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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    "I'm Jan! Pleased to make your acquaintance!" says Jan, the impish sorceress bowing low before rising once more to meet the man's gaze. "I'm one of the Diamond Lake 'natives'," she chuckles absently before continuing, "and it's me, Frederick, and Olofire that kind of tripped into this whole thing."

    In addition to providing a great deal of detail over the group's early adventures, before the addition of either Marzena or Lydia, the gnome cheerily punctuates the battlemage's recounting of the later events with colorful commentary.

    "...so, yes, we're in a very strange situation. The Heironeans are taking this seriously, but aside from pockets of strangely-reslilient undead... we don't have any targets for a 'search-and-destroy' type of approach. But the rumblings we have are... well, chilling." She shivers, subconsciously, in her seat. "For what it's worth, I don't think Allustan wanted us to bring his name before you. I don't know the history, but... " she waves her hand dismissively in the air. "Point being, he certainly thought it was serious, and above his ability to guide us. A mage of your well-known knowledge and expertise, however... surely you have heard of this 'Kyuss'... being, right? Or divination about the "age of worms"?" The gnome looks up at the sober-gazed man hopefully.

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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Farmerbink's Avatar

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Frederick tromps through the city, perhaps even more somber and irritable than is usual. He makes no effort to speak up when Marzena greets the manservant, and leaves his armored arms crossed over his chest when presented with wine and fruit.

    At Eligos' arrival, he finally begins to soften up, well aware that their cause will be ill served by a brooding Half-Orc in spiked armor glowering in the corner. He lets his more personable companions do most of the talking, only inclining his head by way of acknowledgement of Jan's introduction and a gruff "even so," by way of greeting. He allows himself a more relaxed silence, at least, in the home of an honored and presumably powerful mage, preferring to stand than risk their host's plush cushions to his plate.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Lydia looks surprised for a moment, then recovers. "I suppose your servant did not relay our introductions... no matter. My name is Lydia, and my associate Frederick and I are servants of the most holy Archpaladin, Heironeous. I was dispatched by the church to Diamond Lake for the sole purpose of gathering intelligence on this threat, which we have done." She glances at the rest of the group before continuing. "The Church is taking this threat very seriously, but so far we haven't learned exactly what the undead are after, or how they can be stopped. You can't fight an army that skulks in the shadows..." Her grimace leaves little doubt of her opinion of such tactics.
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    Waylan, Kestros and Auspice (Wrath of the Righteous)


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  4. - Top - End - #94
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Olofire graciously takes a glass of water and listens as the others recount of the events from the beginning, with Jan's usual flourish. When it's his turn to speak he clears his throat and rises from his seat, "As they mentioned I am Dr. Olofire Lightouch, and studied at the Universities here in the free city. My specialty lies in biology, the human physiology. These spawn are unnatural. But even those specialized in arcane, in necromancy, say this is beyond normal."
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  5. - Top - End - #95
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Eligos listens closely as Marzena and Jan do the majority of the talking and nods at each of the PCs as they introduce themselves. "I still serve Tenser, in many respects. Did you leave on good terms? If so, I will be glad to pass along a greeting the next time we meet. If not, no harm done - wizards are nothing if not fickle and of high-opinion of themselves, Tenser included. I suppose it comes with the territory of being in-the-know on things so much of the time..." he says to Marzena when she mentions the famous Archmage.

    At Jan's further comments regarding Allustan he actually smiles, briefly. "My relationship with Allustan is better from my perspective, perhaps, than his. I bear him no ill will, and am glad to hear he is well and thinks I can be of some aid. Perhaps this will be what pushes him to be brave - we will see."

    When Lydia mentions the Church Eligos nods respectfully but makes no additional comment. However, as Dr. Lightfoot mentions necromancy and someone "specialized" in it Eligos' brows furrow in concern. "Have you discussed this with a necromancer? There are too few white- or even grey-necromancers in our world. 'The Art,' as it is called by many of them, attracts the worst sort all too often. Of course, you have likely fought at least one necromancer, given that you come to me out of concern of an undead plague. Did you dispatch of them, or were they able to escape? Did you learn their name?"

