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  #16  
Old Sep 28th, 2020, 05:10 PM
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Preparations are made for reading al fresco

Alexa, an owl
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Alexa loudly ruffles and fluffs her feathers, shaking her head in indignation. "And just how will I get back up on my rooost, eh, cat?!" she squawks, as Ernest drags the book away with his teeth. "Cat?!" she wails, but Ernest is far too preoccupied to reply.

The owl paces the length of her perch for a few moments, indecisive, huffing and craning her neck, trying the gauge the distance to the ground. Finally, with a flurry of curses and small feathers, she makes an entirely graceless dismount, flapping wildly with her one good wing as she tumbles to the floor.

Dusting herself off with another vigorous shake, Alexa sees that the vixen, Brijida, has entered the cabin, and is working at the fireplace. She squeaks at the fox in embarrassment as she waddles past, following Ernest, who has made his way over the threshold and down the front steps, Whump! Thump! Thump! his book banging along in tow.

Alexa hops out the door to join the others near the garden, preening all the way. At the sight of the Witch's remains she turns her head completely around, pointing her beak back to the cottage door. "Ooo! I can't bear it!" she cries. "Whooo could return the lady from such a state?" Not daring another glimpse at her mistress, the owl instead watches the cottage entrance for sign of Brijida and the second book.
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Last edited by Mallothi; Sep 29th, 2020 at 03:17 PM.
  #17  
Old Sep 28th, 2020, 05:56 PM
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A clarification

GM (Mechanics)I think that sequence of events works now.

@lydklein: The fire is lit and you are good to roll for Brijida bringing the second book outside (meet or beat a 6).
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Last edited by Mallothi; Sep 29th, 2020 at 03:27 PM.
  #18  
Old Sep 28th, 2020, 11:18 PM
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Raindrops on Roses
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While Raindrops was not the scholar of old tales that First Master was, he was still fairly certain that a proper speech should motivate the party of true companions to the defense of the fair Lady. It was certainly a mediocre speech, so caught in the throes of deepest despair as he was upon the death of Second Master. The words were too simple, too short. The speech itself was too short as well, like the sapling in a orchard that never quite grows beyond shoulder height. In the future Raindrops would have to be certain his speeches were longer, that their content and character were true as an eastern sunrise.

It would do for now however, and the other familiars were eagerly fetching the Grimore's of Second Master. Raindrops had once asked Second Master why her tomes held the names of dark books full of dark deeds in the ancient tales. She had simply smiled at him and said, "There are tales older and wiser than those dreamt of by men...or hare". Truly it was these insights that made Second Master the wisest in the lands.

After a final mournful look towards Second Master, Raindrops follow the other familiars and sounds of commotion. He rejoins the compatriots as they move the books into a more reasonable position for their diminutive stature. The conversation he overhears through his long rabbit ears is to be expected, though the presence of Alexa is an especially fortuitous boon. In many of the longer ancient stories, a party of heroes such as Raindrops would be forced to embark on a separate, nay side, quest to decipher such a book before the main adventure could even properly begin!

As the books come to rest together on the floor, Raindrops feels a familiar tickle in his back leg. It conjured memories of when First Master would rub his fur with her blankets and woolen magic would compel his fur to stand on its very ends. It was the feeling he had when Second Master had first granted him mastery of portals. His ears perk straight up in the leporine equivalent of a smile.

Behold my brave and noble companions! Second Master, the Lady Abigail, cannot be truly dead. As you know, she granted me power over the gateways between rooms. While some of her power has left us Raindrops quickly throws a sad sideways look towards Alexa her gifts to us remain!

He hops closer to the books and continues his monologue, Books are portals to the ancient past, entries to enchanted worlds, doors to infinite adventure. Doors which I OPEN!

With three rapid and powerful thumps of his hind leg to the ground, reminiscent slightly of a human knocking upon a wooden door, Raindrops surge the infinite magical power within him, straining but manages to open both books for Alexa to read



 
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Old Sep 29th, 2020, 05:57 AM
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Brie
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The shadow of the owl hobbling towards the witch’s remains made Brie squeek in panic, flee for dear life and hide behind a large cabbage in the garden. Some things even mother’s gentle touch had been unable to change. Brie had seen his younger brother Cam (for Camembert) and his cousin Ratan, not to mention countless others, being hunted down (very briefly usually) and then eaten by owls. Every rat knew that to stand in an owl’s shadow as the bird of prey silently swooped towards the rodent with murder in its eyes meant certain death! Alexa, being one of mother’s familiars was an exception of course, but still, some habits died hard or rather not at all.

