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Old Sep 10th, 2020, 12:48 PM
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Chapter 1: Once Upon a Time...

Background: The Forest & VillageThe village of Whitebridge, named for the pale stone of its roads and bridges, lies nestled at the foot of Mount Myrddin, site of the famed Summitstone Academy for the Magically Adept. The town was originally founded as an outpost to support the builders of the WIZARD COLLEGE, but flourished when it was discovered that Mount Myrddin was lousy with diamonds. Nowadays the village is peopled by a mixture of young spellcasters and HARDY MINING FOLK.

Beyond the village wall lies Sweetbriar Forest, an idyllic woodland full of adorable and fantastical creatures, and home to the Witch and her Familiars. For most of the Familiars, little, if anything, is known of the world beyond the Forest, other than it is DANGEROUS.

Background: Our Beloved MistressAbigail Fogg, known to her Familiars and the people of Whitebridge simply as "the Witch," was the most perfect creature to ever walk the face of the earth, at least according to any reasonable animal you might ask. She was wise, kind, beautiful, and generous. She spoke over 1000 languages (including all the major mustelid dialects), baked the world's finest vegan apple crisp, and told the most captivating bedtime stories known to man or beast. That is, until she was #@$%ING MURDERED by this #@$%ING GUY (see below).

Background: Our Most Hated EnemyUlrich von Furchtbar, known to the Familiars and the people of Whitebridge simply as "the Witch-Hunter," is the most heinous creature to ever walk the face of the earth, at least according to any reasonable animal you might ask. He is cruel, vicious, GUARDED, and COWARDLY. He kills small game animals for sport, smells like old socks, and travels with a retinue of loathsome men and beasts. This #@$%ING COWARD is the one who MURDERED the Witch.



GMOnce upon a time, there was a kind and wise and beautiful witch who lived in the forest with her Familiars, and her life was peaceful and happy until a #@$%ING WITCH-HUNTER broke into her cottage and dragged her out and #@$%ING MURDERED HER and now she’s DEAD.

It is autumn in Sweetbriar Forest, and the body of the Witch lies smoldering in the garden. The cool air, which should be sweet with the scent of leafy decay, is tainted by the acrid reek of charred flesh. As dawn breaks, the most daring of the Familiars quit their hiding places to tentatively approach the blackened remains of their mistress.

The diabolical Witch-Hunter and his riotous entourage have long since departed, dragging their snuffed torches and drained wine-skins behind them, hollering curses and barking laughter. No doubt the contemptible Witch-Hunter has retreated to the village of Whitebridge, beyond the Impossibly High Stone Wall. Coward!

One of the rats, Brie, is the first to speak. He tells the other Familiars of a story - one that the Witch used to tell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elanir View Post
Brie remembered one of the stories the witch had told him, a story she had claimed was true. A gruesome knight had killed a benevolent sorceress to impress the lady he had been wooing, but the sorceress came back to life when her girl apprentice poisoned the knight and brought back his eyes to her. This had to be done within a week or the spell would not work. If a sorceress could be brought back, why not a witch? Brie called the other familiars and told them of his plan. They had to bring the witch back to life, they just had to! If a mere child could do it, why not a group of resourceful animals?
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Last edited by Mallothi; Sep 29th, 2020 at 03:27 PM.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 04:17 PM
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So it begins...

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Your beloved mistress, The Witch, lies before you a charcoal briquette, her killer has escaped and fled to the distant and dangerous village, and your only hope is a cockamamie resurrection plan based on a fairy tale.

What happens next?
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Last edited by Mallothi; Oct 8th, 2020 at 12:42 AM.
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 02:09 AM
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Brie
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Smell was its all and everything to a rat. Through smell it got to know the big world around it, through smell it survived said world‘s myriad dangers and it was smell that marked a rat’s best -and worse- memories. This was especially true for Brie. Abigail had been a figure surrounded by smells the rat had thought could never forget. The delicious smell of freshly baked bread in the oven, the aroma of lavender from a small sack underneath her pillow, the scent of a dozen different herbs every time she worked in the garden next to Beau, the other rat familiar. The witch-hunter -cursed be his name!- had added one more scent to Brie’s memories: it was the smell of burnt flesh. It was not the smell of roasting chicken or piglet coming from one of the villagers‘ houses that made a rodent’s mouth water, it was rather a horrible smell that raked Brie’s little throat and made him want to retch until his stomach was completely empty. It was the smell of fear and sorrow, hopelessness and defeat, and it covered all other beautiful memories the rodent had. Now every time Brie would think of his Abigail he would think of scorched skin, burnt hair and cracked bones.

