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  #121  
Old May 1st, 2021, 11:50 PM
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Parting WaysRavengro, Canterwall County, Ustalav
Sunday, Calistril 18 4711 AR

Hannah, Olyvette, Willow and Renata
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Ger smiled as Wisp's kind words sunk in. As soon as Istvan flew off the young acolyte breathed another sigh of relief, apparently glad that in fact the bird could still fly. As Istvan made its short circuit of the Restlands, the giant bird could make out the set of three graves that appeared to be disturbed, near the north end and not too far away from both Lorrimor's final resting place and the crypt that Willow and Renata had visited not that long ago. Satisfied that there were no more immediate threats, Istvan started to move back towards the church to reunite with Renata.

Inside the church now, Brother Ahlen nodded to Hannah and motioned towards the seated section near the front altar and, once the paladin was satisfied, turned his attention to Olyvette. "Petyr Hardwick, he was a lucky man - the tales that are told of the fire and those who did not get out are chilling indeed." He nodded again and returned a serious expression. "We can indeed provide a list of those who perished in the fire and those, like your father, who survived. It will take a few minutes for me to locate the correct books and records. If you would like to pray with Hannah, then I am certain I can find the records for you in that time." Ahlen gestured meaningfully to Ger, causing the younger acolyte to scurry away and out through one of the doors behind the altar that lead further into the church. As Ger passed Hannah he paused, gave a quick smile at the praying paladin and then hurried on.

Ahlen regarded Willow with a strange look and started towards the witch, his hand half-outstretched. Whatever sort of thought Ahlen had however was uncertain, and quickly overrun with a modicum of restraint. "Miss... Willow, wasn't it? Perhaps the temple to Pharasma is not to your tastes, you may wait outside should you find it uncomfortable inside these walls." He continued to regard her strangely, something still tugging at his thoughts. "And, that song... That is what the children sing, though I do not know why... What compelled you to sing it here of all places?" Already Ger was beginning to return to Ahlen, several tightly-bound scrolls and a heavy book laden in his arms.

Hannah, Renata, Willow and Olyvette OOC

 



Kestra
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Kestra left Jominda's apothecary with more questions than she had bargained for, but the bright optimism which she carried herself with whisked her quickly away to her previous night's friend. Frankie was sitting outside his lean-to looking very sorry for himself, slumped up against the side of his door as he was and cradling his head in his hands. He was moaning to himself, cursing the name of Hannah and 'tha' ovver one' until he happened to look up and catch Kestra bounding towards him. He stood up in an instant and strode over to Kestra, appearing none-too-pleased to see her again.

"Yew!!"

Frankie pointed to the side of his forehead and continued to loudly berate Kestra. "I were 'avin' a nice time yesty' wiv yew, bu' yer friends came roun' an' paid me a li'tle visit this mornin' so they did. And d'yew know wha' they did? Huh? Huh? One of 'em gave me such a beatin' tha' I was sure I wouldn' be awake until nex' Fireday! An' then, AN THEN!! If'n that weren' enuff for 'em, they go 'n wake me up again wiv some kinda magic healin' thingummy, threatenin' tae do it all again if'n I didn' tell 'em everythin'..." Frankie was beside himself with anger, pointing his finger accusingly at Kestra as if it were all her fault somehow. "An' whaddaya know, they didn' finish there, nosiree they did NOT!! Once they were done wiv me an' left, it were only then I saw tha' the big hulkin' one 'ad dun a number on me trophy! The 'ead which I were so 'appy wiv from last night was cooked! Burned to a crisp, so it was, an' no mistake. Now someone 'round 'ere owes me some explainin', and it better be from yew!"


Kestra OOC
 





Xaro
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Xaro awoke from his nap feeling confused. It wasn't the most restful sleep he had had, the strange nightmare was plaguing his thoughts. His first thought was to reach out to the Archmage and see whether the great spirit had been aware of Xaro's troubling dream.

Hean Feramin? That old coot? Yes I have heard of him - the man went crazy after his study into Anthroponomastics in Caliphas led him to summon just the wrong kind of succubus. Led him to believe that his study of personal names was corrupted and needed to become-well... far more deadly. Something about linking a person's name to their death I think. Better stick to summoning us, my boy - lust demons aren't all they are cracked up to be you know..

Satisfied for now with that answer, Xaro considered his next move. There were several hours until he would expect to be watching the monument in town and so he would have to occupy himself until then. If the culprit of the vandalism was to be caught, Xaro knew he would have to keep his wits (and possibly that of the Archmage) about him. That is, if the hooligan were to show his face again that night.

Moving downstairs, he found Kendra in the front room, reading a book from the library. Xaro could see only part of the cover, but the words Communing and Afterlife were clear enough from where he stood. As soon as Xaro entered, she closed the boom quickly, slightly embarrassed by the disturbance. "Oh! Xaro, I had forgotten you hadn't gone with the others. How was your rest?" The courteous small talk was short and clipped, but she suddenly had a sad sort of questioning expression as she looked from the planchette back to Xaro again. "Xaro - would you tell me something?"

She seemed hesitant to continue for a moment, but she realized she had started down the path and there was no going back. "You commune with the dead, is that right? You have the ability to do things somewhat like that strange board that was discovered. How does it all work? And-" Kendra looked out the window for a moment, unable to meet Xaro eye-to-eye. "-could that board, or your strange ability, be used to, you know, speak to my father again?"
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  #122  
Old May 2nd, 2021, 08:46 AM
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Willow Green
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Willow waited impatiently for Hannah to finish her babbling and Olyvette to finish her research. She was on her best behavior but still, Brother Ahlen came to her in his insufferable holiness. He suggested, offhandedly, that she wait outside the consecrated grounds and the witch theatrically sniffed herself… checking to see if she was giving off a blasphemous odor.