Brie took a peek from behind his vegetable hideout and cautiously took a few steps towards the bird. "You startled me!", he told the owl in an accusatory tone. "Since when do you prefer walking to…? Oh..." It was only then that he noticed that Alexa only had one wing. The magical one mother had given her was gone. "So sorry about your wing, Alexa. Don’t worry. Mother will make you a new one, even better than your old wing!" Normally he would have touched another animal’s beak or snout with his whiskered one in a gesture of support and compassion, but doing that to an owl, no matter how sorry he felt for her, would be synonymous to suicide. So, he gave Alexa a sufficiently sorry look and went back to the others, giving the bird a somewhat wider berth than was necessary.

Agile Ernest (when he put his mind to) and strong Brijida had brought two in his eyes identical books and Drops had used his magicks to open them. Brie had to admit that it was a neat and useful trick the hare had. His own magicks worked in a rather different way. Mother had asked him not to use his tricks to fool the other familiars and Brie had almost always complied – except in those (relatively) rare cases when Drops would need a good scare to stop talking or Brie needed a good laugh at the expense of poor, gentle Beau, diligently working in the garden.

Getting even closer to the two books, Brie looked first at the one on his right, then on his left, then once more at the book on his right and frowned. "The drawings are… interesting, I must admit, but these scribblings… They look like the traces my paws and tail leave on the ground, when I’m not careful that is. Why would mother bother with such things is beyond me." Still looking suspiciously at the two open books, Brie’s expression suddenly brightened. If one of the two was mother’s favourite grimoire, her smell on it should be stronger than the other! The rat started sniffing both books, hoping to discover which had been used the most.

OOC actionsClever roll to smell the true grimoire (DC 8, Success!).


 
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Last edited by Elanir; Sep 29th, 2020 at 12:26 PM.
  #20  
Old Sep 29th, 2020, 08:02 AM
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Beau
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If Ernest was unsettling, then Alexa was no doubt terrifying to a little rat like Beau. Brie had already scurried away- and Beau was feeling no braver. Except, she decided to remain close to Raindrops- no doubt the hare would protect her, right? She looked up and Raindrops expectantly.

'Do you... Understand, what these lines mean? I'm afraid I don't...' But she could help in a different way, perhaps. Already Brie was sniffing the pages, and while Beau didn't know what the scribbly lines meant, she knew magic took ingredients- herbs, among other things, which Abigail had plucked from her garden. Beau knew these herbs, no doubt their scent lingered on the grimoire!

Clever: 5 (fail)Unfortunately, the scent on both books was faded, and matters were made worse by the overpowering stench of the pyre's thick smoke still hanging in the air...


 
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Last edited by DemonSlayer; Sep 29th, 2020 at 11:10 AM.
  #21  
Old Sep 29th, 2020, 10:53 AM
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Sniffing out the grimoire I

GM (Mechanics)Great thinking, rats! Roll Clever to learn something about the smell of each book, DC 8 to discern anything useful.

Ya’ll can just add the rolls as edits to your previous posts, if you like.
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Last edited by Mallothi; Sep 29th, 2020 at 03:28 PM.
  #22  
Old Sep 29th, 2020, 03:15 PM
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Sniffing out the grimoire II

GMThe rats set about sniffing the pages of the open books. With their whiskers swishing softly over the pages, their twitching noses trace the endearingly untidy scrawl of their mistress, word by precious word.

Beau tries to identify the scent of any organic spell components that she might recognize from the garden, but is stymied by the stink of the smoldering cinders nearby.

Brie, however, with his tiny face coated in ash, seems to have acclimated to the scent of the pyre. He is able to determine that the left-wise book (which any trichrome would recognize as being blue) smells very faintly of perfume and wine, while the right-wise book (purple) smells of much stronger stuff - bitumen, incense, and licorice root.

It follows that the right-wise book is likely Abigail's grimoire. Any animal can roll Clever (DC 9) to read a sentence or two of her Human writing in either tome. Alternatively, Alexa could be compelled to give her spell, Make a book read itself aloud, a whirl. No roll would be required to flip through the pages to look at the pictures.
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Old Sep 29th, 2020, 07:10 PM
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What is seen cannot be unseen

GMThe animals begin frantically pawing through both books (a much more manageable feat for the fox, hare, and cat than the little rats), excitedly hunting for any illustrations that may hint at the content of the accompanying Human text.

