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  1. - Top - End - #781
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    "Strahd has many undead under his command," Ismark answers, somewhat unhelpfully. But he thinks a moment and then adds, "He is said to have eerie horses in his service. It would not surprise me if his servants rode them sometimes. But none of the creatures sent to assail us have thus far ridden on horseback, no."

  2. - Top - End - #782
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    Prehysterical's Avatar

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    Pointing upward, Kellon explains, "A few nights ago, when we were camped here, there was a dark rider up on top of the cliff. Strahd has powerful magic, surely, but it makes one wonder if a pair of eyes and a mouth told him about our dead comrade...

    Your sister said that Strahd referred to her by a different name. What was it... Tatyana, or something like that? He seems to think that she is a different person."

  3. - Top - End - #783
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    "They say that the wolves and bats of Barovia answer to Strahd," the nobleman relates, taking a seat near Kellon as they converse. "I suppose after the other day, we can confirm that the wolves are a truth." With one arm, Ismark waves up at the cliffside. "Many caves here where bats roost." He sighs heavily. "If you believe all the myths, there is no place in Barovia truly safe from the vampire's gaze. Save for Vallaki's walls, protected by the saint's bones."

    "... Yes. He refers to her as Tatyana. She has told me this as well. I do not know what it means, either. As much as I am hoping to find safe haven in Vallaki, I am also hoping to find answers. A library, perhaps someone who recognizes the name?"

  4. - Top - End - #784
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    "What about the werewolves," Kellon questions. "Do they owe any allegiance to Strahd, or are they their own force?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    For the Scroll of Protection from the shop, what creature type is it keyed to?

  5. - Top - End - #785
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Protection from Evil and Good protects against all the listed creature types, so far as my knowledge of the spell goes. It's a powerful defensive catch-all, only really held back by the Concentration requirement.


    "I confess to not knowing much about the werewolves, apart from the danger they pose to travelers at night. None of the wolves we fought transformed into men when they died, I can tell you that," Ismark starts to lean back towards the web, but catches himself before he can get his hair or clothes snagged on the silk. "You fear that Strahd may attempt to take control of you?"

  6. - Top - End - #786
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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    "It's not that...," Kellon tries to assure him. Strange... the werewolf that he killed two nights ago did not transform when he died, either. Was that just a fable? "You just said that the wolves answered to Strahd and I find the of any evil in this land not answering to Strahd to be very strange. He was very angry with the Durst parents for killing his 'guests' before he could have his fun."

  7. - Top - End - #787
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    "I'm sure every evil in this land, at the very least, fears Strahd," the man suggests, "But it is hard enough for one man to unite good people together in a common cause. For one man, even an ancient vampire, to unite every evil in the land? Unthinkable."

  8. - Top - End - #788
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    Kellon looks warily at the unearthed grave. "Perhaps... but I grow more and more unsettled by his magic's reach every day." Looking around, Kellon asks, "Has anyone seen Sokol?"

  9. - Top - End - #789
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    "No, have not seen him all day," a voice from behind Kellon answers. When he looks back, Sokol puts a palm to his forehead. "Ah! I have no mirror. That is why!" the man laughs at his own jest.
    Last edited by RandomWombat; 2020-12-01 at 10:16 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #790
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    Sokol's wit gets him a small chuckle from Kellon. "Your wife seemed to be doing better when we saw her..." His manner grows more serious. "She was in a bad way when we first met her... Tell me, if it turned out that your daughter was... not able to come home, would she survive that news?"

  11. - Top - End - #791
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    The serious topic gives Sokol's usual levity pause, and he looks up at the tent-like ceiling of webbing covering their campsite. "I wonder where that Spider puts it all, ay." He comments, trying to move the subject away. But with a heavy sigh, he admits, "I think the news would do her in. She still doesn't know about... the other thing, either." He looks aside at both Ismark and Father Donavich. They aren't intentionally eavesdropping, but he pays mind to their presence and avoids saying more about his unusual condition.

    "But ay, Gweyir told me we are going to look for a way to help Father Donavich's boy, yeah? Solve one problem, we solve a future problem, two birds with one stone," seizing upon the optimistic idea brings back the joking tone in his voice, as he shrugs off the melancholy. "And don't you worry, Father. We will find a way to help your boy! Or my name is not Sokol Sokolov!"

    "Hope is a dangerous thing when it can be... taken away," the Father responds quietly, looking aside and rubbing his arm. "I am hesitant to let it root too deep. But... I admire your optimism, friend."

    "Have you heard of the abbey up north?" Ismark suggests, sliding back into the conversation. Father Donavich had mentioned the abbey earlier, among the possible locations to go to about purging the lycanthropy. "They say that the abbot there is a great healer. It is a long journey from the village, but once my sister is safe I would gladly lend aid. Perhaps the abbot could even prove an ally against Strahd."

  12. - Top - End - #792
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    While the others converse about the sanctuary of the abbey, Sokol's look drives Kellon to an unpleasant conclusion. He looks squarely at Sokol and asks, "Sokol, don't you think it's about time that you informed us of that 'other problem'? Before we engage in battle with the hags during the night and someone's help might turn out to be harm?" He looks aside at Father Donavich pointedly, but without malice.