"And, that song... That is what the children sing, though I do not know why... What compelled you to sing it here of all places?" Brother Ahlen asked and Willow smiled widely.

“Well Ahlen… it is a catchy tune… a mind worm perhaps. I heard the miniature filthy creatures singing it the past two days. At first I didn’t quite catch the lyrics… but on the second listen not only did I learn the lyrics but… I realized they were singing about a fallen priest… a hypocrite… Father Charlatan.”

She let the strength of her deduction skills sit with the priest a moment, sure that he would be fairly awed by her abilities, then with a sweet smile she said, “Also… I sang the song because I thought it would insult you and I have no self-control in matters like this. You should pray for me.”


 
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  #123  
Old May 2nd, 2021, 11:05 AM
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Olyvette"Grand-father," she said tartly to Brother Ahlen, but quickly returned to her civil tone. "And I thank you for your cooperation. This will certainly be a boon to my research. I certainly do not mind waiting-" was what she began to say. However, the witch butted in with her insulting rhetoric against the Pharasman brother. Olyvette shot daggers with her eyes at the old hag, then looked back at the brother. "-and I shall pray while I wait. Clearly some people are in need of divine intervention." Willow joining them in their trip to the church had turned out as poorly as Olyvette had expected. The oracle stomped off to find Hannah, who was in quiet meditation.

"Why did she have to come?" she whispered with a hiss as she knelt beside the holy warriors. "She's insulting and abrasive, and if we're going to be facing more of these ... these undead... then she's a complete liability." Her pulse was pounding with anger, and she felt unable to reach her God in her current mood. She was feeling angry, but more concerning... she was feeling violent. Her hand clutched at her holy symbol, hoping to steady her hand... but also hoping Pharasma would speak to her.

Lady of the Graves, what is happening to me? Why do I only feel darkness, even while standing in your light?

Silence.


 
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  #124  
Old May 3rd, 2021, 01:42 PM
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Traveler's Outfit
Xaro Windbrook

Xaro Windbrook
Halfling medium 1 (Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures 30)
N Small humanoid (halfling)
Init +4; Senses Perception +6
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+2 armor, +4 Dex, +1 size)
hp 10 (1d8+2)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +3; +2 vs. fear
Influence: 1/5 (Full control)
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 20 ft.
Melee dagger +5 (1d3/19-20) or
. . lantern staff +1 (1d4)
Ranged sling +5 (1d3)
Special Attacks spirit
Medium Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +4)
. . 0 (at will)—detect magic, prestidigitation, Mending
. . 1 (2/day)—Identify
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 11, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +0; CMB +3; CMD 13
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Legendary Influence[UI]
Traits analytical (ustalav), teacher's pet
Skills Acrobatics +6 (+2 to jump), Climb +2, Diplomacy +7, Knowledge (arcana) +5 (+6 when taking 10.), Knowledge (history) +7 (+8 when taking 10.), Knowledge (religion) +5 (+6 when taking 10.), Perception +6, Perform (wind instruments) +7, Spellcraft +5; Racial Modifiers +2 Acrobatics, +2 Climb, +2 Perception
Languages Common, Gnome, Halfling
SQ finesse weapon attack attribute, spirit bonus (+1), spirit surge 1d6
Other Gear
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Agile Maneuvers Use DEX instead of STR for CMB
Fearless +2 bonus to save vs. fear (stacks with halfling luck).
Finesse Weapon Attack Attribute Finesse weapons use Dexterity on attack rolls.
Legendary Influence Gain a different feat from each legend.
Spirit (Su) A medium serves as a vessel to channel spirits—astral echoes of powerful souls from ages past that live on in myth and legend. Each day, a medium can channel a spirit through a ritual known as a seance. Seances take 1 hour to perform.
Spirit Bonus +1 (Su) Gain a bonus based on the type of spirit you host.
Spirit Surge 1d6 (1/round) (Su) Add a die to a failed check modified by spirit bonus, which can change it to success.
Background and Personality: Xaro Windbrook spent most of his life in Lepidstadt, growing up the youngest son of a remarkably large family. Unfortunately, his family had left him much to his own devices. As the youngest of a large family, Xaro was pretty much ignored. This did not end well for the family, because Xaro was a natural medium. Spirits tended to aggregate around him, and they finally started paying attention when his personality seemed to drastically change day to day. It had gotten so bad that they had no choice but to send him to Havenguard Lunatic Asylum, where he would receive treatment for multiple personality disorder.

The Havenguard Lunatic Asylum took him in for a short while, but found that there was a real reason behind his behavior, so he was returned to Lepidstadt, where he encountered Lorrimor at the Lepidstadt university. There he started getting better control over his situation by learning the nature of his influences and learning how he could make use of them.

Xaro is a lackadaisical sort, mostly because he finds that motivation is a thing that is thrust upon him, not generated from within. That isn't to say he is completely overtaken in sloth; he just allows impetus to happen, instead of going out and making it himself. Despite his rough life, hisfamilial upbringing means he is used to working with large groups of people with differing abilities and wildly differing personalities.
Gear:

leather armor, dagger, lantern staff, sling with 20 sling bullets, automatic writing planchette[OA], candle (10), candlestick[UE] (10), holly and mistletoe, incense (oa)[OA] (10), masterwork backpack[APG], scholar's outfit, spell component pouch, 122 gp, 1 sp
Loot:

None Yet!
The Archmage

Locations: Arcane Redoubts, Areas of unusual magic, libraries, schools
Bonus: Spirit bonus applies to concentration checks, Int checks, and int-skill checks
Influence penalty: Begin to become frail. Penalty equal to spirit bonus to strength checks, strength-skill checks, Con chcecks, attack rolls, and non spell damage rolls.
Archmage Arcana: Prepare spells per day as a mesmerist instead of a medium, gaining spells from the archmage and casting them as if they were arcane. Lose those spells known when no longer contacted by the archmage.
Seance Boon: +2 damage to damaging spells to each target.
Spells Gained: Level 0: Jolt; Level 1 (2/day): Magic Missile

Nodding, Xaro replied positive to her query about his rest, despite the... not so restful scenario behind it.