The right-wise (purple) book contains an astounding variety of pictures, all lovingly rendered by the Witch herself. Flip! Flip! Flip! the pages flutter by as five-and-a-half pairs of keen eyes zip from image to image:
  • A technical drawing of a small wooden machine with a metal crank
  • A diagram of the skeletal structure of a pseudodragon
  • A watercolor of a (probably imagined) orchid
  • A map of some unknown country, marked with several X's
  • A sewing pattern for a jaunty hat that produces snowballs at will
  • A drawing of a pair of human eyes, held in a stone mortar
The left-wise (blue) book contains something more... confounding. The illustrations are clearly the Witch's work, but these are almost exclusively uninhibited sketches of swooning maidens held tight in the burly embrace of barrel-chested heroes, tunics asunder, silky locks blowing in the wind.

GM - MechanicsWith her Clever roll, Brijida can choose to read 3 lines total from either book.

All the other animals are still welcome to attempt the same Clever roll (DC 9) or chime in with additional ideas before we move on. I'll try to contain myself and refrain from making another GM post until I hear from everyone.
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Last edited by Mallothi; Sep 29th, 2020 at 08:54 PM.
  #24  
Old Sep 30th, 2020, 02:02 AM
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Brie
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If in doubt, always follow your nose. Brie couldn’t remember who exactly had said those words of wisdom, but he found it good advice and often lived by it. Sure enough it was the rightmost book that smelled right.

"It’s this one, this one!", screeched the rat full of excitement. "The eyes, Brijida, the eyes! What does it say?"

While his whole attention should have been drawn to the „resurrection“ spell, Brie found himself unable not to glance at the other book again and again.

What in the name of the god of rats and mice is this!? Oh mother, were we not enough to make you feel loved? Truth be told the drawings both appalled and fascinated Brie. He found human anatomy -with the exception of Abigail of course- deeply disturbing to say the least. Humans were so big and so devoid of fur. Even the though made the rat shiver with disgust. To see two of them together… Yuck!

Then again, he could understand one’s need to be close to one’s own kind. The other familiars were nice enough fellows, but the way Beau’s whiskers moved when she talked, the way she lifted her tail to keep it clean when working in the garden, the soft glow of her fur in the moonlight and the way she rubbed her small pink nose with her delicate little paws could drive a rat mad!

Shaking his head to clear it and berating himself for having such thoughts the night he lost his mother, Brie moved closer to Brijida and looked at her expectantly. The fox was wise, everyone knew that. She would be able to read the grimoire, Brie was sure of it!


 
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Old Sep 30th, 2020, 05:14 AM
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Brijida
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The clever fox, easily distracted had been fascinated by the Rabbit's spell. The effortless way he had commanded the books to open and turn. As each page turned she was able to read aloud a small bit of text beside very well drawn out pages.

"Ooooo! A pattern for a hat of snowballs! Snowballs are fun.'...The cap must be...invigorated?' I think that is the word. '...by placing it in a snowbank overnight, during which time n living creature should look upon it. If the hat is disturbed the spell will be broken and the hat will...' Oh my! It says here the hat will explode. Ew. No, I don't think I want to do that."

Pawing at the pages, Raindrops turn the page for her, this time revealing the image of a very lovely purple flower. "So beautiful. It says, '...With practice and a finely-tuned alchemical formulae,...' Formulae? Such an odd sound. It lays sideways in my mouth. '...one's connection to the Dream Garden can be made...stable?' The ink is faded here, but I think that is the word. '...stable enough to return to the Material Plane with physical souvenirs...' Hmmm, no not this one. Would you turn the page again, Raindrops?"

Once again the pages turned until they came across a drawing of a pair of eyes in a mortar. Brijida scrunched up her nose. Why her Mistress would want to put two perfectly good eyes in a bowl was beyond her. Eyes were so tender and juicy. They needed to be eaten right away not set into a bowl. How silly humans were.

Brie's excited command pulled her attention back to the very page they needed. P"Here we are. I can't make all of it out though. Perhaps if we each took turns trying to read. Alexa? Could you help? This is fun, this 'reading' Mistress showed us. It would be easier if this first part wasn't so difficult to understand." Skipping the parts that were harder to make out, the vixen skipped down the page and began reciting the words that lay before her. "'..Once removed in exactly the manner specified, the eyes of The Most Hated Enemy should be allowed to sleep(?) for a period of no less than 20 minutes before being ground into a thick paste...' Hmmm. Can anyone understand what comes before? Or after? Alexa?" Expectantly, she looked up to see who else might be able to help.