    As they conclude their questions he says, "Do you have any physical specimens or relics for me to inspect as part of these queries?" The party then brings out the various findings of interest - the jar with the green worm, Zosiel's silver diadem (a Headband of Inspired Wisdom that was worn by Lyr, I believe), the two demon horns, the talisman of the sphere (all from the Whispering Cairn), the various journals and missives found beneath Diamond Lake (the Three Faces of Evil), and their own stories of what they found in the Mistmarsh (Encounter at Blackwall Keep) and outside of Fork.

    Eligos takes each item in hand, gently and with great respect for their value and potential threats. He doesn't speak, instead looking intently at each item as if committing their appearances to memory. After looking at them all and carefully reading what he can without taking too long for a polite audience Eligos looks at the party and speaks again. With two fingers raised to his lips in thought he says, "Although not my area of expertise, I do know a bit of what you speak and am greatly disturbed. I will look into this matter, but it will take me some time. There are many books to consult and most are kept in the Great Library. I should be able to gather the information you seek within the week.

    It will greatly help if I may hold onto these items,
    " he gestures to the collection of assorted relics. "While you wait, I recommend you stay at the Crooked House...oh, you already have lodging...there? Very good - I know the proprietor and consider him an old friend. Mention my name and he should be willing to provide you a discount on rooms. I will contact you when I have found the knowledge you seek. Until then, Greyhawk has many comforts not found in the small villages and towns of the Cairn Hills.

    Is here anything else you wish of me before I begin this research? If not, I will have Pollard walk you out...
    "

    Eligos seems to be taking the threat of the Age of Worms very seriously. He comes off a bit standoffish, but not rudely so. Instead, he seems to be a focused man who is not particularly social but not deliberately anti-social either.

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    Eligos listens closely as Marzena and Jan do the majority of the talking and nods at each of the PCs as they introduce themselves. "I still serve Tenser, in many respects. Did you leave on good terms? If so, I will be glad to pass along a greeting the next time we meet. If not, no harm done - wizards are nothing if not fickle and of high-opinion of themselves, Tenser included. I suppose it comes with the territory of being in-the-know on things so much of the time..." he says to Marzena when she mentions the famous Archmage.
    "In good terms, certainly, yes", Marzena replies. "I apologized for wasting his time, he said I had not, even though he couldn't make a mage out of me: He made me a better learned person. Which was correct, no question."

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    When Lydia mentions the Church Eligos nods respectfully but makes no additional comment. However, as Dr. Lightfoot mentions necromancy and someone "specialized" in it Eligos' brows furrow in concern. "Have you discussed this with a necromancer? There are too few white- or even grey-necromancers in our world. 'The Art,' as it is called by many of them, attracts the worst sort all too often. Of course, you have likely fought at least one necromancer, given that you come to me out of concern of an undead plague. Did you dispatch of them, or were they able to escape? Did you learn their name?"
    "We did discuss the matter with a necromancer indeed. After failing to kill him, and in fact, acknowledging that he might have killed us if he had tried any harder. The name is Filge. Not a pleasant individual, I am told - my friends here have a history with him, longer than I. As far as we could understand, he also was a victim of this plague of worms. Most of his family was murdered and turned into spawn... as for himself, he was mysteriously turned into a mass of... well, a pile of worms, there's no two ways to tell it, I'm afraid." The battlemage begins to recount Filge's story and the group's negotiation with him.

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    "Yes, dealing with the necromancer Filge was a... necessary compromise." Lydia grimaces. "Although he seemed quite protective of his younger sister, so perhaps there is still some humanity left in him. But for how long, who can say? If your studies indicate anything to you about the nature of this... worm-formed-curse, or how it might be broken, that would be valuable indeed."