He listens for her question, waiting patiently for her to ask the question, even though he knew what it was going to be. It was the number one question he was asked, once people got past the initial uncomfortable-ness of his abilities. He clambered up into a nearby chair and smiled at Kendra.

"Yeah, I commune with the spirits of the departed." he confirmed. "The board is useful, since it provides a concrete focus for people's minds to work within. It shouldn't be taken lightly, but there's a degree of protection having an object be the focus grants that someone like me doesn't have." he shrugs. "You can just burn a possessed planchette."

Explaining exactly how to use the planchette will not benefit her. Poor girl.

Taking a deep breath, Xaro formed the words of the rest of his response *carefully*. "As for your father... There is not a concrete, for sure answer either way. I only say this so you know the factors involved. I have a strong tie to the Professor, as do you, so getting the message 'out' to him that we seek his presence is quite likely. However, there might be a few things that would preclude him from responding."

He held up a finger with each number. "One, he could be indisposed. Either the afterlife is too engaging to turn away for a while, or he's occupied answering another's call or something. Two, he could choose not to reply, feeling that we are better served by NOT answering or that he just doesn't want to respond. Three, and the more ominous of the possibilities, is that he simply cannot respond because his soul is contained or otherwise sealed away. There are soul gems that can be used to capture a soul and prevent it from moving on to the natural cycle."

Xaro keeps an eye on Kendra's expression as he talks. "However, I don't feel the 3rd will be the case. Despite Kestra's, well, surprising actions during the wake, it hints that his soul is in fact available to call upon."

Gesturing to the table and the planchette, he gives Kendra a reassuring smile. "So," he started. "When should I start?"

This should put the poor dear's heart at ease. Unless Petros... ugh. nevermind. At least it will shed some light on the mystery we're investigating. the spirit within his mind sighs.


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  #125  
Old May 3rd, 2021, 04:46 PM
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KestraKestra listened to Frankie's bleatings with utmost sympathy, nodding and wincing as the boy bemoaned his rude pummeling and pointed at the big glaring knot on his forehead. Had the wicked knot little googly eyes, and a little mouth, it would no doubt scream Hannah's praises--as it was clearly her handiwork. "Oooh how terrible! Poor you! Poor poor you!" Kestra cried, genuinely aghast and angrily so. "I tried to warn you, yes! My fellow pallbearers are, for the most part, an uncivilized bunch...surely now you can see why I went out of my way to escape their sadistic clutches?"

"Unfortunately, you ran afoul of the burliest, orneriest lady there ever was, too mean for Lorremore's liking and green with envy--as, unbeknownst to them, he had trusted me with a sacred mission. Sadly, for now I must leave it at that--However, the fact that you took a senseless beating for my sake is proof that you are not only a loyal friend, but a gallant hero." Declaring this with grandeur, this frail damsel before him was in need of a hero yet again. "No. You are the very heart of Ravengro! A brave prodigy, destined for greatness...Greenie-Meanie may have robbed you of a trophy, but what is triumph without a trial by fire? Tell me, in dark times such as these, do you aim to skulk away in defeat as those brutes thought, and fall into nameless obscurity? OR, will you help me save this town, and glory in in the admiration of your peers?" Hands on hips, Kestra bristled with brilliant gusto, radiating pure pep and unbridled confidence.

"Ravengro is in need of a hero, my friend....and, once again, this famous detective is in need of a trusty assistant!" Beaming a cheeky grin, Kestra added. "Oh yes! If you accept, I guarantee there will be even bigger, scarier trophies to be had. What say you, hm?"


 
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  #126  
Old May 3rd, 2021, 11:11 PM
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Hannah is peaceful and there's an aura of satisfaction to have cleared the world of those skeletons. Chasing undead is her new calling until Pharasma calls her back to her final home. Eyes close, she hears Olyvette whispers. - " Dear sister, we welcomed back Kestra regardless of her crimes, how could we now reject Willow the broken? We have to endure the challenges Pharasma judged necessary. We don't know yet, but they might make a difference later down the road; witches and wizards are slow bloomers I been told by wiser men. " She put her bare hand on Olyvette's shoulder. - " Let go of your thoughts, and rest your mind. "



 
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  #127  
Old May 4th, 2021, 06:15 PM
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Renata Lovasz
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Renata watched silently as the others entered the church while she remained outside. Though for the briefest of moments the thought of entering a Pharasmin church did cross her mind. But the thought of having a quiet moment to herself won out. Besides, she felt now might be a good time to check in with her own deity, or the one she chose to revere the most. It'd been a while since she'd prayed and now seemed as good a time as any, and being indoors would be rather counterproductive to such a plan. So, with a final glance towards the place of worship, the huntress turned on her heel and found the nearest tree to sit under.

When Renata finally settled into a seated position, her legs crossed, back against the trunk, and her and backpack off to the side she plucked a simple wooden carving from where it dangled at her waist. The wooden holy symbol had certainly seen better days, and the paint that had once adorned the surface had started chipping away years ago. If that wasn't enough the old thing had a handful of knicks and more than it's fair share of cracks. Yet, the brunette couldn't bring herself to part with it, after all, it had been a gift. One she cherished to this day, and a more physical reminder of her grandfather rather than just the memories that remained of him. Brushing her thumb against the rough surface of the wood Renata couldn't help but crack a small smile before she let her eyes drift closed, both hands moving to clasp the symbol between them.

