A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    "Ta muchly, Qrr. We can't let this wazzock hold us up any longer!"

    With stirring music empowering his steps Luther speeds towards the ritual, bounding towards the nearest available cover to it.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Luther dashes 80 feet towards the ritual.

    Perception to see what's going on (1d20+6)[19]

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    Audibly growling with her reluctance to quit the brawl, Euraylia staggers out of the darkness and beats feat after Luther, stowing her morning star to give her arms full freedom to pump along with her stride.

    Sosthenes remains, the “hawk” a capable partner for the bear in the blind brawl. He makes a habit of shrieking as he buzzes around the dwarf, pecking and scratching and offering Qrr a minimum of combat orientation.

    Spoiler: Actions!
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    Sosthenes follows Pebbles, hovering above him and using his action to provide the help action to Qrr’s next claw strike.

    Euraylia dashes, 60 ft toward the ritual; and uses her bonus action to compel Sosthenes to attack. (1d20+5)[22] vs AC16.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    As best Luther can tell, the ritual seems to be going south. He can see Birch and Engle doing emergency work, in the distance, while Rodriguez seems panicked.
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  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Luther surveys the scene, not fully comprehending what's going wrong, but decides there's no point in hiding if he wants to help. He waves to Rodriguez and tries to yell over over the chaos.

    "Oi! Rodriguez lad, Professors, looks like this project o' yours is becomin' a right dogs dinner! What can we do t' 'elp?"


    Spoiler: OOC
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    Arcana on the off chance he can spot something useful he can do to help as well.

    (1d20+5)[10]
    Last edited by Waistcoatwill; 2021-10-20 at 10:22 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    Pebbles' darkness drops, leaving him in short distance of an angry (bug)bear. He yelps, and frantically traces a sigil in the air, which becomes a maw that swallows him up. It closes too quickly for Qrr to go through, even if he'd want to.

    The others, confident in their friend's ability to handle Pebbles, dash on ahead towards the ritual. You can see cracks and fractures forming at the center of the ritual circle, though some spread beyond. Things are visible through the fractures-things with a lot of teeth, and motion that doesn't feel right. But at the very center, a whole rift opens, and out comes a tentacular horror-easily 8' tall, thickly muscled with veiny, disgusting brown and black tendrils. Birch forcibly grabs Rodriguez and yanks him back, as Engle shouts a word of power and a blast of light emits from him. The tentacular mass seems unabated by the threat-but you hear from behind it a voice that's more akin to a storm than vocal folds. "You hurt her, you bastard!"

    A man comes barreling out with the tentacles, a few thin ones wrapped around his legs. He's almost as tall as the tentacled horror, and is absolutely going to town on it-his fists like thunder as they crack into the flesh. Engle maneuvers himself out of the way as you all come closer, and motions for you to stand the hell back. A few items fall from the various cracks around, perhaps shaken by the man's stupendous voice, and after perhaps ten seconds of bloody fighting, the man stands victorious. He whirls to face Engle, Birch, Rodriguez, and you all, but Rodriguez throws his hands up. "Friends! Friends, not foe! No harm!"

    The cracks begin to fade, leaving their detritus behind. The man seems willing to take Rodriguez at face value, as a woman staggers through, looking harried and bleeding. She's of average height, with pale skin and a ceremonial-looking outfit. Engle slowly approaches, saying "I am a healer. Please-allow me to tend to her."

    The last of the fractures vanish. Engle lays hands upon the woman, and the man slouches in relaxation, dropping at least a foot in height from the pose. Birch and Rodriguez look at you four. "Are you hurt?" Rodriguez asks.

    "Injuries first, right," Birch says. "Then, what are you doing here?"

    Spoiler: Perception DC 5
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    There's a lot of odd objects around-a child's doll, a spool of yarn, a pouch full of seeds. Mostly from the cracks in reality, but possibly some ritual items too.

    Spoiler: DC 10
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    You can see, faintly, that reality looks strained here. No visible cracks, but... Something feels off here. No idea how long it'll last.

    Spoiler: DC 18
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    That doll moved.

    Spoiler: Insight DC 5
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    Birch is pissed.
    Engle is worried about others.