    "Thank you for your aid, Master Eligos. It is precisely knowledge of the foe that we seek. Who is behind this uprising, what are their aims, and how they may be stopped. You may put your faith in the might of the Valorous Host to dispatch the evildoers... once we know where and how to strike." With a polite nod she steps back, indicating her readiness to depart.
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    Waylan, Kestros and Auspice (Wrath of the Righteous)


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  8. - Top - End - #98
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    "Filge...Filge...Hoffman? If I recall correctly he was expelled from the University when he continued to exert control over undead during his studies there," begins Eligos before looking at Frederick and Lydia to gauge their reactions. "As you may or may not know, the University of Magical Arts has a collection of several standard specimens of animate undead kept under the strict guidance and supervision of several of the local churches. They are used for study and to train those with the aptitude to learn how to turn them, much as some members of the clergy can. I have never been a professor there, but if I remember the reports correctly he had an aptitude for controlling and directing and refused to adjust his methods. It is one of the ways the school ensures they only train white-necromancers, you see.

    I never met Filge personally, so I only know a small bit - I make it a point to speak with the professors regularly and try to keep tabs on up and coming wizards of all stripes. When he left the city I lost track of him. You say he has been cursed and is now a mass of worms? I will add that to my research goals...what an awful fate!...Is there anything else you wish to tell me?
    "

    If the party has nothing else, Eligos keeps what items they allow (I will assume you leave everything requested unless you specifically want to keep it - for example, if Albinobrow wants Olofire to research the worms with his old professors, they will need at least one specimen) and ends their audience. Pollard escorts you out after confirming that you are staying at the Crooked House. "I will come to summon you when Master Eligos has completed his research for you," he says, declining to give an estimate on the time it will take and bidding you a polite, but firm, farewell at the door.

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    It is now late afternoon. There is still plenty you can do, and Olofire wants to visit the University. Let me recommend that happen the following day. Do you wish to go shopping, or directly back to the Crooked House? Or would you like to look into the cultural opportunities in Greyhawk? This is a large, cosmopolitan city with art, museums, sporting events, food, etc...anything you can imagine can either be found here or passes through periodically.

    The story does not pause for a week while you wait, so I don't need long downtime plans - just give me some actions for this afternoon/evening and I will move things along accordingly.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Frederick finds himself precisely as uncomfortable in Eligos' posh home as he expected to be. Unwilling to soil their host's ostentation decorations, he stands at rest near a wall, where he can watch the mage as well as most of the entrances to the room. He remains silent, but for a handful of grunts of acknowledgement until Eligos demonstrates familiarity with Filge. "The very same," Frederick grunts. "It was perhaps the single most uncomfortable exchange I've ever experienced, but he seemed forthright in his desire to fight against the age of worms... in his own way."

    The broad-shouldered paladin frowns deeply. "I cannot abide his methods, but we were in no position to insist otherwise. As hideous as his form may be, it clearly imparts noteworthy protection." He shudders, glancing at Olofire. "I watched Olofire plunge a blade into his belly, only to be removed clean and unbloodied. I trust that Heironeous' blessing would enable me to smite him, but when we met I was exhausted and unable to think clearly enough." After a weighty pause, he sighs. He pointedly avoids Lydia's gaze as he finds himself uttering something akin to heresy. "Perhaps it's for the best. I pray we will find a way to heal him, and likewise urge him towards better things."

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    Frederick is pointedly disinterested in pursuing cultural things in Greyhawk. He will go with anyone else who wants to, mostly as a self-appointed bodyguard.

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "Filge...Filge...Hoffman? If I recall correctly he was expelled from the University when he continued to exert control over undead during his studies there," begins Eligos before looking at Frederick and Lydia to gauge their reactions. "As you may or may not know, the University of Magical Arts has a collection of several standard specimens of animate undead kept under the strict guidance and supervision of several of the local churches. They are used for study and to train those with the aptitude to learn how to turn them, much as some members of the clergy can. I have never been a professor there, but if I remember the reports correctly he had an aptitude for controlling and directing and refused to adjust his methods. It is one of the ways the school ensures they only train white-necromancers, you see.

    I never met Filge personally, so I only know a small bit - I make it a point to speak with the professors regularly and try to keep tabs on up and coming wizards of all stripes. When he left the city I lost track of him. You say he has been cursed and is now a mass of worms? I will add that to my research goals...what an awful fate!...Is there anything else you wish to tell me?
    "

    If the party has nothing else, Eligos keeps what items they allow (I will assume you leave everything requested unless you specifically want to keep it - for example, if Albinobrow wants Olofire to research the worms with his old professors, they will need at least one specimen) and ends their audience. Pollard escorts you out after confirming that you are staying at the Crooked House. "I will come to summon you when Master Eligos has completed his research for you," he says, declining to give an estimate on the time it will take and bidding you a polite, but firm, farewell at the door.