Renata then focused her attention on her surroundings, the gentle breeze, the distant sound of a bird, and the simple wild tinge the world had. From there she prayed, for what? A variety of things but safety first and foremost. Things didn't seem as though they were going to get any less dangerous and the young woman hoped to ensure Istvan, she, and her new acquaintances made it to the other side of whatever problem they were stepping in. Though, who could say if Gozreh was listening in the first place, if nothing else it was a process that comforted Renata and she was happy to find a bit of peace in the act.
OOC
 

 
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  #128  
Old May 7th, 2021, 07:52 PM
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Parting WaysRavengro, Canterwall County, Ustalav
Sunday, Calistril 18 4711 AR

Hannah, Olyvette, Willow and Renata
left-aligned image
Ahlen bristled at Willow's words, her deliberately provocative speech was so unused to how the priest was used to being treated, he hardly knew what to say in response. Rather than stammering out a hasty rebuttal, he was glad when Olyvette drew his attention away with her own tart correction. Flicking his attention away from the prickly problem of Willow for a moment, he apologized profusely to Olyvette for his mistake.

"Of course, your grandfather. The fire was some fifty years ago after all and, well, just look at you... Ermm." Willow had clearly rattled the poor man and his flustered apology was seeming to dig himself even more of a hole. He waved his hands vaguely at Olyvette and blundered on. "Well it's just that you are young, yes? Ahem, yes... well - I had better get on with the list for your research into your grandfather." Shooting another worried look at Willow, Ahlen clutched his papers tightly and moved to the opposite side of the church to begin his work.

Ger didn't seem as hassled as his older counterpart, instead he came and stood nearby Willow and regarded the woman with his own strange expression. Yet where Ahlen seemed frazzled and overworked, Ger appeared more naïve and curious. "Father Charlatan, you say? Who is he? What sort of priest would fall from grace in such ways? Would he be responsible for the undead creatures that have been rising? If he has fallen as you say, maybe Pharasma's teachings will give us the answers." Ger smiled and pushed a book into Willow's hands. He leant in close and whispered to the witch "I will pray for you..." before scuttling off into the back of the church. Looking down, Willow read the cover - The Windsong Testaments: The Three Fears of Pharasma.

Outside, Renata was enjoying her peace. Gathering her thoughts, she found solace in her own company and that of her carved holy symbol. What Gozreh would think of the aberrations in the Restlands, Renata could only guess, but the unnatural creatures would likely not sit well with the dualistic deity. Several people wandered past in the afternoon and one or two looked askance at the seated huntress, but none approached. She was left to her own devices and soaked in the sounds of the town as its hustle and bustle moved around her. She could hear the children singing and playing down to the south, she could hear the hawkers in the town square, still selling their wares. There was music too, likely a bard performing near the tavern perhaps and all the while there was the soft breeze blowing through the trees around her. How the gentle susurrus could be so calming while the rest of the world raged on was anyone's guess. At least Renata could catch a moment to herself.

Minutes passed for the church-bound group. Hannah and Olyvetted prayed inside while Renata prayed out. Willow busied herself as well as she could, leering at the priests and quietly muttering to herself, but soon Brother Ahlen was finished with his list. He approached Olyvette and Hannah, moving circuitously around the church so as not to cross Willow's path, and waited until the pair were finished their prayers. As soon as they were done, Ahlen presented the list to Olyvette. "May it aid in your research." He waited for a moment, to see if there were any questions, though it was still quite clear that patience was not his strongest virtue. Outside, Istvan flapped gently down in front of Renata, its rounds of the Restlands complete. No trace of fear or distress was on the bird's face, seeming to indicate a quiet Restlands, at least for now.

Hannah, Renata, Willow and Olyvette OOCThe list contains some 60 - 70 names, mostly prisoners. Some in particular stand out:

Lyvar Hawkran - Warden
Vesorianna Hawkran - Wife to the Warden
Hean Feramin
The Piper of Illmarsh (real name unknown)
Ispin Onyxcudgel
Vance Saetressle
Sefick Corvin

If you would like any more information on any of these names in particular, please roll a Knowledge (history) check.

 



Kestra
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Frankie seemed intent on remaining indignant and angry, but it was hard in the face of someone who was so energetically agreeable to his plight. "'Ang on... well, yeah. I don' fink tha' woman was 'orny like yew said - least of all I never came across anyone 'o wanted tae bea' me over me 'ead wiv tha' on their minds..." Frankie rubbed his leg again absentmindedly - the physical pain might have been magicked away, but the memory of the large flail crunching into him wouldn't fade any time soon.

He tried to focus back on the effervescent Kestra as she waxed lyrical about her distress. "Wot? Yew wan' me tae wot now? Run through some fire? In the dark?? Girly, I ain' tha' desperate..." Realization and understanding was slow even in the mid-afternoon for Frankie, but the cogs slowly whirred inside his mind and the motivation behind Kestra's words dawned. "Ohhh... Yew wan' anovver side-kick, righ'? Wot are we doin' this time, eh? Don' heroes jus' ge' more clobberin'? Tha's wot me ol' mam used tae say anyway. Why would I wan' any more of tha'? An' glory is great an' all, but it ain' gonna put food in me belly." Frankie's stomach rumbled pointedly and a look of surprised triumph shot across his face. "See?? Gotta feed me firs', otherwise this ol' Frankie ain' gonna be up tae anyfing." He looked expectantly at Kestra, as if it were her problem to find him food.


Kestra OOC
 





Xaro
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Kendra wasn't sure what to expect from Xaro after her awkward question, but the halfling took her query in his stride and chose not to make her feel uncomfortable in return. She smiled and tried to follow along with Xaro's explanation, but some things were just shooting straight over her head.

"Aren't all planchette's possessed? Are you saying that we can't burn you? Kestra was babbling about some burning here recently, do you know what she meant by that?" Kendra was struggling to keep up with the frenetic pace of her life changing all around her, from her father's death to now, where six strangers had arrived at her home with some of the most egregious behavior and attitudes. "Perhaps it is best I left Ravengro... but where would I go?" Her muttering wasn't helping Xaro's patient explanation, so the young woman focused back and listened to the medium's possible scenarios, occasionally nodding and hoping her vacant expression wasn't too obvious.