Humans claimed that animals could not weep. They were right. Brie had no tears for the tragedy that had struck him. The fury inside him had burnt them all away. His normally soft pinkish eyes had turned fiery red, his long tail resembled a whip, ready to strike against injustice. The rat approached the witch’s remains and with his front paws painted his face with her ash. Now he was ready!

Squeek, squeek. "This cannot go unpunished! It has fallen upon us to avenge our mother’s horrible death", addressed the rat the other familiars. "Cat and rat, fox and hare, we have all loved our Abigail. She was kind, she was home, she was everything to us. And he took all these things from us! I say, make him pay! Let’s bring his eyes to our beloved witch and see the ancient magicks bring her back to life. Who stands with me?"


 
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 10:55 AM
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The smell of death surrounds you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elanir View Post
It was the smell of fear and sorrow, hopelessness and defeat, and it covered all other beautiful memories the rodent had. Now every time Brie would think of his Abigail he would think of scorched skin, burnt hair and cracked bones...

...The rat approached the witch’s remains and with his front paws painted his face with her ash. Now he was ready!
GMThe reek of the ash, once applied to the rat’s face, is almost unbearable. Brie has to steel himself to keep from becoming sick. But then, after a few moments’ adjustment, another scent comes through. A sweet note, barely noticeable. It is the smell of lavender - of hope.

GM (Blessings of the Witch)Elanir will be the first recipient of Blessings of the Witch, for kicking off the game with an awesome post. The war-paint is a killer detail. Bravo!
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Last edited by Mallothi; Sep 29th, 2020 at 03:27 PM.
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 12:39 PM
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Beau
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Beau did not linger long around the ashes of her mistress- she could bear feeling so powerless, so heartbroken at the sight. At the memory of that sweet smile, now burnt away to reveal a blackened, skeletal grin. Of those tender hands, who had once picked her up and embraced her, but were now nothing more than dark, ash-stained bones.

Almost involuntarily, she stumbled back to her garden- defiled by those who had killed the witch, crops trampled, trellises broken down and used as firewood, flowers covered in soot and ash. But unlike her mistress, the garden could grow again. Live, again. It was all Beau could do to keep herself from breaking down right then and there- to give herself something to do, something to occupy her mind with. As if in a dream, she scurried from flowerbed to crops, assessing what had been done, and what she could do to restore the garden.

There was little point in it, she knew. The garden was gone, and even if she could rebuild it, sweet Abigail would never walk in it again. Never look at her with those approving eyes, pick her herbs from Beau's garden, that she might cure the sick with them.

Then she heard Brie, squeaking in anger at the witch's fate. It seemed that, while a deep grief had overwhelmed Beau, the dark rat's heart was instead filled with hate. Beau was startled to hear what gruesome revenge she had in store for the witch hunter- that despicable man deserved punishment, yes, but Beau's whiskers trembled at the thought of inflicting those horrors.

She looked up in shock- what had Brie said? He had spoken of magic, of a way to see Abigail brought to life! Beau trembled at the thought, her heart racing at the possibility. Could she dare hope what Brie said was true?

Slowly, she inched forward, her snout low to the ground. 'I- I, uhh,' she started, afraid to speak up- a fear which was worsened tenfold when she found the other animals turned to look at her. Even Brijida and Ernest- she knew them to be gentle souls, but how would they react to the witch's death? Who could say whether the big, strong predators wouldn't eat the pair of rats right then and there?

'I don't know if you want my help,' she spoke, softly. 'I don't know if I deserve a chance to help. I ran, when those men came.' She swallowed, looking at the ground for fear of what she might see if she looked up at the others. 'But I will help... As best I can.'