    Spoiler: OoC
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    It is now late afternoon. There is still plenty you can do, and Olofire wants to visit the University. Let me recommend that happen the following day. Do you wish to go shopping, or directly back to the Crooked House? Or would you like to look into the cultural opportunities in Greyhawk? This is a large, cosmopolitan city with art, museums, sporting events, food, etc...anything you can imagine can either be found here or passes through periodically.

    The story does not pause for a week while you wait, so I don't need long downtime plans - just give me some actions for this afternoon/evening and I will move things along accordingly.
    If I may, who were Filge's professors you mentioned? I plan to go to the University tomorrow and meet with my own professors regarding this plague and any insights they may have. But if we can also speak with his old teachers, perhaps they too could shed light not only on the Age of Worms but also on Filge and his condition.

    As their conversation comes to close, Olofire gives a slight nod to Eligos in thanks for his hospitality and heads out. After they leave he turns to Jan, So Jan, is there anything here you'd like to see?
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    "For your first visit, may I suggest the Red Serpent Restaurant," Lydia interjects, stepping to tower over both Olofire and Jan. "They have the spiciest noodles I've ever tasted! It's over on the west side of the city, near the River Quarter. And the Artisan's Quarter is nearby, if you want to lighten your coin purses on any trinkets." Suddenly she scowls at noone in particular, remembering how her own coin purse has recently been lightened against her will.

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    Picked a name at semi-random from this map of Grayhawk City. Lydia suggests touring a few culinary destinations before retiring to the Crooked House for the night.
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    Waylan, Kestros and Auspice (Wrath of the Righteous)


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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    As the party makes their way toward the exit, Jan lets out a deep exhale, apparently having been holding the great majority of her breath during their audience with the sagely mage. "Phew. He wasn't nearly as stodgy, nor as stiff as some of the big wizardly types I've heard about. Hopefully he can get us pointed in the right direction."

    Quote Originally Posted by MuffinMan View Post
    "For your first visit, may I suggest the Red Serpent Restaurant," Lydia interjects, stepping to tower over both Olofire and Jan. "They have the spiciest noodles I've ever tasted! It's over on the west side of the city, near the River Quarter. And the Artisan's Quarter is nearby, if you want to lighten your coin purses on any trinkets." Suddenly she scowls at noone in particular, remembering how her own coin purse has recently been lightened against her will.
    Jan turns a surprised, but gleaming smile upon the Heironean priestess. "Why, that sounds amazing!! A little more exciting than road rations or barracks fare, eh? Why not, while we're in the Free City!" She chuckles up at Lydia before turning her gaze toward Frederick. "'Sides, maybe we can get a bit of sun to peek out of those thunderclouds. What say you, Freddy?" She beams up at the half-orc expectantly.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    "The Red Serpent? Great idea! I've not been in years! They're great with spicy food, but my real favorite is their dessert table. I hope they still have their mint leaf and monster raspberry loaf! I used to have that on every birthday..." Marzena enthusiastically endorses Lydia's suggestion.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Eligos nods sagely at Frederick's comments. "An apocalypse makes for strange bed-fellows. Your desire to redeem Filge is noble - in many ways even more noble than the usual motives of crusading Heironeans. You two are to be commended," he says, nodding at Lydia and Frederick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albinobrow View Post
    If I may, who were Filge's professors you mentioned?
    "I generally keep the names of my network-members private, but it isn't much of a secret who runs the 'School of the Art,' as Necromancers call it...or rather, who is the school in Greyhawk. Lady - Doctor - Ellandra Tolbert is the most experienced necromancer allowed to operate within the greater jurisdiction of the Free City. She is a very private woman and does not frequently entertain visitors. She is well known to the local churches and minds herself so as not to draw attention to herself. She is not a particularly principled woman when it comes to philosophies, but she is devoted both to the study of necromantic magic and the proper use of it - that is, she abhors undead but believes the best way to combat them is to study them. I can vouch for her balanced perspective and that she has worked hard for the respect of her peers," responds Eligos before continuing in a discouraging tone. "As I mentioned, she rarely sees guests. We only converse via letter - mundane missives delivered by a trusted agent. I can see if she will meet you, if you like, but I doubt she will..."