"Sounds like a hit-and-miss sort of operation, doesn't it." She opened her mouth again, more questions forming but she wasn't sure how they would be received. It was only for a moment and then she blurted out the first thought before appearing embarrassed again. "Are you feared by others?" Casting her eyes down, she tried to backtrack. "I mean... you commune with the dead all the time. This is a superstitious town, Mister Xaro, as you well know from the way Gibs and his lackeys tried to interrupt the ceremony yesterday. They claim my father was a necromancer, something I angrily denied at the time. Yet now I see a whole side of my father's life that I had never seen before, secrets kept even from me into all manner of undead nightmares. I definitely think that his death was not accidental, nor would he go up to the prison on a whim. Yet does that absolve him of his own sins? And what were they exactly?" Kendra was getting worked up as she spoke, her expression intensifying.

"Xaro, I definitely think we need to start now. Kestra has the board - if we can just talk to my father again, he will explain it all, surely. I think she was off to Jominda's, the apothecary in town. Her and my father were close, though I don't even know what that means any more..." Anger was starting to mix into her countenance, translating quickly fierce determination to get to the bottom of whatever her father was involved with. She stood up and stared out her window, looking back up north towards the Restlands. "Will you help me? We have to try, don't we?" Kendra paused again, her thoughts racing. She turned back to Xaro, worriedly biting her lip. "This isn't necromancy, is it?"

Xaro OOCMy apologies Runetide - DaniLore reminded me that Kestra had the spirit planchette, so it isn't actually part of this scene. But Kendra is still very interested in getting a hold of the device and trying to reach her father.
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Old May 8th, 2021, 05:45 AM
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Traveler's Outfit
Xaro Windbrook

Xaro Windbrook
Halfling medium 1 (Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures 30)
N Small humanoid (halfling)
Init +4; Senses Perception +6
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+2 armor, +4 Dex, +1 size)
hp 10 (1d8+2)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +3; +2 vs. fear
Influence: 1/5 (Full control)
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Offense
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Speed 20 ft.
Melee dagger +5 (1d3/19-20) or
. . lantern staff +1 (1d4)
Ranged sling +5 (1d3)
Special Attacks spirit
Medium Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +4)
. . 0 (at will)—detect magic, prestidigitation, Mending
. . 1 (2/day)—Identify
--------------------
Statistics
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Str 11, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +0; CMB +3; CMD 13
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Legendary Influence[UI]
Traits analytical (ustalav), teacher's pet
Skills Acrobatics +6 (+2 to jump), Climb +2, Diplomacy +7, Knowledge (arcana) +5 (+6 when taking 10.), Knowledge (history) +7 (+8 when taking 10.), Knowledge (religion) +5 (+6 when taking 10.), Perception +6, Perform (wind instruments) +7, Spellcraft +5; Racial Modifiers +2 Acrobatics, +2 Climb, +2 Perception
Languages Common, Gnome, Halfling
SQ finesse weapon attack attribute, spirit bonus (+1), spirit surge 1d6
Other Gear
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Special Abilities
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Agile Maneuvers Use DEX instead of STR for CMB
Fearless +2 bonus to save vs. fear (stacks with halfling luck).
Finesse Weapon Attack Attribute Finesse weapons use Dexterity on attack rolls.
Legendary Influence Gain a different feat from each legend.
Spirit (Su) A medium serves as a vessel to channel spirits—astral echoes of powerful souls from ages past that live on in myth and legend. Each day, a medium can channel a spirit through a ritual known as a seance. Seances take 1 hour to perform.
Spirit Bonus +1 (Su) Gain a bonus based on the type of spirit you host.
Spirit Surge 1d6 (1/round) (Su) Add a die to a failed check modified by spirit bonus, which can change it to success.
Background and Personality: Xaro Windbrook spent most of his life in Lepidstadt, growing up the youngest son of a remarkably large family. Unfortunately, his family had left him much to his own devices. As the youngest of a large family, Xaro was pretty much ignored. This did not end well for the family, because Xaro was a natural medium. Spirits tended to aggregate around him, and they finally started paying attention when his personality seemed to drastically change day to day. It had gotten so bad that they had no choice but to send him to Havenguard Lunatic Asylum, where he would receive treatment for multiple personality disorder.

The Havenguard Lunatic Asylum took him in for a short while, but found that there was a real reason behind his behavior, so he was returned to Lepidstadt, where he encountered Lorrimor at the Lepidstadt university. There he started getting better control over his situation by learning the nature of his influences and learning how he could make use of them.

Xaro is a lackadaisical sort, mostly because he finds that motivation is a thing that is thrust upon him, not generated from within. That isn't to say he is completely overtaken in sloth; he just allows impetus to happen, instead of going out and making it himself. Despite his rough life, hisfamilial upbringing means he is used to working with large groups of people with differing abilities and wildly differing personalities.
Gear:

leather armor, dagger, lantern staff, sling with 20 sling bullets, automatic writing planchette[OA], candle (10), candlestick[UE] (10), holly and mistletoe, incense (oa)[OA] (10), masterwork backpack[APG], scholar's outfit, spell component pouch, 122 gp, 1 sp
Loot:

None Yet!
The Archmage

Locations: Arcane Redoubts, Areas of unusual magic, libraries, schools
Bonus: Spirit bonus applies to concentration checks, Int checks, and int-skill checks
Influence penalty: Begin to become frail. Penalty equal to spirit bonus to strength checks, strength-skill checks, Con chcecks, attack rolls, and non spell damage rolls.
Archmage Arcana: Prepare spells per day as a mesmerist instead of a medium, gaining spells from the archmage and casting them as if they were arcane. Lose those spells known when no longer contacted by the archmage.
Seance Boon: +2 damage to damaging spells to each target.
Spells Gained: Level 0: Jolt; Level 1 (2/day): Magic Missile

Showing the same patience for the daughter that the father had for him, Xaro takes the questions with some grace. "In my experience, people are afraid of the unknown, and for many of those who are afraid their first impulse is to destroy what they don't know. Burning is a common thing isn't it? Books, monsters, witches..." he replies. "There are a number of things she could be referring to though, so I can't be certain if she was implying anything. Wasn't there a fire in the prison? Eh, we'll figure that out in due time."