 
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 03:54 PM
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Ernest
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Beams of morning sun chase away the bitting cold of the night as the ashes of Abigail cool. The rodents had already approached their Mistress to ready for retaliation - how very rat-like proper. The air hurt to take in too deeply and Ernest's faux eye ached from being out in the elements. Lowering himself down branch at a time taking a bit longer with each leap the cat eventually leapt the rest of the way when the familiar was close enough to the ground.

The soft soil and decaying leaves almost disguisted him after the time spent in the hut. Warmth, comfort, love; though the hut was still there to offer trace amounts of comfort the other factors were stolen from them. "You dirtied yourself in her." the tom mewed unamused. The rage the rodent displayed was palpable yet to roll in the flakes that were their mistress seemed almost taboo. Looking to the others one-by-one then off in the direction of the village the answer was already clear.

If a cat could sigh in resignation Ernest would."Whether we're deserving of it or no - we've a debt to repay our Mistress, no?" Though the words were calm and collected the tip of his tail betrayed him so. "She tended to us, 'tis only right we repay in kind."

Ernest took a few paws forward before sitting to observe Abigail. "Whatever it takes. An eye for an eye, yes?" his tail curling in front of his feet looking on to the others.

 
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Old Sep 25th, 2020, 07:43 PM
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Brijida
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Grief. Pain. Sadness. Emptiness.

Brijida wallowed in her own loss unaware of the other familiars and beasties currently mourning their mistress. The flame colored vixen was nearly drowning in grief. She dared not move from her prostrate pose; she could not look away from the horror before her. Chin resting upon her paws she stared at the still smoking form that was once Mistress Fogg. The beautiful, kind and benevolent human had been tied up and rendered helpless while they, her most beloved familiars, could do nothing to protect or help her.

A soft whine born of melancholy and remorse ended her silence. The acrid stink of ash and death began to fill her delicate nose finally bringing her back to her senses. With her senses the words of two rats and cat registered bit by bit and perhaps a bit out of order.

First came the memory of Sweet Beau's soft voice, "I don't know if you want my help,"she spoke, softly. "I don't know if I deserve a chance to help. I ran, when those men came."

What are you on about, Beau? Help? With what? Confusion gave way to memory and Grizzled Brie's voice.

He had spoken first; she remembered now. He had been angry. Was angry. Is angry. No, not angry. Furious! He had bathed in Her ashes. "This cannot go unpunished! It has fallen upon us to avenge our mother’s horrible death," Brijida shivered. No, no, no. Not Her ashes. Must not wear the Mistress Mother.

Before she could react Ernest's voice scattered the impulse as his rich, silky voice filled the silence. "Whether we're deserving of it or no - we've a debt to repay our Mistress, no?" Though the words were calm and collected the tip of his tail betrayed him so. "She tended to us, 'tis only right we repay in kind."



Ernest took a few paws forward before sitting to observe Abigail. "Whatever it takes. An eye for an eye, yes?[/SAY][/I]Brijida cocked her head as she looked at the black feline.

"Yes, yes." The vibrant fox jumped and shook the dust and dirt from her fur. "Whatever it takes we help the Mistress. She took care of all of us. Kind and sweet. Brave and smart. Always helping, she does no harm to anyone. No, we take the Witch-Hunter's eyes and we save Mistress Mother." She looked to Ernest and nodded" Whatever it takes."

On soft padded black paws, she approached Sweet Beau gently. A bright pink tongue washed the dust & dirt from the rat's grey fur carefully. When she was done she settled back down upon the earth, and lay her head back upon her paws, this time not in grief, but to be able to look her friend in the eyes. "Why would you think we would not want you? How many of us hid, too. There is no shame in that. At least you we're here to bear witness. I was not. I was out playing with the wild Sisters. But you and the others were here and are not dead. I am glad that you live, Sweet Beau. That you all do! It is what Mistress Mother taught us to do, isn't it? To live, survive, help? We live, we survived and now we help. There is much we can all do just as we always have." One more lick, a kiss, then Brijida stood.

Sitting down, Brijida turned to Brie, "I, too, am with you, Rat. But do not wear Her again. I don't like it. Wear the ashes of the firewood if you must, but not Hers." She lifted her snout, watching the tough rodent out of the corner of her eye, ready to jump away should he not like her request. He was a grumpy little thing, but they had never had any problems before nor did she wish for there to be. Ever. The cunning little fox had the feeling his sharp teeth would hurt a lot! Better to be safe, she thought and turned herthe attention to the last of Abigail Fogg's familiars instead.

