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  1. - Top - End - #1021
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    "He's the shovel man at the church," Yeska answers. "He lives here with us."

    "I remember him. The groundskeeper who was weeding the graveyard," Gweyir comments from the doorway.

  2. - Top - End - #1022
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Prehysterical's Avatar

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    Someone who should know better... "That is all I need to know. Thank you for your help, Yeska. You are free to go." Kellon deliberately steps back to allow Yeska easier access to the door. "I will go have a talk with Milivoj. He doesn't need to know that you helped me."

  3. - Top - End - #1023
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Hands still wrapped around himself, Yeska guiltily treads back over to the door and looks back from the frame, where Gweyir is poking her head out. "Please don't let the Baron hurt him! He wasn't trying to be bad."

  4. - Top - End - #1024
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Prehysterical's Avatar

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    "To be frank, my boy, I have far more important matters on my mind than punishment," Kellon half-reassures the boy as he goes back inside.

    He approaches the threshold and tells Gweyir in a low voice, "Sounds like we better hurry on over to the church and see just what our shovelboy has dug up. It would be optimistic to say that the bones are still in town, but I feel like praying a little right now."

  5. - Top - End - #1025
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "We don't have far to walk at least," the elf answers, walking back towards the front door. She lightly taps Spider on the back as she passes, "Time to go, buddy."

    "Aww." "Bye Spider."

    "Bye bye, be good!" exchanging farewells with the children, Spider crawls along behind Kellon and Gweyir. At the front door, Feddick and Father Donavich are making idle conversation of the weather and daily hassles, such as the aches and pains of getting older.

    As they emerge, the patron turns to them and asks, "Did you learn what you needed?"

  6. - Top - End - #1026
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Prehysterical's Avatar

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    Kellon gives a terse nod to Feddick's question. "Aye. Is the boy Milivoj over at the church right now?"

  7. - Top - End - #1027
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "He is, yes. Right over there," Feddick points across the road to the graveyard, then pauses and looks around. The graveyard and church yard are empty, apart from a pair of pigeons perched on a bench. "He was there not long ago."

  8. - Top - End - #1028
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    The look that Kellon gives to Gweyir says what both of them are thinking. Aloud, Kellon states, "It seems that the game is afoot... Well, we best get hunting." He turns to Father Donavich and asks, "Do me a favor and make sure that the boy's not in the church, would you, Father?"

    Kellon makes for the graveyard, looking for signs of the boy's departure.
    Spoiler: OOC
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    Survival: (1d20+5)[11]

  9. - Top - End - #1029
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "I will," the priest answers with an affirmative nod, walking across the street with Kellon and breaking off to enter the church. Gweyir is hot on Kellon's heels, with Sokol and Spider falling in behind.

    The graveyard is resting peacefully, and Milivoj's shovel was taken with him. At first Kellon can't spot any clues, but Gweyir calls and waves him over. "Some fresh footprints here going out," she points, following them along out of the graveyard's gate. They proceed east, deeper into town. "They don't look hurried or panicked, so I don't think he knows we're onto him."

    Not long after, Father Donavich emerges from inside. "Not inside," he says with a shake of his head.

  10. - Top - End - #1030
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    "Well done, shipmate," Kellon compliments. "But how are we going to track him...?"

    After a moment's thought, Kellon asks, "Spider, do you think you could get on the roofs and do some scouting for us? We are looking for that boy we saw here in the yard this morning. He should be carrying a shovel- er, a stick with a big wide metal head on it."

  11. - Top - End - #1031
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "Sure! I can climb all over," Spider happily chirps. Crawling on all eight legs up onto the rooftop of a nearby building, the arachnid will no doubt cause a stir to those who see it. But bigger things are at stake now. Lifting up a single leg in a wave, Spider begins moving further into town in the direction Gweyir indicated.

    "We should help too. Should we split up to cover more ground?" Gweyir asks. "Using the buddy system of course. Even here in town, I don't trust this land for a minute."
    Last edited by RandomWombat; 2021-01-20 at 04:10 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #1032
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Kellon waves back before turning his attention back to Gweyir.

    "While I am hesitant to split us up... it may be our best option. You and Father Donavich swing north. Sokol and I will go south. If any of the local guard harass you, mentioning that we are part of Ismarck's otryad, or whatever it's called, might at least stop them from clapping you in irons. If you come up empty, we can meet up at the eastern gate."