    Spoiler: Knowledge (Arcana) DC 25, (Religion) 30
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    Lady Tolbert is a reclusive White-Necromancer (meaning she is vehemently against the use of undead or using Necromancy magic against the living) who has lived in Greyhawk for about three decades. She is of noble birth, a widow, and an adjunct professor at the University (where she teaches private lessons to select few students who show both an aptitude for Necromancy and the self-control to avoid falling into Grey- or Black-Necromancy. Rumor has it that she is somewhat lovely, though other rumors suggest this is a disguise hiding horrible necromancy-induced scars and disfigurements. Her relative wealth is unknown, though she does not appear to engage in commerce, suggesting she is either fabulously wealthy or lives ascetically-enough to be sustained on the small salary received for her teaching and research efforts.



    With the party decided, they make their way towards the Red Serpent Restaurant. Turning a corner in the diverse and busy Foreign Quarter (home of many exotic merchants and travelers looking to earn fortunes in trade during their visits to the Free City), the party sees a brightly painted, mostly-red building with serpentine-dragon motifs throughout the architecture. There is a fifteen minute wait, during which time they see a dizzying array of people pass by on the street - every race the PCs can name, and several of which only Marzena or Olofire have ever heard. The hustle and bustle at times even brushes up against the line outside the restaurant, though not roughly enough to upset anyone.

    Once inside they are greeted by a tall, stately raven-haired human woman in a well-made black dress and gold cloak. "Welcome to the Red Serpent! I'm Enkar - my husband Cevin and I own the place. Thank you for waiting - we are a bit busier than usual tonight. Can I get you all a table for five?"

    Spoiler: Enkar Efstri and a bust of her husband Cevin
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    Over the course of the meal you learn that Enkar was an adventuring warrior in her youth. It was during one adventure that she met her husband, Cevin, who was some kind of martial-mystic living in far off lands. They fell in love, married, and retired from adventuring to open this restaurant in Greyhawk. The food does not disappoint - spicier peppers than anyone has had anywhere else are liberally used in the seasonings - and there is a surprising new treat! To balance the fiery heat of their food, the Efstris have installed a magical drink refrigerator and now serve all their drinks, alcoholic and not, ice-cold! This novelty (completely unheard of anywhere else) makes the evening's meal a real treat.

    And yes, they still serve the mint leaf and monster raspberry loaf. "Try it with a cold glass of milk - it will help your stomachs later!"


    After making it back to the Crooked House, the party sleeps well, with full bellies and only a little bit of indigestion from the unusual spices thank to the milk. They all wake the next day, ready to visit the University and Dr. Lightfoot's old schoolhouse...

    Spoiler: OoC
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    This has been a big post already. Please take a moment to respond to it, if you like. I will post to introduce the University on Friday or Saturday.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Frederick looks down to meet Jan's gaze. Unable to completely maintain his irritable facade, he smirks at the ingratiating little Gnome and begrudgingly assents to chaperone join them on their quest for more flavorful vittles.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Marzena recognizes the Red Serpent's owner and flashes her a warm smile. "Yours used to be my favorite place as a teenager you know! So glad to be back, it's been a long time! And... I already know what dessert I will want ", she adds, slightly blushing at this outburst of childishness, but beaming with pleasure all the same.

    During the meal, she marvels at the innovative chilled drinks, and definitely tries a few, concluding with the milk to go with the cake - just as good as she remembered it. "Ah, this feels really great, friends." Her eyes wander a bit as she realizes this reprieve in their incredibly scary quest will be a brief one.
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    The food and ambiance of the Red Serpent Restaurant is enough to make even the businesslike Lydia lower her guard - a little. Sighing as she relaxes in the atmosphere of good food and good company, strange thoughts begin to appear unbidden. The life of a civilian... Not so bad, in moments like this. I think I could rather get used to this kind of- "What?! No!" Her face flushes as she realizes she has spoken the last part aloud! She quickly buries her face in an ice cold drink, hoping her companions will take the flush on her face for the work of the spice.