  13. - Top - End - #793
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    "I suppose it would not be the worst idea," the undead warrior admits, taking a step away from the webbing behind him. "But first, I must ask that the two of you do not overreact, yes?" He looks at Ismark and then at Father Donavich.

    Looking to Kellon with some doubt on his face, Ismark asks, "What is this about that I might overreact about?"

    Sokol reaches up and begins undoing the scarves wrapped around his face. When Ismark looks up again, he jumps up with a start - though his hand does not immediately go to his sword. Father Donavich reaches up and wraps a hand around the holy symbol hanging over his chest. "What is this?"

    "It is a long story! The short of it is that I was trapped beneath the Durst house for many years," Sokol explains, the sickly blue color of his undead flesh now clear for all to see. "And well, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?" the man shrugs with a jovial grin. "Walk the earth past death, fight some evil, save my daughter! Nothing bad in this purpose, yes?"

    "So that would explain the smell," Ismark remarks, bringing a hand up to his face. "I was trying to be polite and not bring it up..."

    "I," Father Donavich looks down at the grass and leaves beneath their feet. "I see. The Morninglord does not look kindly upon the undead... but," he hesitates, voice stopping for a moment. "There are greater evils in this land. Just know that I cannot abide if you bring harm to the innocent."

    "Then it is good I never planned to! Haha! Ah, those old stories of zombies eating brains, seems to be just nonsense yeah? I have eaten nothing since climbing out of that pit, feel fit as a fiddle."

  14. - Top - End - #794
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    Kellon tuts at Father Donavich's reaction. "'Hypocrite of the highest order', I believe your words were, Father?" His tone becomes more sincere. "Believe me, I shared your reservations at first, but Sokol is one of the main reasons we escaped the Durst house alive. I will vouch for him and his self-control. If anything..." Kellon gives a black laugh of gallows humor. "His self-control is currently stronger than mine."

  15. - Top - End - #795
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    "Know that were my son to bring harm to others in his state, I would... do as I must," the Father says, grimly, eyes closed and cast towards the ground as he continues gripping his holy symbol. "And... I am not sure if resurrection magic can help your friend, either. He has been dead for a long time."

    "I have had plenty of time to come to terms, Father! And ay, you never know," Sokol points out optimistically.

    "While I too am wary of the living dead, I am warrior enough to recognize the tactical benefits," Ismark hesitantly nods to Kellon in agreement. "Immunity to such evils as lycanthropy, for one."

    As they discuss, a rustling from the bushes outside draws the mens' attention. But it is only Gweyir, pushing he way back through the brambles into the great web tent. She's carrying her new bag along with her, the top of it open as she sets it before them on the ground. Inside are a collection of wild cherries, and a fresh rabbit wrapped in a web cocoon. "I was able to save one of the beasts from Spider's wrath, so we can have an extra bite of meat today," she says as Spider crawls in behind her as if on cue. Gweyir looks up at Sokol, who is wrapping the scarf back around his face. "Everybody's on the same page now, then?"

  16. - Top - End - #796
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    Gweyir's question gets a nod from Kellon. "Thought it would be a good idea since we don't want the good priest here to be hurting Sokol by accident." He eyes the dead rabbit, visibly salivating at the smell of fresh meat. "I know this is selfish of me, but can I have the rabbit? I fear that if I go into the blood haze with no meat to sate my gullet, the beast may be even more voracious than normal. I'll be like a shark in blood-soaked water."

  17. - Top - End - #797
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Gweyir plucks the rabbit out of the bag, pulling at some of the webbing. "Tell ya what, manage to clean this stuff off and it's all yours'." She tosses it over to Kellon.

    "Speaking of tonight. The rest of us should get sleep in shifts as well, so that we are rested and ready come night. As you say, that appears to be when the hags are active," Ismark suggests.

  18. - Top - End - #798
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    Default Re: Curse of Strahd Solo Run (IC)

    "A reasonable thought," Kellon replies, half-distracted by the morsel he holds in his hands. He tears at the webbing with fervor and claw, his beak diving eagerly into the dead animal's flesh. Eating meat raw does not overly concern him, but Kellon feels like he is feeding a bad habit by attempting to placate his lycanthropy.

  19. - Top - End - #799
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    The taste of fresh blood feels satisfying, and Kellon senses the cravings beginning to die down. He also senses everyone's eyes on him - most with worry or disgust at the sight; except for Spider, who has crawled up onto the web to feel for intrusions and doesn't seem bothered by the display.

    "I'll take first watch. I don't need to rest very long if mine gets cut off at the end," Gweyir offers, and Ismark and Father Donavich bring out blankets to lay across the ground and keep themselves from losing body heat.

    "And of course, I am always on the watch, yes?" Sokol reminds with a waggle of his finger.

    Gweyir chuckles, "How could I forget?" She picks up the alchemy glass to pour herself a bit of water in her wooden bowl and takes a drink.

  20. - Top - End - #800
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    Kellon offers his own blanket and bedroll for the two men to use while they rest.