"Yes! Here. Oh, I cannot read all of it but I will try."
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Old Sep 30th, 2020, 07:29 AM
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Beau
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Beau couldn't understand any of the writing... But she could listen to Brijidi, and follow along with the fox deciphering the scribbling. Forgetting her fear of owl and cat for a moment, the rat was entirely focused on trying to understand what was written. With Brijidi translating, she could compare the parts the fox explained with the parts at the top of the page. Some of those symbols looked a lot like the ones Brijidi had translated for her.

'Hmm... I, ah, I think I may be able to figure out what this part says,' she offered quietly, not entirely certain that she could. 'I'll- I'll try and work out what this "exact manner specified" entails. Could you take a look at what we should do with the, um... The paste?' she concluded weakly, slightly nauseated with the idea of handling the eyes.

Shaking her little head, Beau Clever: 9 (success!)turned to the lines above what Brijidi had read.


 
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Old Sep 30th, 2020, 09:11 AM
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Ernest
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Brijida's aid was quite welcome in getting the tomes out to the others as the Cat could hardly understand the humans words outside of their drawings. Why they wasted time placing disfigured normal textrat prints on tree sheets was beyond him. Humans were twisted creatures by design, or so Ernest believed.

Ernest rested idly to the side whilst the others poured over the tomes. Tip of the tail wagging in impatience as his familiar kin excitedly read aloud what they could make out. "I understand the excitement of seeing what our Mistress has drafted, the bird and I oft saw her in the process of writing - but I beg you hurry things along." the mew came out as a stern plea. They were aiding more than he was, Ernest understood this - nevertheless, time was of the essence.

"As the Rat had told - find only those pertaining to 'eyes.' Everything else we can pester the Mistress with upon her awakening."

 

Last edited by Retry; Sep 30th, 2020 at 11:23 AM.
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Old Sep 30th, 2020, 10:26 AM
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Raindrops on Roses
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The other familiars were all gifted in their own way, but sometimes they just lacked the wisdom that First Master had imparted into Raindrops on Roses. Clearly the answers didn't lie in the boring tome of diagrams and figures. Any true scholars of the ancient literature would know that romance was at the core of the tales. Just as the heart of an acorn can grow a mighty oak, or the love of two humans could summon the storks with their newborns, obviously true love would solve their problems.

Raindrops gave a quick futile glance towards the book the other familiars were focused on, then quickly made his way towards the blue book. As he examined closely the diagrams and tried to make sense of the story they told he was reminded of the earliest books that First Master had shared with him. It was customary for younger scholars to begin their journey into the classics with tomes full of vivid and vibrant illustrations. The great works of lore were complicated and full of unseen developments, so First Master had explained that these narrative illustrations served to ease the scholars transition into knowledge.

As he examined the book, he couldn't help but marvel at the other familiars being caught in other book. Clearly the answers to restoring our family lie not within that most boring of tomes. Any true challenge is overcome by love, which this blue book is lovingly devoted to.


OOCYes, I am aware Raindrops is an idiot

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Old Sep 30th, 2020, 11:22 AM
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Beau
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Wholly lost in comparing Brijidi's words with the other passages on the page, Beau scurried along the edges of the book and, once she got really invested, even clambered up the page to get a closer look. For a time she didn't register anything other than the scribbled symbols, and the secrets they held...

'Ah-ha!' she squeaked happily, then looked up in embarrased fright at her own excitement. Quickly turning back to the book, she placed her paw on the symbols which she'd just made sense of. 'See here, everyone!' she announced, keeping her snout on the paper. 'I ah, I think I translated a few more words.'

Placing her paw at the part of the text above the lines Brijida had translated, Beau started reading aloud what she'd uncovered. 'To be returned to life, the murdered witch must claim the eyes of her killer- that part, we knew,' she said apologetically. 'But, but yes. This is the correct spell, it seems. Then we must- oh dear,' she sighed, her whiskers drooping. 'then we need to pick the witch hunter's eyes with a spoon of finest silver.' She looked up nervously. 'I don't think we have one of those- not in the garden, at least. Maybe in the kitchen? Brijida, you spent time near the oven- do you know if we have anything like that?'