... Are you sure you don't want the Marshal to help you with this conversation? I only really have the facts, child.

"As for you leaving, perhaps we might have to wait on that." Xaro started to explain. "If things are only getting spookier around here, then there's very little chance you'll be able to find someone to buy the place if you were to pack up and move out. Losing on that kind of money might be a problem. Maybe what we're looking into with those... whispering fellows and the prison might help clear that up! I know that I'm planning on doing some late night investigating tonight to help sort some of this out!"

He considers her further questions, answering again with an understanding tone of her uncertainty. "It's certainly not nearly as accurate of a practice as, perhaps, stargazing, but think of it this way... both the stars and the dead are ruled over by competent goddesses, which means that for the most part none of those contingencies will happen. Lady Pharasma would never allow such things to happen so often."

"Me? Feared?" Xaro asked in a joking appearance of bravado. Then, the illusion sags and he is just a sad and tired halfling. "Yeah. Sadly." he replied. "My own parents were the first. It's not like I CHOSE to become this, you know. I just turned out real unfortunate. And, to be honest... I don't blame people." Xaro gives a defeated shrug. "Most people only ever see what happens when an angry ghost lingers on, or when a phantom possesses someone with malevolent intent. Those are the squeaky wheels, if you know what I'm talking about. They get the attention, and they're what people fear. Sure, I might have been like that before, but I'm not that now. They fear me, but that's because it's a good idea to be cautious of strangers who have mysterious powers. I only hope that once people get to know me that fear will go away."

Can we get back on track please?

Ignoring the phantom's voice, Xaro wipes his face with a hand before continuing. "But as for your father, I know he had a very, uh, eventful life. Researched many things. In my opinion, he was the kind of man who would defeat evils with knowledge, but sometimes that knowledge itself may not have a bright origin." Suddenly, Xaro's eye's brighten. "And besides!" he exclaims a little bit excitedly. "Not all magics labeled necromancy is bad! There's actually a theory in some colleges that the cure and harm spells actually have origins in necromancy, and using Speak with Dead is completely legal testimony in court! There's a lot of spells from the school of necromancy that aren't actually evil, but it's the one school that DOES have those nasty ones in it. Raising the dead back to life? Good. Animating a body against it's will? Bad. I'm not much of a moral philosopher, but even the common people would not turn down a free resurrection, should it be offered. Yet both can be defined as bringing life back to a dead body."

"The issue is that animating a corpse takes the body and fills it with negative energy, fills it with life fueled by Evil. Evil is a tangible thing after all: if not then paladins and clerics and angels are all blowing smoke up our as...sumptions." he blushes a moment before continuing. "Anyways, I don't think it's anyone's business your father's sins save for the lady of graves." Xaro concludes.

Bravo, you've managed to rant at a distraught woman about something so utterly pointless as philosophy.

"Of course I'm with you!" Xaro spouts immediately, actually excited that someone was willing to rely on him for the first time in his life. "I'm with you all the way. We don't need to know what wrongs your father did, but we can hopefully get his guidance one last time. Also I miss the man..."

Xaro slips off the chair, dusting off his knees. "Let's go." he said. "I realize that I also might need a potion or two if I'm going to catch whoever's defacing the town safely. But either way don't worry. I'm no necromancer, I'm just a little man who has an express connection to the hereafter."

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Last edited by Runetide; May 8th, 2021 at 05:48 AM.
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  #130  
Old May 8th, 2021, 09:50 AM
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Willow Green
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Ahlen’s discomfort was like a delicious nectar to Willow. She watched the holy man squirm and stutter and little jolts of happiness coursed through her being. It was a beautiful sight and when the old man stumbled away from her noxious proximity, the witch cackled.

Ger’s response, however, set Willow back on her heels and she sneered in his face as he asked his questions. “What sort of priest would fall from grace in such ways?” he asked in a way only a naive priest sheltered from the real world could ask.

“All priests fall from grace… if they ever had any grace to begin with!” Willow spit out in exasperation. “You snivel and crawl as you beg for protection from the very life you profess to revere. You seclude yourself with your prayers and your chants and your fancy hand signals. Bah!”

Willow was like an irate porcupine, all bristles and overflowing anger. When Ger shoved a book into her hands, The Windsong Testaments: The Three Fears of Pharasma, the witch looked at the priest in disbelief. “Are you serious?” she stammered… “You will pray for me even as you let me burn.” She turned away from the young priest and stomped away, noticeably not tossing the book aside, instead placing the tome within her bag.

Ooc13 history in three fears

 
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  #131  
Old May 12th, 2021, 07:34 AM
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A Slight DetourKestra beamed gleefully wide at the baffled fellow, seemingly still trying to shake off his untimely concussion. "My dear Frankie, we are on the very cusp of an earthshattering discovery--the likes of which will no doubt prove the Professor's theory on Spirit Essence Localization as a catalyst for Interdimensional Travel. We're so close, in fact, that I can feel it reverberating through my twigsy bones. Hee-hee!" Seeing the lad's goofy countenance skew even farther with confusion, Kestra raised a brow. "Now, if your apprehension has anything to do with crossing 'You-Know-Who' I promise you no longer have anything to fear from those ruffletuffs--now that we've properly ironed out our differences. Why, it's amazing what miracles can happen overnight!"