    Spoiler: DC 10
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    Nothing new.

    Spoiler: DC 13
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    Birch's anger is more for show than genuine. He seems more curious about what you knew than truly mad.
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  6. - Top - End - #186
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    Euraylia doesn't really have a reason to lie. Namedropping Ka'We would probably be enough to get them off the academic hook. But something in her compels her to do it anyway; and she presents a believable half-truth:

    "We had just finished celebrating a win on the duelling field. Pebbles has been with us, but left abruptly; and we decided to follow him. We found him peeping on all -this-, and doing so with an unsavoury air."

    It's barely a lie at all, when you think about it.

    Spoiler: OOC Roll:
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    Deception Roll (1d20+7)[27] pleasedontfail
    Also, Euraylia is going to use her divine sense here, next to the ritual ground and with all the participants nearby. Or she will, if such a thing is a subtle as I think it is.
    Last edited by MrAbdiel; 2021-10-21 at 08:05 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    Birch nods, anger abating. "And where is Pebbles?" he asks, after a moment when he realizes that the dwarf is nowhere in sight.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    “We tried to talk him down, but he brawled with us back there. It seemed like things were coming to a head over here, so we chanced running past leaving Qrr to hold him off. He’s…”

    She looks to Qrr. Although an invisible hawk is relaying the battle’s outcome to her now, her cornflower blue gaze consults the Bugbear for confirmation about Pebbles’ fate.
    Last edited by MrAbdiel; 2021-10-21 at 05:18 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Luther scans around trying to catch sight of Pebbles or his remains. He also mentally puzzles over why Lia would fail to mention their feline guide. Not that it mattered now though, not with a couple of villains at large.

    "Don't forget that Cornell, he were there too. Didnt fancy scrappin' with us though, or seem too 'appy with the situation in general. He ran off but can't be far. Can one o' them servants find 'im?"

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    “Good idea. Although he almost seemed… coerced. Strange seeing Cornell robbed of bluster, but… please, professor Birch, what happened here?”
    Last edited by MrAbdiel; 2021-10-21 at 05:30 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    Engle finishes healing the woman.

    Birch looks over to Engle, and sighs. "This... Is not something I would expected to be talking to first year students about. Or to have gone so wrong." He starts to talk about some rather technical and arcane details, but Rodriguez, after a few moments, cuts him off.

    "Doc, I think I should explain it. The minutia isn't important to them-not right now," he says.

    "I suppose so," Birch replies. "Go ahead."

    Rodriguez nods, and says "We've been studying planar rifts, boundaries, subspaces... All sorts of stuff. And there's some kind of undiscovered, up to this point, plane. It's not small either-it's substantial. So tonight, we were trying to make some form of contact. And it looks like we succeeded-speaking of which," he adds, turning to face the two people who came from the rift. "Um, mind if we ask a few questions?"

    The man stares at Rodriguez, unmoving. The woman, though, nods, and speaks, her voice like a melodious flute. "We'd actually like to ask some questions ourselves-like where are we?"
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    "A long way from home." She offers, a subtle barb of suspicion loaded in her words as she eyes the woman. But then the Aasimar becomes self conscious for speaking so much, and keen not to present herself as needlessly hostile, becomes a shade more helpful: "A lesser material junction realm known principally for Gentik Academy, founded upon it. You're... safe here. But the nature of your arrival, and your attacker, is..." She trails off, and gestures to the tentacle pile.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    "Dead," the man says. His voice is much quieter now.

    The woman nods. "We were traveling back to the safety of the church when the cracks started forming. It seemed to agitate the fauna, as most things do, so when we started getting overwhelmed, we went through it in hopes it'd lead somewhere safe. It seems we were right."
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  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    Euraylia’s mouth opens, and then closes without comment. She is visibly suspicious of the arrivals, and of the ritualists; but she is just a gatecrasher, along with her friends. The right of interrogation is not hers, neither is the power to offer these interlopers sanctuary. She looks to the university staff deferrently, and then turns her attention to the odd planar detritus ejaculated into the world by the now sealed rifts.