"What about you Raindrops on Roses?" Feet tippy tapping upon the ground excitedly, for a task had been presented and she had accepted.No moping for her. Mistress Fogg would be returning soon no longer dead. The task, however, would required all of them in order to succeed. So, no moping for Raindrops either. Brijida turned to the fluffy rabbit who had yet to speak. "You will help, won't you?"
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 12:06 PM
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Beau
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Beau was almost paralyzed by fear when Brijida's snout suddenly came close, leaving her capable of little more than closing her eyes and pressing her head against the ground. Was this the end for her? With Abigail gone, did the fox revert to her natural instincts, seeing her companions now as little more than a snack?

Fear was replaced with surprise, however, when she felt not sharp teeth but a tongue, cleaning the grime from her face. Opening first one eye, then the other, Beau looked up at the fox. Still taken aback by the gesture, her fear now replaced by relief, Beau's whiskers twitched excitedly at the fox's kind words. Beau nodded gratefully, then looked down again.

'Abigail was kind,' she said wistfully. 'It is good to know that, even with her gone, some of that kindness remains.'


 
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 06:33 PM
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Raindrops on Roses
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It was like the old tales said Raindrops on Roses thought to himself as his watched his fellows mourn in their own ways. From the ancient stories that First Master had imparted to him, Raindrops knew it was not uncommon for a heroine to be smote by the a villain. It seemed to happen rather frequently in fact. It was just the midpoint of the tale however, and the third act was yet to begin. Before the journey can resume however, the Words must be said of Second Master. First Master had called such things "Eulogies", but Raindrops figured they were just eloquent and heartfelt ways to say thank you. Approaching the remains of Second Master, Raindrops prepare to speak in the sage's tongue.

Second Master, the Witch Lady Abigail, was foremost amongst souls. Her virtues may be beyond our ability to distinguish, but allow me for a moment to put my humble hare heart to the task.

Lady Abigail was foremost amongst soul as an exemplar upon the virtues of kindness. Her love was as a fire in the hearth on a cold winter's eve or a gelid drink under the midday blaze of summer's sun. It was a refugee for us companions, and it was a bequest for which we may never be worthy. She brought us all in from the world, regardless of the mistakes and paths that led us to her. Giving us hearth and homestead was just eh beginning of Lady Abigail's hospitality, for in the end she granted us the boons of hedge magic. A simple gift, for me the power to subjugate both ingress and egress, so I could perform the true and proper duty of any gentleman. It was beneath one of such shining radiance to be forced to interact with doors on her own.

Lady Abigail, you were the particles of sunlight caught amongst the first rays of sun through a bedroom window on a festival day's morning. Beautiful, drifting through life carefree, an inspiration to those who would find themselves burdened by the drudgery and tyrannous monotony of the daily world. An inspiration to rise from the depths of darkest slumber, to seize every day as if it was your last. It will be our last days, each in turn, as the grand design moves ever forward. We all fade into cherished memory, as if to realize room for those who would follow. Every cast member someday takes a final bow before a loving audience.


Eyes dark, Raindrops finally raises his head and meets first the gaze of Brijida then the other familiars in turn.

This is not that bow Lady Abigail, Second Master and Witch of the Woods. Your story is not ending this day, this is simply the darkness before a cherished dawn. The will of the Hunter seeks to rule over nature, and in its fury erase kindness and virtue from the world. We, your family, stand in its way. We have looked into the storm that took Second Master from us, and now hear our defiance.

The hare's voice rises, the volume and pitch a crescendo, aggrandizing into a battle cry.

In the end, it is our defiance that redeems us.

Our defiance that returns the maiden to life.

Our defiance that guides the han...paws of heroes to restore justice to the land.


Raindrops drops his head back towards the remains of Second Master, allowing himself a final solemn moment of sorrow before seeking to right this wrong. When he looks back towards the other familiars, his expression is hard, but his eyes seems to almost be smiling. Returning to his normal voice,

Now begins our quest. We shall not rest until we have returned the breath of creation itself to Lady Abigail.