Amused by the fact that Frankie was clearly a momma's boy, the hideous roar that emitted from the oaf's belly momentarily stopped Kestra's train of thought. Gaping at him with incredulous fascination, had he not eaten for days? Judging from his shabby way of life, the little he earned no doubt went toward bread of the fermented variety. Nevertheless, as she was formulating an objection, seeing that they hadn't time to waste, Kestra's gut rumbled loudly, quakingly so. "EH. Hmmyes, I...am inclined to agree. Investigating certainly does work up an appetite..."

The problem, however, was where he expected this food to come from? It's not like she could conjure up a feast--just yet--unless he liked the smell of his own burning flesh. She hadn't the coin to stuff his gullet at the pub either, unless he liked the innkeep's fiendishly concocted horderves that he rustled up from stray cats and dogs. Mayhaps I should look into that too...it's not like the buckets of blood used to vandalize the monument poofed from absolute nothing.

"In that case, my goodfellow, how would you like to join me on a quick poke-around at the Laughing Demon? Namely, why don't we see what goodies are 'out back' for the adventurous at heart? I imagine there will be quite the variety to choose from among the delectable scraps." Gesturing to her dusty, dirty appearance, Kestra whispered. "As you can see, today I'm in perfect incognito. So, we must work hard to maintain the illusion that I am, in fact, a cutesy yet brilliant beggar down on her luck. Think you can handle that, Mister Reid?"

Posing that as a challenge, Kestra gestured for him to lead the way.


ActionAction--Investigate/dig for scraps behind the Laughing Demon
Dice perception:
1d20+0 (2)+0 Total = 2

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  #132  
Old May 13th, 2021, 06:42 PM
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Renata Lovasz
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For the first time since arriving in Ravengro Renata was relaxed. The woman was at peace, something she was honestly surprised to have achieved after a harrowing encounter with a trio of skeletons. Yet even so she found tranquility, a different kind than she was used to, but tranquility nonetheless. She listened to the sounds around her, the music, the sales pitches, and everything else. One noise though, one stuck out. The gentle flap of wings that had signaled the arrival of her closest companion for years. Renata blinked open her eyes flinching at the sun's sudden intrusion into her vision as she looked towards the sound. A wave of relief washed over her as the young woman found Istvan no worse for wear, in fact, he seemed peaceful.

With a smile flashed up at the large avian, Renata took a moment to stretch before flopping back against the tree once again. Her eyes drifted towards Istvan's lingering injury and the smile turned into a frown. "I should pick up some bandages later," The woman muttered to herself as she absentmindedly reached out to brush her fingers across the downy white and grey feathers of his chest. A sigh later and Renata pushed herself up and onto her feet brushing the dirt from her clothes once she was standing. From there she held her holy symbol to her chest for but a moment more before tying it back to her belt. After retrieving her backpack from the ground the huntress turned and gently patted Istvan on the head. In turn, the bird leaned into her touch letting out a pleased coo in the process.

"Get some rest, you earned it." Renata's words were accompanied by an affectionate head scratch that earned her a ruffle of feathers and what she decided to take as a squawk of agreement. With that she gave a small nod before turning back to the church and staring at it for a moment, mentally readying herself for diving back into the chaos that was human interaction. If nothing else her brief time to herself reminded the woman why she preferred being alone. It was much less headache-inducing. With a shake of her head, Renate moved to enter the church proper. Once she found herself in the confines of the holy place she scanned the area for her companions, noting Hannah and Olyvette were together while Willow was by herself. A fact that made Renata nervous, but, she pushed past that and moved towards the two women.

"Did they get you what you wanted to see?" Renata questioned as she approached the two women, tilting her head slightly in the process.
OOC
 

 
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  #133  
Old May 20th, 2021, 01:29 AM
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Olyvette"Yes, thank you… hmm… interesting… erm, Brother Ahlen, if it would not be too much trouble, might I ask one more favor? This list is certainly intriguing, but there are a number of names here that I have not come across in my research. I know you are a busy man, but as a holy woman of the Lady of Graves, would you
Dice * Diplomacy:
1d20+8 (4)+8 Total = 12
grant me one more great boon in allowing me direct access to the church’s historical records? I assure you, good sir, my inquiries are purely academic.”
She had adopted a humble tone, playing to the man’s likely view of her as nothing more than a weak female. Let him think that, she thought, bristling inside at having to humble herself. Still, if her kowtowing helped her achieve her aims, then it was a sacrifice well worth it. However, the man seemed more impatient to be rid of them than she’d expected, and Olyvette gave her fortitudinous friend a gentle nudge on the arm. In a quiet voice, she asked the paladin ”Hannah, sister, would you be able to help convince the good brother to let me review their records?”


 
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  #134  
Old May 20th, 2021, 07:11 AM
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Parting WaysRavengro, Canterwall County, Ustalav
Sunday, Calistril 18 4711 AR

Hannah, Olyvette, Willow and Renata
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Ger only nodded and smile, allowing Willow's scathing words to wash over him. He was glad when he saw the witch pocket the book - perhaps the testament would prove interesting reading to her after all. Ger was about to say something, but Olyvette had pinioned Ahlen, and the younger acolyte nodded politely and took his leave from the witch before his head was bitten off.

Ahlen was attempting to understand Olyvette's request. "What sort of records do you think the church has? Academic interests only go so far for us - we record births and deaths here, nothing more. What I have provided you is exactly all the records that the church has for the prison inmates. Perhaps you would like to try the council chambers for further digging." Ger sidled over and added his own comments. "Sometimes I look over the records and try to update them - uhhh..." Ger caught Ahlen's glare before stammering on. "...only to improve them, make them more accurate... You know that Father Grimburrow once entered a man's death as 'laughing too much', and another for 'death by beard'." Ger shrunk from Ahlen's disapproving look, but was far too committed to his train of thought. You can't tell me that you thought they were legitimate too, right?" A swift flick of Ahlen's wrist sent Ger scuttling off into the recesses of the church, allowing Ahlen a moment to regather his thoughts.