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    Engle looks them over. "We'll have to discuss where we can fit you, but sanctuary is certainly something we can do. I am Engle. This is my comrade, Birch; and some students of ours, Rodriguez, Luther, Cale, Euraylia, and Qrr-Sath," he says, gesturing to each person in turn. "Birch, if you would help me escort them to a safer place..."

    "Right. Normally I'd ask for a clean up of the ritual, but that's something that can wait. Rodriguez, the rest of you... You should go to bed for now. If you're concerned for your safety, you can stay with us, but with the ritual no longer active, there should be no danger," Birch says. "I expect you all to stay silent on this for the moment. We'll meet tomorrow to figure out what exactly to do about... Well, all this."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Speaking of which, if there are no objections, I believe it might be best to skip to tomorrow morning, when you get called to a faculty meeting.
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  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Qrr lopes over, morphing into bugbear form as he does so, in time to hear his companions question about Pebbles fate.

    "He's gone, when his darkness fell the coward did...something rather than fight me one on one. A strange maw came out of nothingness, wrapped around him, and pulled him away. I'm not the best judge, but we studied a bit of religious texts at the monastery, it looked Demonic. That I'm certain of. Whatever Pebbles was doing here tonight, well, I reckon he was in too deep into some bad lion crap."

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Luther looks between his companions.

    "I suppose thou has a point Lia, Cornell wasn't his usual delightful self at all. Bein' forced into it some 'ow would make sense. Pebbles was proper laughin' though, if 'e's in o'er his head I reckon its cos 'e jumped in t' the lion crap of 'is own accord.

    Any 'ow, I'm glad everyone is safe and that thing won't bother anyone any more!"
    He gestures towards the tentacled beast. "I'd be right interested in hearin' about where you two came from, but maybe tha' can wait til we've all 'ad a good rest."
    Last edited by Waistcoatwill; Yesterday at 01:19 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    You feel the exhaustion of the day settling in. While victorious, you're still tired, and you head back with Rodriguez. While worries might keep you up a bit, you conk out pretty quickly.

    Morning comes, a little later to wake than usual, and as you ready for the day, Rodriguez motions you over with a letter. "Got this when I woke up. We've got time to eat, but walk with me when you're done, okay?" You break your fast, and get ready to go.

    Rodriguez takes you all deep within the Halls. There appears to be a normally off-limits area, attended by a halfling at the door. "Morning Rod," he says. "What brings you here? Doesn't Birch have an office in the Gardens, or at least someit like that?"

    "Business with all of the faculty, actually," he replies, and shows the letter. "Mind letting us in?"

    The halfling looks over the letter. "Alright. Behave, you all, okay?"

    Rodriguez nods, and you enter as the halfling unlocks the door. Once inside, Rodriguez summons a servant to lead further. "Not usually in this place, so... Best not to get lost."

    Shortly, you arrive at a medium-sized meeting room. Inside is Slivux, Birch, Engle, Volgrazuth, Madam LeSham, and Fimir, as well as the two newcomers. The new woman is the first to spot you, and says "The students are here."

    The room quiets down, not that it was particularly loud before, and there's a moment of awkward silence. "Erm... I'm Sarv," the woman says by way of introduction. "And my friend is Ruv. You didn't get our names last night, and the rest of them here know already, so..."

    Birch nods, and says "Right. Names are good. Rodriguez, the rest of you, we've been discussing the safety of the school with one another so far. This should not come as a surprise, but we are not going to be continuing the planar project for the moment-too dangerous. But, Qrr, you mentioned some kind of maw that swallowed up Pebbles? Can you describe it more fully?"

    Qrr nods, and explains as best he can what the maw looked like. Volgrazuth, already frowning, has her face deepen further. "Birch," she says, "Were the normal wards intact? To prevent interlopers?"

    "No-that would've prevented our project from working," he replies.

    "That at least explains how Pebbles escaped. This does not sound like the work of a full demon lord or anything-but perhaps some minor, fledgling demonic force, looking to establish itself? The good news is they're unlikely to be strong, the bad news is they're likely to be unknown," Volgrazuth continues.