Lashing her tail about in frustration, she shook her head, putting the problem behind her for now. 'The picking must be done by someone who loved the witch in life- so any one of us, really,' she said sadly.

Then Beau moved to the lines beneath the part Brijida had read, and continued. 'The... the paste,' she said carefully, unwilling to think too hard about the nature of that paste, 'must then be applied to the surface of a doll made in the witch's- Abigail's likeness. So we need to make a doll- that seems slightly less difficult than getting the spoon, at least.' Turning back to the page, she continued. 'Oh! It must also contain a strand of her hair.' Frightened, she looked up at Abigail's corpse. 'Do you- do you think we can save a strand of her pretty hair from... From there?'

'The doll should be buried, two feet into the soft earth. Under the light of the moon.' Beau looked up at the sky, currently lit up by the sun. 'Do you ah, do you think we can get enough moonlight here? Or would the trees block the light? If so, we'll need to find a clearing!' Turning to Brijida, she held her tiny head askew. 'You ah, you go into the woods a lot, don't you? Maybe you know where we can find a good clearing? With soft earth?'

Then, reading the last part, her little pink eyes went wide. 'We only have one week to complete the spell!' she brought out, fearfully. 'That's... That's not a lot of time I think.'

'So...' she said, climbing off the book. 'We need a silver spoon, a doll, a strand of hair from Abigail, plenty of moonlight... And the eyes, of course. In one week.' Looking at the others, she put on as brave a face as she could manage. 'Best get started, then! First, maybe we can look inside? Maybe we can find some things already here?' She scurried over to Abigail's corpse, and, trying not to think too hard about what she was doing, checked her burnt head for any useable hairs.


 
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  #30  
Old Sep 30th, 2020, 01:34 PM
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Brie
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Brie was looking at the hare skeptically. Could it be that Drops was right? If love could right all wrongs, and Brie being a „rat of the world“ doubted it, there should be no problem. He loved mother with all his heart, with every ounce of his little being from his sensitive nose to the tip of his long tail. How to prove this love? He had already a part of her upon his face, he could still sense her scent upon the air. How better to make „love“ a part of him? Being a rat, the only way he knew of making anything a part of him was by eating it. He reluctantly approached the „book of love“, looked at it one more time with uncertainty and slowly started chewing one of the pages.

Nice and crispy just like I prefer it. Smells faintly of glue. Hmmm, not bad, not bad at all. Perhaps mother also likes eating books. Perhaps that is the reason she keeps them. For a midnight snack? The ink does improve the flavor. Tastes a little bit like berry juice. Mmm.

Before long half the page was gone, but Brie didn’t feel the love inside him grow stronger, neither did the ash turn into mother.

"You are talking nonsense, Drops!", said Brie emphatically. "Shhh, Beau is reading the other book. She will tell us what to do." The rat listened devotedly as the other familiar informed them about the steps they had to take to bring mother back. This sounded much more logical than the hare’s claim that only love would work the miracle they expected. Love. Pfff! Magicks required precision, hard work and sacrifices – the witch hunter’s sacrifice, may rats forever gnaw at his bones!

Brie silently repeated the instructions: A spoon of finest silver. Pluck out the brute’s eyes. Make an eye-paste. Craft a doll -or steal one perhaps?- and get a strand of mother‘s hair. Bury the doll in a moonlit place.

The hole was no problem, Brijida could easily dig one or a badger could be „persuaded“ to aid them. The fox’s toothy smile should be incentive enough. The silver fork and the doll they could find and borrow at the village. Humans often had such things. But the hair? Mother had been burned…

"Mother’s brush! Her brush, her brush!", called out the rat excitedly. "Wait here, I’ll get us a strand of hair!" Brie ran inside the hut as quickly as he could and started looking for mother’s brush. Where does she keep it? Nice, aromatic olive wood and strong hair of a boar. Next to the bed? No, her vanity! Climb, climb, climb.

The wood was slippery and sleek and Brie found himself sliding down to the floor again and again. Stupid piece of wood. A tree that is no tree. I have to do this! Mother, please help me. Feeling mother’s presence next to him, Brie tried to climb the piece of furniture one more time.


OOC actionsQuick roll to climb the vanity and look for a strand of the witch’s hair (Result: 8).


 
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Running Dragons of a Broken World: A Dragonlance (Age of Mortals) 5e DnD campaign
”The elf told me to!” - Pnoah, tinker gnome
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