Looking towards Brie, who's very face is marked with the sadness that his form is unable to express, Raindrops addresses the most important question.

What manner of magicks will return Lady Abigail? What challenges await us?



 
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 07:12 PM
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Brie
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Dirtied myself in her? Don’t wear her again? These softpaws don’t understand. I have to feel mother’s presence against my skin. I have to take her along with me. I have to!

As „Drops“ (most called him „Rain“ but Brie found „Drops“ funnier) droned on in an endless monologue, trying to… -What was he trying to do exactly? Put them to sleep?- Brie’s sensitive nose was touched by the scent of lavender, her lavender! The rat immediately turned around expecting to see his Abigail, his fury momentarily forgotten, but unfortunately it had only been a trick of the mind. Or had it? Her spirit was still there, protecting and aiding them as mother had done her entire life. Their path was surely the right one!

Seeing that the hare could go on for hours seemingly without stopping to take breath, the rat was ready to bare his long and sharp teeth to him, when his fellow familiar raised an interesting question: What magicks could raise mother from the dead? Brie suddenly realized that he didn’t know. What was worse, none of them did.

"The hare has a point. We must know more about the spell that can bring back mother. If the ritual exists -and I know it does!- she must have documented it in her grimoire. Has anyone seen it? Ernest, you were the one who couldn’t keep your nose out of it. Do you know where mother was keeping it? Do you know how to read it?"


 
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 12:06 PM
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Ernest
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The bombay looked upon the chattering hair with a decent level of distain as the drivel spewed forth. Ernest wasn't even fully sure that he was listening. Had they not both been in the service of the parted Mistress surely this would've been an ample trigger for the key primal urge of a domestic house cat: Killing.

There were more important things at hand right now though. "Is kind. Our mistress lay before us - if the dirtied one is right she is in but a state of sleep currently." the tom addressed Beau whilst RR continued his chattering. Ernest had all but drowned it out at this point until Brie called him by name.

"Hm? Ah, yes she fancied those sheered trees wraped in hide quite dearly. There were a few she prefered to keep on my shelf, though I haven't the foggiest what they entail. The images tend to be quite captivating though."

With that the tom started towards the house to fetch the tome.

 


 

 
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 03:56 PM
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Beau
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Beau sat quietly, captivated by Raindrops' words, hardly daring to breathe for fear of interrupting the eulogy. 'Beautifully said,' she said when it seemed he was finished. 'I... I think a few of those words went a bit over our heads, but they sounded very pretty. From- from what I've heard, that was how you and Abigail spoke with each other, wasn't it?'

She looked from Raindrops to Abigail, and back to the hare. 'It is nice of you to remember her like that. Flowery words were her gift to you, and you said them better than any of us could have.'

Following the conversation between Brie and Ernest, Beau sat quietly for some time. 'I'll- I'll help you look for it,' she brought out, looking nervously towards the others. 'You ah.. You are coming with, aren't you?' She tried to make her request sound casual, but the way her voice shivered betrayed that she wasn't all too keen on being alone with the cat. Nonetheless, she followed Ernest into the cottage- keeping two human feet behind him, of course.

Before she left, though, she gently placed a paw on Abigail's remains. 'Sleep well, sweet Abigail,' she whispered. 'We will hurry back.'


 
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 04:13 PM
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Ernest does cat things, drawing the ire of a heretofore unmentioned NPC

GMThe cottage is open. The door hangs on its single remaining hinge at a vertiginous angle, squealing softly as it swings in the autumn breeze. Ernest is able to pass freely.

Inside, the old cat notices a chill has crept into the house. The hearth and stove are unlit, but more, the warmth of the Witch's presence is palpably absent. Ernest leap-hop-leaps to his customary perch and begins knocking books from the shelf to the floor, where he can drag them outdoors to the others.

Whump! Thump! Two books drop to the carpeted floor, sending glittering motes swirling through a shaft of morning sunlight.

"And just whooo gave yooou permission to disturb the lady's books?!" screeches a familiar voice. The Witch's companion owl, Alexa, emerges from the inky shadows of the room's far corner, stepping carefully along her perch. Alexa puffs her chest and stretches her right wing, beating the air. For as long as any of the beasts have known her, Alexa has had one natural wing and one shimmering, vaporous replacement. Ernest sees that her phantasmal prosthesis is missing - that particular bit of magic seems to have been inextricably linked to the Witch herself.