    Slivux nods, and says "We shouldn't worry them too much with this-their job is to learn. Ours, to keep them safe and teach them. But, pertaining to that... Talk to us. I understand last night was... Eventful, to say the least. Speak your mind, and hopefully we can assuage your worries."
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  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Qrr wastes no time in getting directly to the point.

    "I don't know much about this project of yours, but enough to know it's dangers. We've been told about what you think you've found, this other dimension, it sounds like a danger more than a benefit, a risk to the school as a whole. And having to take down the wards to do it, well, folks want into the school anyways, I can't be the only one who thinks thats a big risk.

    And then there's Pebbles, he's considered lazy sure, a slacker and unmotivated. But not a single person suspected him of anything? Ever? That's either a load of dung and someone was bating him out, risking student lives in the process, or Pebbles was so good at his lies and his act that not a single of the professors noticed a thing. And that means he managed to fool an entire academy of the finest mages, some of whom I'm sure speciliaze specifically in unraveling truth."


    Qrr sighs

    "I'm not trying to be angry or accusatory here, but this place is supposed to be safe and secure. And not two days into our time here a demon reveals itself, ropes in one of our dormmates, and tries to interefere with some kind of planar summoning event carried out by faculty. That does not inspire confidence."

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Euraylia is gloomier than normal all that morning; the planar shenanigans weighing on her for personal reasons. She holds her wrist behind her back, standing at-ease through the faculty's explanation and probing; and watching Qrr beside her as he lays down the law. When he's done expressing his carefully moderated outrage, she can't think of anything she could add to that subject. But the subject of Pebbles is something she can speculate on, for sure; and when she does, in this calm and academic atmosphere, her rural accent is almost gone entirely; with even a touch of the formal celestial brogue creeping into her voice.

    "It's hard to know if Pebbles has been a long-term infiltrator or has been flipped recently. My guess is the latter. He's been flunking out of his basic classes, which is only going to draw attention to him from the faculty. That's not something a good plant would want, nor have to suffer. More likely he came here to study, found he lacked the aptitude, and turned to easy gain like so many before him. He's a warlock, that's not hard to put together; his use of a darkness-dome isn't condemning alone, but his ability to fight in it without trouble has few alternative explanations. It's hard to say how Cornell got pulled in, but it's unlikely to have been fully informed. Once the situation got dangerous, he buckled and left. As for our worries..." She glances to her friends, and then down a little toward the floor. "Well, let me speak just for myself, and say I don't make a habit of trusting visitors - be they apparent refugees, or not - from other realms. But I know I'm just a small fish here; a freshman who just put quill to paper at all. This is all bigger than me. Still, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we're a little invested in this now, and more than a little curious about what's come forth out of this strange realm, and why a demon would be going out of its way to have eyes on it. So if you need a few extra hands in the operation to uncover this, then..." She slows at that point, glancing to Cale, and Qrr, and Luther just to make sure she's not over-assuming. "...I'm sure we could be persuaded, with course credit."

  21. - Top - End - #201
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    Luther nods encouragingly to Cale.

    "Well a wouldn't blame anybody fer trusting someone actively trying t' pull the wool over their eyes. Bein' trustin' and thinkin' the best about folk is somethin' ah wish I were better at.

    Ah am concerned about what happened wi' reality bein' thinned. Will i' get worse? Ah reckon fixin' tha' is a priority fer all out safety."


    Lia's words ring true as she speaks for the group.

    "Ah can't agree more. We can't forget about this now like. We'd all be more'n happy t' wi' investigatin' this further."

  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Cale shrugs, his gaze distant, lost in thought. "It's not my job to decide who deserves help. I'm just going to help whoever needs it. It's my job to be strong enough to help and strong enough to deal with people who take advantage of it"

  23. - Top - End - #203
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    "They are right, no matter what comes of this, we're in too deep now to just back out. And-well, I don't normally make a habit of presumptions of my own skill, but I think together we've proven to be capable of handling ourselves in unexpected scraps. Each of us is, I've found, born of steel just as much as Magic. If this mystery comes to blows again, and I believe it very likely will, I believe together we can handle it."

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    Slivux speaks first, in response. "We messed up. No bones about it-we made mistakes here. Some of the faculty thought Pebbles was looking into some darker lores, but none of us knew how deep he had gone. We might not have caused the danger, but we damn well should've been more aware to it, at a minimum."