    Now, all they can do... is wait.

  21. - Top - End - #801
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Time ticks on, dragging like a young hatchling crawling from the beach to the sea to feel the water for the first time. The 'tent' above makes it hard to track the time of day, at first, until Kellon realizes that the pillar of light streaming down from the hole Spider left above travels opposite the sun. As evening approaches, the light grows dim, stretched thin across the grassy floor and silken wall.

    The others have taken rests and are lying around or pacing back and forth. Impatience is clearly getting to everyone, except for Spider. Normally, patience would be no problem for a tortle. But the lycanthrope curse gnaws inside as evening draws nearer. Anticipation.

  22. - Top - End - #802
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    The afternoon is spent fighting the snarling impatience of the beast. Normally, Kellon would pray, but this time, he is moved to quiet introspection instead. Tonight, he would confront the beast and he would do it on his own. He had indeed grown too reliant on the blessings of his god in meeting his trials.

    Looking over at Gweyir, Kellon observes with grim resignation, "Sun's getting real low, lass."

  23. - Top - End - #803
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    Spinning around on her heel, from her pacing around the perimeter of the web dome. She comes over to Kellon, nodding with a mirrored expression to his grim resolve. "Alright. C'mon, let's get your arms around the tree," she says, going around behind the trunk.

    Soon, Kellon finds himself shackled again, though this time not in the pitch dark of the tomb. His arms are bent back at an awkward angle, and he can feel the muscles straining. Not to mention the searing touch of the silver on his wrists, still soft and sensitive from the last night. At this rate there may be permanent scarring, even if Kellon manages to find a cure.

  24. - Top - End - #804
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    Kellon follows along and complies with the shackling, even if it leaves his arms feeling very uncomfortable. The prospect of scarring does not concern him overmuch. He is not a vain creature, at least not in the sense of physical appearance.

    As best he can manage through the strain and the sting of his bindings, Kellon sends his mind sailing even if his body is chained. Closing his eyes, he tries to find that sandy beach from the night before. No prayers to the gods this time...

  25. - Top - End - #805
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Gweyir steps away, after making adjustments as best as she can. "I suppose whatever happens, I'll see you on the other side," she says, reluctantly leaving Kellon painfully restrained and returning to the wait.

    It takes some time yet before Kellon feels it overcoming him again. But as the last light of the sun turns to darkness, a deeper darkness falls over him. A feeling of vertigo like falling, falling back onto the dim shores of a familiar sandy beach. When he opens them again, his eyes regard the radiant moon above.

  26. - Top - End - #806
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    He hates the feeling of falling, but takes comfort in the feel of sand under his claws. Kellon looks himself over, making sure that he is as naked and unarmed as the day that he hatched from the egg. Tonight was a night for inner strength.

    If Kellon is to help his friends, he must confront his inner beast. Kellon goes to seek out the source of his curse.

  27. - Top - End - #807
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Searching, Kellon finds his weapons and holy symbol absent. He is indeed as naked and unarmed as a hatchling. As he stands and turns to face the cave, Kellon senses a familiar presence watching him from within. The eerie light of the blue flames does not light the beach this night, and nothing gleams in the darkness. Yet Kellon feels those pitch dark eyes upon him all the same.

    "You have sought this place. Have you changed your mind, child of the sea?"

  28. - Top - End - #808
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    A clawed fist thumps against Kellon's shell as he takes up a resolute stance. He tries not to think about how this wolf might tear him to shreds... No backing down from this fight. So long as the curse stands, Kellon is a threat to all around him.

    "I seek challenge! I believe my own strength to be greater than that of this curse! I aim to prove it by actions! No gods, no weapons, no magic! Only what nature has seen fit to provide me!"

  29. - Top - End - #809
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    "Is that so?" the wolf's voice growls, echoing and rumbling across the beach. The sand around Kellon's feet ripples like a reflection of the calm ocean waves, skittering around the talons stuck into it.

    The darkness coalesces within the cave, an inky shape emerging. Not that of the wolf Kellon met before. It ripples and distorts, changing into a shape familiar and yet foreign. Its build much like his own. The inky darkness begins to slough off of the shape, like a shed egg shell or a snake leaving its old skin behind.

    What is left is a tortle-like shape, with a heavy shell covered in fierce threatening spines. Its body, where it emerges from the shell, is covered in coarse brown fur, hanging off of its strange chimeric form.

    The shape does not move as the wolf god's voice resonates again, as the creature takes a threatening stance, snarling through bared, long, sharp teeth. "Be my guest."

    Spoiler: Initiative
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    Kellon has the first turn.

  30. - Top - End - #810
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    The creature that emerges from the cave is not the white wolf that Kellon dreaded, and yet he feels sickened looking upon the shadowy apparition. Is this what he looks like when he is shifted? What an abomination!

    Kellon walks forward a dozen paces, halfway to the creature. He spreads his feet wide in a steady stance, his claws flexed and waiting for the creature to come at him.
    Spoiler: OOC
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    Kellon readies an attack.

    Attack: (1d20+6)[12]
    Damage: (1d4+4)[5]

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