magic takes all sorts of forms. It seems like there are many different ways to channel the energy and people just use different methods. Looking down at Spider, Kellon remembers something that the townsfolk said yesterday. "I heard someone here say that the ocean is a myth. Is that what the grown-ups told you, Rose?"

  19. - Top - End - #169
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "Oh, yes," Rose answers, with Spider turning to look up at Kellon with his eight eyes. One might wonder if it's strange looking out of so many eyes for the possessing spirits. "I learned in my history lessons that long ago, before the devil Strahd ruled Barovia, its rivers ran to the ocean as all rivers do. But no one has seen the ocean for generations now."

    Spoiler: Kellon Perception
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    As he looks out the window, Kellon notices a silhouette of a hunched figure walking through the Mists outside, seemingly unhindered. Should he move to take a closer look, he can see that it is a crooked old woman, her hair tied back with a colorful bandana.

  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Normally, there would be a lot to unpack in Rose's statement, but the sight outside has Kellon flailing and rocking in his chair to get his shelled bulk standing. "By the Eye of the Storm! There's someone out there!!!" Kellon hurries over to the window, trying to get a better look.

    Anton had mentioned that Strahd's messenger was unconcerned by the Mist... Could this strange woman be another of the devil's cronies?

  21. - Top - End - #171
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Seeing Kellon's reaction, Gweyir stands up, and Spider scrambles to its 'feet'. In spite of his obvious curiosity as he glances over, Anton does not abandon his rituals to go take a look out of the window.

    "Are they in danger? I don't think so. It must be one of the Vistani. They are servants of the devil Strahd, and they can walk safely through the Mists of Ravenloft."

    "Dammit, we can't even go out there to question her," Gweyir curses.

  22. - Top - End - #172
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    "Something tells me that we should be glad that we can't confront her, Gweyir... If she can freely traverse the Mist with no ill effects, I don't know if we could even do anything. Devils don't dole out rewards to weaklings. But why would she be here? It's not like this village is important in any way... Is it?" Kellon looks down at Spider for confirmation, realizing that he is making assumptions.

  23. - Top - End - #173
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "The Vistani are spies, that report back to their master. We should shut the curtains."

    "Then I have good news, because I am just... about... done," with a final gesture, Anton finishes conjuring a shimmering vial of red liquid. He takes it and reaches down, slipping it into Spider's silk pouch. "Just drink that if you're hurt, little fella. Should fix you right up. I should caution you that it will disappear in about a day, however."

    "Alright," Gweyir grabs the curtains and draws them across her window as she turns around. "Does that mean we're ready to go up to the hidden staircase?"

  24. - Top - End - #174
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Kellon does as Rose recommends, though he tries to do so naturally and not draw attention. He wonders if it is too late, if this spy has already seen whatever she was looking for...

    He nods grimly in response to Gweyir's question. "Aye. This will be unpleasant business, but needs must. Spider, perhaps you should stay back with the children. There's no telling what we might find down there...." His claws grip tightly onto the Spear of Light.

  25. - Top - End - #175
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "But I want to help!" Spider insists, sounding put out. "I'll be very sad if my new friends don't come back. I'll cover Thorn's eyes if we see anything bad. We'll be good, promise!"

  26. - Top - End - #176
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Kellon gives a reptilian hiss of displeasure, then puts his forehead into one hand. Spider is more mobile than anyone in the house. If the trio make up their minds to follow, they'll just do so. With a great big sigh, Kellon finally relents, but glares pointedly at Spider.

    "You are to stay out of the way and let the adults handle things. If I tell you to run, you put all eight of those legs to use, understand me? And no talking unless absolutely necessary, all right? If you really want everyone to make it through this, you will do as I ask. No games here; this is serious business."

  27. - Top - End - #177
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Spider lowers its head and pulls its mandibles together. "Okay, I will go into super sneaky mode!"

  28. - Top - End - #178
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    "All right... Let's see this done, then." Kellon says nothing more as they begin making their way up to the attic. He doesn't necessarily drag his feet to get there, but he is also not in a monstrous hurry. The darkest corners of his mind are furiously at work imagining what they might find in the vile hidden guts of this place, like water in the bilge...

  29. - Top - End - #179
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    From the top of the wretched house, the descent begins. The stairs spiral downwards, for what feels like forever, into the dark. The stairs beneath are lit only by the spear held before Kellon, and the firelight of Anton's oil lamp behind him. Gweyir walks between, with Spider at the rear.

    The stairs are rickety old wood, and Kellon can see as the descend no supports beneath each step. Yet these do not creak, they do not bend, they do not yield in the slightest to his weight. As if the rot in them has only made them stronger. The cramped space within the spiral seems to close in from all angles, particularly around Kellon's wide shell, drawing out feelings of claustrophobia.

    At last, a tunnel emerges into view at the bottom of the staircase. Distant sounds of voices can be heard, in a chanting too distant to hear, echoing from the depths. The walls are stone, hewn from the earth, with wooden support beams at regular intervals.

  30. - Top - End - #180
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    Everything about this place stinks to the heavens. Sure, it was convenient that the stairs did not give under Kellon's weight, but that only made them all the more suspicious. Kellon had always thought the inner decks of ships to be restrictive, but the darkness and spiraling tightness of this staircase... It was nightmare inducing for someone used to the open sky and without darkvision. Only a sense of duty kept him moving forward.

    At last, they reach the bottom. The tunnel branches into different paths and the unsettling drone of chanting can be just heard. Kellon stops to get his bearings, trying to pinpoint the direction of the chanting.
    Spoiler: OOC
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    Perception: (1d20+3)[19]

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