"Right - where were we? Yes, you want to visit the town hall, Councillor Muricar is your man at this time in the afternoon. You might have to prove your desire to research your grandfather, but should he be taken in by your story, you will be able to access far more than we have access to here." Ahlen nodded in earnest hope that the party would be able to find the help they needed.

Hannah, Renata, Willow and Olyvette OOCSorry Noquarter - I don't mean to railroad you, but the church records aren't as extensive as you are hoping for. If you are all happy as a group, I will update before the weekend is out to move you all to the Town hall and engaging with Councillor Muricar.

 



Kestra
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Frankie's eyes widened, much in the same way that they had the night before, caught up in Kestra's over-enthusiastic energy. His grumbling stomach was his biggest motivator still, and Kestra's offer to head to the tavern was exactly what he was after. Beaming widely, he leapt to his feet and followed Kestra out of the shack.

"You 'ave ironed ou' tae differences, eh? Wot's that mean?" As they walked slowly towards the town square and the tavern Frankie brightened as he considered the options that Kestra might have enacted against Hannah. "What di' ye do then, hmmm? Pu' in tae ol' righ' hook? Dack 'er? Ohh, oooh... Di' ye pull tha' ol' woolen blanket over 'er eyes an' spin 'er round an' push 'er over, leave 'er in a ditch somewhere? Har har har!"

Frankie slapped Kestra on the back as he got himself caught up in the shenanigans of the moment. As they approached the tavern and rounded the back, Frankie led Kestra to a series of bins that sat just behind the tavern. "Here's where I come sometimes, when I ge' a hankerin' for somethin' tha' I can' have cos of my station, know wot I mean?" He dived into the bin and beckoned for Kestra to follow, but it was mere moments before Reggun rounded the corner.

"Frankie Reid?! Is that you then boyo? Digging around in dumps again, lookin' for scraps where you shouldn't be?" Frankie took that moment to dive deep into one of the bins, whispering hurriedly to Kestra. "Don't le' tae ol' hag see me, she wants me blood!" Reggun was advancing quickly on Kestra, realisation of familiarity spreading across her features. "Well then... isn't this a coincidence, hmm? Twice in one day ol' Reggun gets to come across you, little missy. What's your story then?"


Kestra OOCDue to the poor roll, Kestra doesn't have much of a chance to dig into the scraps behind the tavern before being interrupted.
 





Xaro
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Xaro's calm and patient nature seemed to be the most reassuring thing Kendra had heard in days. "Weeks..." she muttered, looking out the window. "You have a way with words, don't you?" She hesitated again - despite Xaro's openness, his abilities to converse with the dead still were strange and unfamiliar to her. But she was endeavoring to put her feelings aside in the face of Xaro's honest and well-meaning words.

"My father's life continues to prove an enigma that everyone else seems to have part of the key to. But I am finding my way and perhaps you are right. Maybe the answers I am looking for are right here in the Ravengro. I can stay and together perhaps we will find more answers to the questions we seek."

Kendra brightened significantly and started out the door. "To Jominda's, then? She was always a calm presence whenever my father and I visited her. Potions, she has in spades!" The walk to the town square was starting to become familiar to Xaro and a few faces began to be recognizable, denizens of the village going about their daily business. Jominda was outside, starting to take the rows of flowerbeds and cuttings inside. She spotted Kendra and Xaro and waved them over. "I am closing early today - had some rather strange business with a friend of yours I think. A seeker of the Wyrd, she called herself. Missy Blackhat?" The raised eyebrow from Kendra was all the acquiescence she needed, so she continued on.

"Anyway. She wanted me to come around to the mansion later and discuss... things. She wasn't too forthright on the matter, least of all when we were interrupted by Reggun..." Kendra scowled and looked around the square for the old woman. She leaned towards Xaro and muttered quietly to him. "Old woman thinks she knows every dirty little secret around town..." Jominda nodded in agreement, then raised a hand. "Wait!" She dashed into her shop and returned moments later with a handful of small vials. "Your prescriptions - you are just about the only one in town who still likes to take them you know. Rumors have a way of getting messy if you don't stop them. By the way, what is all this about you leaving town?"

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  #135  
Old May 21st, 2021, 04:30 AM
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OlyvetteThe oracle gave Ger a friendly smile upon hearing the simple man’s story, before turning her gaze back to Brother Ahlen. "My apologies, Brother, I fear I misunderstood the scope of what was available. Yes, of course, I will check in with this ‘Councilor Muricar.’ I recall now that I may have heard the name once before, but it slipped my mind. I thank you kindly for your help, and your time, and may the love of Pharasma cast guidance on Ahlenguide you today, tomorrow, and to the end of your days. And now, I believe we shall take our leave. Come, ladies, let’s make our way to see the councilor.” She gives another bow, before turning toward the exit of the church and holding the door for the three other women. As she waited for the others to follow, she took a moment to peruse the list once again, her mind whirring.

One of these names… one of these names must hold the key to why Professor Lorrimor was killed. But who – and more importantly, why? I need more information, but I’m not sure I even know what questions to ask! She needed more raw data, she needed to be back in the manor, seated at a table with stacks of books and piles of parchment. She needed the smell of ink and the rustle of paper, the scratch of quill… she needed solitude. Unfortunately, thanks to the dearly departed professor, she was bereft of the quiet comfort she needed to work this puzzle out. Her mind returned to what Gibs had told her the other night in the tavern… ”And if you need to get into the town hall and have a look at the records there, Gharen Murcar is your man. Just tell him his old buddy Gibs told you where the bodies were buried.. Heehee!” That was good. If there was dirt on this guy that would get him to cooperate, that's all she cared about. She didn’t know if there were literal bodies, but in this town? Who could say?

 

OOCNo worries piano, for some reason my brain just thought there was more at the church than just a list.
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