    Later, something Eligos said comes back to her. "So, this white necromancer, Doctor Tolbert... It's a rare thing, being permitted to practice necromancy within the Free City itself. Did you ever encounter her in your days at the university, Doctor Olofire? Or, has anyone else heard of her?"
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    Waylan, Kestros and Auspice (Wrath of the Righteous)


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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Frederick largely keeps his peace as Eligos ruminates over the elusive Doctor Tolbert. He shrugs noncommittally, uninterested or unwilling to show any interest in meeting with the woman directly.




    In the Red Serpent, the sheer novelty of cold drinks, in a hot climate utterly shatters Frederick's stoic veneer. After one ale so cold he thought the mug would freeze to his lips, he simply had to have another. By the end of the meal, he amicably calls out to the server. "Your patron may have ruined ale for me forever, you know!"

    He turns to Lydia, his expression guarded. "I know nothing of her. Until meeting Mister Hoffman again, I never would have considered such a thing plausible in the first place." He frowns into his frigid brew, scowling and thoughtful. After a long pull, he sighs. "Now, I just don't know what to think at all."

    If not for his sheer size and constitution, the hulking paladin would have needed more than a few extra hands to make it back to the Crooked House. Fortunately or otherwise, his life has been rough enough that he's learned to hold his own despite unfavorable circumstances. He manages the streets without issue, and only begins to show his state when he's back among the awkward angles and uneven landings that gave him fits stone sober. Half-laughing, half-crying, Frederick begrudgingly accepts the assistance of one of the barmaids to return to his quarters above the common room.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by MuffinMan View Post
    The food and ambiance of the Red Serpent Restaurant is enough to make even the businesslike Lydia lower her guard - a little. Sighing as she relaxes in the atmosphere of good food and good company, strange thoughts begin to appear unbidden. The life of a civilian... Not so bad, in moments like this. I think I could rather get used to this kind of- "What?! No!" Her face flushes as she realizes she has spoken the last part aloud! She quickly buries her face in an ice cold drink, hoping her companions will take the flush on her face for the work of the spice.
    The atmosphere is a pleasant change from the gravity of the work they have been doing since meeting in Diamond Lake. The hustle and bustle of the restaurant, not the restaurant but the whole city, brings about moments of nostalgia from his years as a student. But Lydia's outburst brings him back to the table. He looks up to Lydia with some concern "What no what? Are you ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by MuffinMan View Post
    Later, something Eligos said comes back to her. "So, this white necromancer, Doctor Tolbert... It's a rare thing, being permitted to practice necromancy within the Free City itself. Did you ever encounter her in your days at the university, Doctor Olofire? Or, has anyone else heard of her?"
    I remember going to one of her lectures once hoping the information she had might help further my own studies and interests. But my work is in finding ways to improve the living. While I remember she had some interesting points, I mostly forgot the lecture as it wasn't relevant to my work. Beyond that though, no I have not encountered her personally. Though I must admit I am very excited to go back and see the labs again. For the first time in a while, a genuine smile comes across Olofire's face as he looks down into his food before taking another swig of ale.
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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    The party makes their way to their rooms, each sleeping soundly through a night of heavy rain and storms that blows through about an hour after the PCs go to bed. The next morning begins with a steady drizzle of rain, leaving the cobbled city streets full of puddles as the water washes away much of the dust and grime of the last several days. There are less guests in the Crooked House common room at breakfast, as some of the usual patrons decide to stay out of the rain this morning. The inn itself is dry, with none of the leaks that one might expect in such an asymmetrical building. It appears that the gnomish innkeeper, Tarquin, has waterproof sacks that he places over the many owlbear heads decorating the common room, "The moisture isn't good for the cured skins - the taxidermist I use recommends keeping them out of the moist air as much as possible," he explains.