  13. - Top - End - #1033
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    With a small salute, Gweyir answers with a chuckle, "Aye aye, captain. Heh. Thought the joke was in poor taste back when we thought the cap' might not have made it," she starts moving along the main street with Father Donavich, while Sokol strolls over to Kellon to join him. Their paths don't diverge for a good minute, but soon a branching side road breaks south and they go their separate ways.

    "At least I have a partner whose walking speed I can match, ay?" Sokol playfully jests, although even the tortle's heavy steps outpace him if he doesn't slow down to match. The old zombie's knees audibly creak when they move, like those of a rickety old man; he is, fortunately, spared the discomfort that the mortal elderly must endure.

    Their walk is uneventful, until they pass by a large and imposing building that stands out from the rest. The mansion has walls of plastered stone that display many scars where the plaster has fallen away from age and neglect. Drapes cover every window, including a large, arched opening above the mansion's double entrance doors. People come and go through the doors steadily, going in empty handed and emerging with lanterns and baubles to join the other festival decorations hanging on strings. None of the people look particularly festive, and most are too tired to even bother giving Kellon a death glare.

    A bronze plaque upon the wall next to the door, much like that of the Durst residence, announces it as the home of Baron Vargas Vallakovich.

    There is, however, no sign of the shovel-toting boy outside or around the mansion among the other festival workers. Ahead along their path, should they choose to carry on, is a T intersection. The road splits to the north and to the south. Straight across the intersection stands another notable building. A tiny, cramped thing set in the middle of a yard too large for it, as if there had once been something larger or more grand planned which withered down into this failed sprout of a shop.

    This cramped shop has a dark entrance portico, above which hangs a wooden sign shaped like a rocking horse, with a "B" engraved on both sides. Flanking the entrance are two arched, lead-framed windows. Through the dirty glass, one can see jumbled displays of toys and hanging placards bearing the slogan "Is No Fun, Is No Blinsky!" - a phrase Kellon recognizes from the doll belonging to Sokol's missing daughter, as well as a few toys from the Durst house.

  14. - Top - End - #1034
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Mindful of his companion, Kellon slows his pace to allow Sokol to keep up.

    As they pass the mansion, Kellon shakes his head... both at the towering edifice of crumbling vanity and the exhaustion of the townsfolk. Some "celebration" this was turning out to be...

    The crowds prove too much for an efficient search. They move on down the road and come to the intersection, where Kellon looks with curiosity at the toy store. Momentarily distracted, Kellon asks Sokol, "How do the children in your village get these toys? Do wagons sometimes go out to the village?"

  15. - Top - End - #1035
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "Ah, you know. Used to guard the farms out there," Sokol waves generally in the direction of the Durst windmill. "Guards and farm workers traveled together, from village to here and back. Safer than alone. " He looks at the toys in the shop windows nostalgically, despite the often macabre imagery they bear behind the dusty glass. "Sometimes would stop in town, buy things only found here. Is where I got my daughter her doll."

  16. - Top - End - #1036
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Prehysterical's Avatar

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    "So I noticed," Kellon acknowledges. "Well, in any case, let's swing onto the road going south of here. We can always double back, if necessary. I don't have the foggiest notion where our gravedigger might have gone..."

  17. - Top - End - #1037
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Around the block they go, following the curved road as it passes by Barovian homes lined up on either side. The houses range from humble barely-two-room shacks like Sokol's to the finer homes of minor nobles; which still pale in comparison to what the Baron's mansion or even the Durst house must have looked like in their day.

    As the road curves back north, the side road widens and once more their feet are graced with cobblestone that clacks beneath Kellon's claws. The shops and homes that enclose the town square are decorated with limp, tattered garlands and painted wooden boxes filled with tiny, dead flowers. The same townsfolk Kellon saw at the Baron's mansion are taking down the old decorations, and replacing them with the new, freshly made lanterns and effigies of suns.

    At the north end of the square stands a row of stocks, locked in which are several men, women, and children wearing crude, plaster donkey heads. Hanging from their necks are wooden signs reading Mood Killer. A pair of town guards watches over the stocks.

    In the center of the square, peasants in patchwork clothes eye the new arrivals to the square suspiciously as they use cups and vases to draw water from a crumbling stone fountain. Standing tall at the center of the fountain is a gray statue of an impressive man facing west.