It occurs to Ernest that Alexa has more magic in her than a mage-wing, however; she is able to read books aloud (Human books!), and sing a dizzying array of songs on demand. Whether these abilities are also tied to the wellbeing of the Witch remains to be seen.

"Just what are yooou up tooo, cat?" the owl demands, before beginning to preen her good wing.

GM (Mechanics)@Retry: If you choose to move a book please roll Fierce to see if you can manage it on your own - these are weighty tomes. Meet or beat an 8 to drag the book around. Just opening the book and pawing through the pages is free.

@All: Everyone outside is able to hear the books crash and Alexa the owl shrieking, though you can't make out exactly what she's saying.
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Last edited by Mallothi; Sep 29th, 2020 at 03:24 PM.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 04:38 PM
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Ernest
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Knocking things off of shelves was a simple joy all felines partook in, enjoying the thrill for but a moment the tom descended to decide which tome to take. They both looked the same. Rectangular, papery, book-like. Yep, definitely what he was seeking.

They olive eye of Ernest turned up to the screeching avian in the shadows. "The rodent has an idea to return the Mistress to us. Come down, make yourself useful and aid us!" the cat mewed grabbing the book on top by the edge and began to
Dice * Fierce:
d10+1sh8 (7)+1 Total = 8
pull towards the door "Bwwu. Hwlph mwe!" the muffled voice called the the meek garden rat as he pulled the book towards the door.

"Cwme owwswide!" the cat called loudly up to the owl.

 
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 05:08 PM
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Brijida
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Brijida's tale swished back and forth as she listened to The Rabbit. She didn't know him well, but those rare times she had happened upon him and Mistress, they had spoken like this. He had spoken with lots of words. So many lovely words. More than she could ever think to use. Once or twice she thought they may have been too many words; she had loved it. The young vixen wasn't the sneakiest of her kind, what with her unusually bright fur, but she had always tried to listen and learn. Predictably, she only managed to listen for a brief moment each time before she was overcome with excitement-eagerly seeking Mistress' attention-the fox would inevitably burst from her hiding place among the lavender patch. Sadly, The Rabbit would always hop away.

Not today. Today he shared his pretty words with all of them for Her. The Fox, no longer drowning in sorry, for Hope now stretched along the path before them, rolled belly up while the rats and the cat exchanged their own words. Oh, how Mistress' words would flow over her. "Such a good fox aren't you?" She would praise as Brijida went about her post-dusk duties. "Such a good little vixen" She would say, Her hands combing through cream and red fur. A single, soft yip, and she got back to her feet, intent on hearing what else was being said.

'Spell? Grimoire? OH! Oh... Magic! Yes, yes! Ears turned this was and that as each of the other familiars took a turn speaking. Oooooh. 'Inside! We must go inside. Yes. Where all Her special things are kept. Brijida smiled and yipped howled a foxy laugh of joy then cut herself off when she heard clattering inside of their Home. <<Thunk Clatter Thump>> The startling sounds were followed by the sounds of the House Owl's and Ernest's voices, and then the belated realization that the cat was no longer with them.

"Oh! Oh!! I'm coming! I'll help you, Cat." Off she bounded, hoping the Alexa wouldn't be in too much of a bossy mood. All too soon she realized just how dark it was Inside. Ignoring the books upon the floor Brijida trotted over to the hearth to see the cold ashes laying in the dark. No wood was waiting for her yet. The fireplace was empty. Large, triangular ears drooped at the sight. The Fox grabbed wood from the basket nearby and tossed it where it belonged. With a flick of her tale, they caught and soon warm flames began to grow.

Satisfied with her work, the helpful vixen began picking up books one by one. All the while she wondered where would be a good place to begin searching for Abigail's 'Grimoire'. "I can help, Ernest. I like helping."
OOC and StatsI will try to help Ernest carry the books outside. I'd like to use my Make Flame spell. I can retcon that part of my post if you'd like.
Can I start searching my memory to see if I can remember if I have ever seen where Abigail put her 'Grimoire'?
 
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