    After a light breakfast everyone gets ready to leave for the University. After putting on their cloaks to keep out the worst of the rain they step out into the streets of the Foreign Quarter and begin making their way towards Clerkburg. As they pass the Low Market they cut through several side streets, following the halfling doctor as he leads them down memory lane, they see ahead a man standing atop a covered rain barrel, screaming at the passersby as they pointedly ignore his ravings. Dressed only in a ratty robe and waving a long, charred staff, the balding human man seems to be shouting himself hoarse, yet the crowd still passes him by without paying much attention at all. "That's the 'Rain Barrel Man,'" explains Olofire as they approach. "He's done this for years - mostly harmless, just rants and raves at people as they pass. Sometimes it's about dragon attacks, other times its about the rifts to the outside, all sorts of crazy nonsense..."

    As the party gets closer the man continues to rant, spittle flying as he works himself up into a frenzy. "LISTEN TO ME, YOU CHILDREN OF THE FREE CITY, AND HEAR THE DOOM THAT BUILDS BEFORE YOUR BLIND EYES. YOU IN YOUR HOUSE OF GOLD AND YOU IN YOUR HOVEL OF MUD AND EVEN YOU IN YOUR MAIL OR METAL, NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE FROM THE DOOM, FROM THE AGE OF WORMS. OH YES, IT IS COMING! HAVE YOU NOT HEARD THE DEAD DRAGONS ROAR? HAVE YOU NOT SMELLED THE ROT FESTERING UNDER YOUR VERY NOSE?!? HAVE YOU NOT DREAMT OF THE WORM THAT WALKS, BRINGING DECAY TO ALL HE TOUCHES?!?!? FOOLS! YOU ARE ALL FOOLS! YOUR DOOM IS UPON YOU!! THE END IS IN SIGHT AND NONE OF YOU SHALL BE SPARED!!! DECAY IS THE FUTURE AND THE FUTURE IS HERE!!!!"

    Olofire stops in shock at the mention of the Age of Worms, and the party listens to the rest of the rant as the old man screams his fury into the rainy sky...What do you do?

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    The 'Rain Barrel Man' is not known for anything beyond his craziness and the utter inaccuracy of his rants. He calls himself the prophet of the golden eye' but is not recognized by any of the legitimate authorities, churches, or soothsaying organizations in the city.

    Basically he is a crazy street prophet...at least as far as anyone has ever known before...

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    The next day, Frederick seems perhaps a little less somber than before. His usually-surly demeanor is almost pleasant around the table to break their fast. Despite the rain, something about the night before must have improved his overall perspective on their plights. He eats a little less than the prodigious fare of the last few days, and mutters "Not so exciting the hundredth time," by way of explanation.

    As he follows close behind Olofire, Frederick peers ahead with a dull but intense expression. Unwilling to be taken by surprise (again), he glances down side streets and occasionally meets Lydia's gaze to be sure she hasn't noticed something he's missed. At sudden mention of their very errand, he blinks several times, stunned by the disheveled man's words. "Might be for the better if you don't talk about that," he mutters to no one, dismayed that association with a well-known lunatic might make their cause even harder to believe.