    Two men walk past Kellon and Sokol carrying away a sign with a proclamation from the old festival in large, bold font:

    Come one, come all,
    to the greatest celebration of the year:
    THE WOLF'S HEAD JAMBOREE!
    Attendance and children required.
    Pikes will be provided.
    ALL WILL BE WELL!
    - The Baron -

    "That explains all the piked heads outside, ay?" Sokol comments. From the town square, two more roads branch off: one northwest towards the Blue Water Inn that Kellon can just make out in the distance, and one going east.

  18. - Top - End - #1038
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    With every passing hour, Kellon's estimation of the Baron grows lower and lower. Urban decadence rules here and there is no doubt in Kellon's mind that the "Mood Killers" are merely townsfolk who voiced their concerns. It is a pitiable sight and Kellon is tempted to intervene, but sadly there are more important matters to attend.

    Kellon responds to Sokol's humor, "'Tis one thing to defend yerselves and use the fur and such... but this is celebration of cruelty." The disgust is clear in Kellon's voice. "Even if the vampire is not within these walls, his sense of humor has poisoned their minds."

    Looking back and forth between the roads, Kellon wants to try something first. He approaches the guards watching over the stocks and asks in a polite manner, "Pardon me for disturbing you, but have you seen a young man come through here with a shovel? One of the orphans?"

  19. - Top - End - #1039
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Sokol's eyes, too, linger on the people bound in the stockades. He begins to say something else, but breaks off partway through, looking around the square while Kellon approaches the guard. The man up on the wooden platform looks down at him hesitantly. "Sure. Went off that way," he nods towards the east road. Whether the man's cooperation is born of Kellon's politeness or a desire for him to go away is unclear.

    Once they are further away, Sokol speaks quietly to Kellon, "How long you think they have been there?"

  20. - Top - End - #1040
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Not the friendliest of fellows, this guard, but he seems to be telling the truth. At least they know they're on the right track.

    As they move away, Kellon's answer is troubled. "I haven't the foggiest notion. What I do know is that any noble who puts a child in the stocks deserves to have an anchor tied around his neck!" There is a bit of a hiss at the end as Kellon voices his displeasure.

    "But the wards cannot wait, or it won't matter. We'll find some way to help later." He tries to clear his mind and keep his eyes open for Milivoj.

  21. - Top - End - #1041
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    "Think they are still guarded at night?" Sokol ponders aloud, albeit quietly, to Kellon. There's a hint of conspiracy in the man's voice, and he looks back over his shoulder at the fading town square as they move on.

    As they move back onto the main road east, towards the town gate they came in through, they see someone ahead of them walking. They're carrying a shovel over one shoulder, and a burlap bag hangs from their other hand at their side. As the person turns, Kellon sees the familiar look of the young man from the graveyard. He's turning from the main road into a wider, open area surrounding a town park.

  22. - Top - End - #1042
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    Kellon catches onto the man's meaning and replies just as quietly. "Maybe. We'll just have to see. Later, Sokol," he reminds the dead man as they pursue their objective.

    Once Kellon's eyes fall on Milivoj, he elbows Sokol to alert him. "That's him. Let's keep it slow, but if the boy runs, I'll have to go ahead."

  23. - Top - End - #1043
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Pained expression clear in his eyes even past the scarf wrapped around his face, Sokol meets Kellon's gaze and nods. He too spots the suspicious individual ahead of them, and tries to look natural... as natural as the two of them can look, at least.

    Fortunately, Milivoj doesn't seem to suspect he's being followed. Turning the corner, he walks around the stone path that encompasses the edge of the park, bringing them around to a shop. This uninviting shop is two stories tall and has a sign shaped like a coffin above the front door. All of the window shutters are closed up tight, and a deathly silence surrounds the establishment. Milivoj stops in front of the door to lean his shovel up against the wall, freeing up a hand to reach for the handle.

  24. - Top - End - #1044
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    What sort of place is this? An undertaker's home? Before Milivoj can open the door, Kellon continues approaching as he calls out to the young man.

    "Ahoy there, lad! We saw you earlier behind the church, but didn't have the chance to make your acquaintance. Name's Kellon, and this here is me mate Sokol." Kellon keeps talking to distract Milivoj as he approaches. He's not trying to jump the boy, just keeping his attention and preventing him from entering the shop. "You're Milivoj, right? Patron Feddick told me you were the oldest boy at the orphanage. Said that you were getting ready to become your own man and leave to make your way in the world."

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