    Birch nods. "That's actually what we're going to do now-Slivux, Engle, and I are going to strengthen the wards and... Restructure reality properly. Volgrazuth is going to continue her research into what exact entity might've lured Pebbles in. LeSham and Fimir are going to be having a long, long talk with Cornell. Rodriguez, I could still use your help..."

    "It's alright, Doc," Rodriguez says. "I know you'd never intentionally put my in harm's way. I... I will confess, I'm a little scared. But you gotta face your fears, right?"

    Sarv asks "Should we go with? Or stay here? Or... Well, what should we do?"

    "Your knowledge might come in handy-if you'd be willing to join us at the ritual site?" Slivux asks in turn. Sarv nods, and elbows Ruv, who nods after a moment. "It's settled, then. And, to all of you... Thank you for being understanding. Thank you for not being angry-I can't say I'd be able to hold back in your circumstances."

    You set off with the three faculty members and the two strangers, as the others depart for their destinations. Engle says "We'd like this to be kept relatively quiet, by the way. Don't go telling everyone. We won't ask you to lie, but we'd like to keep it to this: Birch's project went awry, and we're working on cleaning it up." Before you get a chance to respond, you exit the faculty section, and there are enough other people about that discussions might not be prudent.

    Eventually, the Gardens are reached. "Rodriguez, if you can lead the others in clean-up," Birch asks. "We'll get started for restructuring." Rodriguez nods, and helps while directing what needs to go where. He's not entirely sure what to do with the detritus, but Birch says "Keep that-it may come in handy."

    Luther's in charge of it, and there's little enough that it fits in a single pack he slings across his back. "Give us some space," Slivux says. "This is going to be quite potent."

    Rodriguez leads you all back to a safe distance. Sarv seems quite curious, while Ruv is content to slouch and laze. The restructuring starts, and while the actual visual display isn't much, you can feel the energy in the air. Such is the potency of it, that you fail to notice Marly until she's virtually on top of you.

    "Hey guys!" she says. "I thought I'd... Um... What are they doing?"
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  25. - Top - End - #205
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    “Marley! Hey!”

    Euraylia is on it like a bonnet, bright with a smile and plausible explanation.

    “Oh, it’s gross, trust me. After our little victory party our little freshman crew went on a slightly inebriated wander and Luther tried to ritually bind one of the rune servants to a cask of drink to make what he called a ‘Noble Djinn and Tonic’, but it went about as bad as it had any right to, and we were pretty sick afterward. We’ve been made to clean it up post haste or it’ll mark our record. It’s mostly decontaminated now, but you missed out on some unforgettable smells. Hey, I wanted to talk to you about capture the flag…”

    She attempts to steer Marley away from the site, interrogating her about the campus’s capture the flag activities.

    Spoiler: Lies!
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    Deception, using that inspiration! (1d20+7)[23]
    (1d20+7)[9]

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Luther masks his reaction to Lia's fabrication by sticking his head in the bag of detritus, poking around for anything interesting from the other plane.

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    Investigation (1d20+3)[5]

    Arcana (1d20+5)[17]

    He'll do a ritual detect magic laterif they get some privacy.

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Marly is happy to talk to Euraylia, and doesn't seem bothered by being lead off.

    A few minutes pass, without much talking. Luther pokes around the debris, examining it thoroughly.

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    They're definitely objects.

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    Nothing seems overtly magical-the main two objects of note would be the seed pouch, given that you've never seen the type of seeds before (though that might just be inexperience, not anything extraordinary) and the doll. Something about the doll just seems... Off.


    Rodriguez says "So... We probably shoulda asked how long this would take, come to think of it. If you want to go, I can keep an eye on it."
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  28. - Top - End - #208
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2021

    Default Re: Gentik Academy Of The Arts [IC]

    "Don't mention it, we're 'appy t' 'elp. We've found a couple o' interestin' things. Ah've not seen nowt like these seeds. Know anyone we could ask about 'em?

    Ah also don't like the look o' this 'ere doll. What do the rest of you think?"

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