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Jan peers out through the doors at the drizzle, clutching her cloak closely about her as she peers up through the eaves to get a glimpse at the sky. "Well," she ponders idly, "at least it's not so blasted hot as that stinking swamp." Shrugging resignedly, the gnome pads off after Olofire into the puddle-strewn streets, trying to keep her already (and perpetually) frizzy blue-black hair from getting too out of control in the humidity.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "...NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE FROM THE DOOM, FROM THE AGE OF WORMS. OH YES, IT IS COMING! HAVE YOU NOT HEARD THE DEAD DRAGONS ROAR? HAVE YOU NOT SMELLED THE ROT FESTERING UNDER YOUR VERY NOSE?!? HAVE YOU NOT DREAMT OF THE WORM THAT WALKS, BRINGING DECAY TO ALL HE TOUCHES?!?!? FOOLS! YOU ARE ALL FOOLS! YOUR DOOM IS UPON YOU!! THE END IS IN SIGHT AND NONE OF YOU SHALL BE SPARED!!! DECAY IS THE FUTURE AND THE FUTURE IS HERE!!!!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    "Might be for the better if you don't talk about that,"
    Jan, stunned, stares upward at the apparent madman. "No, Freddy, maybe he should talk! Hey! Yoo-hoo, down here!!" Jan suddenly calls upward, padding across the cobblestone street while waving excitedly at the shouting man. "Hey! What's all this about an 'age of worms', and walking worms?? Where are you getting all this??"
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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    The grim street prophet stares at Jan with a gaze somewhere between madness and complete idiocy, as if he doesn't understand what she is asking at all. For a moment he seems to be gathering his thoughts, mumbling unintelligibly to himself, and then he takes a deep breath. "LISTEN TO ME, YOU CHILDREN OF THE FREE CITY, AND HEAR THE DOOM THAT BUILDS BEFORE YOUR BLIND EYES. YOU IN YOUR HOUSE OF GOLD AND YOU IN YOUR HOVEL OF MUD AND EVEN YOU IN YOUR MAIL OR METAL, NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE FROM THE DOOM...

    He continues through his entire speech, repeating verbatim, and then looks about with a crazed expression as if he doesn't see the party standing there trying to get his attention...

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    "Pay him no mind," Lydia places a hand on Jan's shoulder and gently nudges her back towards the road. "The man is quite mad - I'm sure it's just a coincidence that he's talking about the subject of our mission. He probably overheard a few Heironeans discussing it in passing and thought it'd make a great subject for one of his 'sermons'..." She rolls her eyes to indicate what she thinks of that and makes ready to continue following Olofire to the University.
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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Olofire looks up at the rain barrel man with concern. "Perhaps you're right Lydia. But his ravings before all seemed, just as you said, that of a mad man. So why does he speak the truth now? What about all those years of his crazy talk? Was all that true as well and we just didn't know? I'd be curious to learn more from this man as well." He stops to think for a moment.

    "We mentioned before possibly splitting up to talk to everyone that we need to here. What do you think about doing that now? Lydia and Frederick, you could stay here and try to talk to the Rain Barrel Man. Marzena and I can go in and talk with mine and Filge's professors. Jan you could join either group, as you see fit. Though your unique personality and skills might be better used here with the Rain Barrel Man.

    He looks to each member of the party, "What do you think?"
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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Jan stares upward, hopefully at the crazed man... before realizing that he is simply repeating his speech, vacant eyes unseeingly scanning the cobblestone street.

    With a sudden, dark scowl, Jan allows herself to be steered away by Lydia. "Ugh. Seemed like too much of a coincidence to pass by," she grumbles. "But I guess the old saying still rings true, 'a stopped clock is right twice a day'."

    Quote Originally Posted by Albinobrow View Post
    "Lydia and Frederick, you could stay here and try to talk to the Rain Barrel Man. Marzena and I can go in and talk with mine and Filge's professors. Jan you could join either group, as you see fit. Though your unique personality and skills might be better used here with the Rain Barrel Man.

    What do you think?
    "
    With one last sour glance up at the raving street preacher, Jan huffs. "I think I'd have better luck charming something resembling coherence out of the barrel he's standing on." Perking up slightly, she continues, "I think I'd rather see the University! That kind of thing was never my thing, of course, but you scholarly types have a different way of thinking, and a girl can't help but be curious." Sending an unexpected peal of laughter to echo across the street, she turns in the direction the group was already going.

    "Shall we?"
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    Default Re: Age of Worms - The Hall of Harsh Reflections

    Marzena looks at the crazed prophet of doom quizzically. "I don't think we'll get much out of him, Doctor. Remember these children and their awful little song? When we asked them, no one could say where they had heard it first. Yet, there's no way it was some ancestral thing passed along the generations. We can only conclude that the Age of Worms is..." A shiver passes through her as she reflects on this. "... well... is in the air, somehow, so to speak".

    "To me, this is the strongest proof that our quest for answers is not some foolish errand. Whether we will find any such answers is anybody's guess. But we ought to start in places where rationality is still a thing - like the University. I agree with Jan, let's go."

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