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  #121  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 11:59 AM
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Girgadan
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The Half-Orc moves closer to Rachik, he's not a doctor but he can staunch a blood flow if these is one but this "Burns, magic burns? I dont know how to treat this Lodd best call for help" He reaches out his hand to Rachik but not sure if he will help or make things worse he pulls back and calls out to Lodd as he races off down the corridor "Who would do this? Who could do this?"

With little else to do he takes up position in front of the door his axe in hand, another quick look to check on the sister Damn, wouldn't know what to do for burns if she did stop breathing



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  #122  
Old Mar 6th, 2023, 01:23 AM
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A Silence at Midnight

Bill and Olin - In Search of Almoner Ektrae"Almoner Ektrae is responsible for stores, is that right?" Olin nods as they circle down the stairs. "A shared duty between her and Cellarer Demmyrin, really, though we all participate as needed. We receive a tithe of produce from the farmers and hunters on the Abbey lands to the south. We preserve all that we can, and from that, Demmyrin cooks for the Abbey and Ektrae distributes any surplus to those in need."

They reach the bottom of the stairs and hear some commotion from the tunnel, an echoing confusion of voices that all sound somewhat upset. Bill leads Olin east and opens the first door to the south. A handful of rats scatter away across the floor from where they'd been gnawing at fallen scraps. Bill sees a long room, unlit, almost entirely full of nets hung from the ceiling supports. Each net is full of potatoes, turnips, beets, or parsnips, interspersed with hanging braids of onion and garlic. A few rats skitter up and down the walls, but none seem to be able to traverse the ceiling to reach the stores.

He tries the next door and finds a smaller room, also dark, lined with shelves of sealed jars. The walls are rowed with racks of honey, jellies, jams, and pickled cabbage. Sides of venison and pork and nets of hard sausages hang from the ceiling, dried, smoked, and salted almost to the texture of hard leather. A few rats cower to the walls as he enters.

Bill opens the third door. Again nets, this time full of dried fruit, and a scattering of rats, but a candle burns in a small lantern and someone turns his way as he enters. Bill sees an elven woman in the gray robes of the Abbey, tall, pale-haired, and elderly even as elves go, sorting through a sack of dried apples. She has a shortsword on her belt and has a shortbow and quiver slung on her back.

She looks startled and then calms as she sees Bill, then peers past him, her eyes picking out Olin. Olin seems quite content to keep Bill between himself and the woman. She looks around the room, seeming to search for something before she speaks. "Ah. I'd heard we have guests. Please, come in."


Girgadan, Lodd, and RachikLodd hesitantly pulls the blanket back. Both orcs see that Rachik is barely breathing. "Burns, magic burns? I dont know how to treat this Lodd best call for help." The Roundsman backs out the door, shouting "Hathrin! Hathrin! Bring a godsdamned potion!" "Who would do this? Who could do this?" "Hells if I know. Magic, you think? Hathrin!"

The Infirmarer stumbles out of Aerlin's room and makes good time down the corridor, pausing only to dart into his own room for a second and return with a small red vial. He squeezes past Lodd to crowd into Sister Rachik's small chamber, takes one look at her, and rolls her face-up to administer the contents of the vial drop by drop. The angry burn fades from red to pale, the nun breathes more deeply, and her eyes snap open with the last of the potion. She sidles back in her cot at the sight of Hathrin, Girgadan, and Lodd looming over her, almost hitting her head on the wall, and looks all around the room while touching a hand to her scarred cheek before pointing at a corner along the outside wall. "It was there!"


Rhaegalt, Crotho, Barretti, and Deamiss"Cuz, it is very important that you recall exactly what the Gnoll said that you found odd. Also, I noticed you didn't document how many of Grivin's pack had come through yesterday, if you'd care to explain that." Rhaegalt finds Crotho's face difficult to read, but he sees nothing but confusion and distress where before he had been haughty and disdainful. Barretti watches him closely as they head down the stairs. "It's just that. As I was passing them in, one said..." Crotho clears his throat and manages a fair imitation of a gnollish voice, though his tone makes it clear he finds them contemptible. "'Alllways counting gnolllls, alllways wrrriting gnolllls down. Why? No need to count. No need to think of it.' And I did not think of it at all until you put me in mind of it. But no, none of us but Ektrae left the Abbey during my watch."

They hurry down the stairs after Bill and Olin and turn into the tunnel. A few townsfolk are loitering outside the south gate. At the north gate, Sister Pijjar stands back a few feet on the inside, keeping a bit more than a spear's length away from a hulking gnoll on the other side. The gnoll spits and tugs on the iron bars, which don't even rattle or budge. "Wherrre arrre they?" The goblin nun seems content to let the gnoll rage. "Don't know, Grivin. Don't care really. Don't even know who you're talking about."


 


 

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  #123  
Old Mar 6th, 2023, 01:10 PM
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Girgadan
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Not a big fan of surprises as soon as Rachik points at the corner the Half-Orc jabs at that air in that corner with his axe asking "What? When?"



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  #124  
Old Mar 6th, 2023, 09:58 PM
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Rhaegalt
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"No need to count. No need to think of it." The way Crotho said that felt odd to Rhaegalt. Could he have been charmed? Do Gnolls know magic? "Are there any spellcasters within the Gnoll packs?" the Paladin asks with a concerned tone. "Is it possible you could have had your mind messed with? This sounds like it could have been the Suggestion spell..." And as for Ektrae... well, let's hope Bill can find something definitive.

Rounding the final stair to the main level, the Half-Elf is met with the sounds of irritated voices immediately. heading towards the gates, he can hear Sister Pijjar currently "dealing" with Grivin. Walking out between the gates, Rhaegalt says, "Thank you, Pijjar. Prioress, I'll handle this if you don't mind." Squaring up to the northern gate only a few feet away, the Paladin says in as Intimidation check of 14authoritative as a voice he can muster, "Listen here Grivin, I will answer your questions that I can, but first you will listen to what I have to say. Right now, we believe at least one of these monks is a traitor to the others, and me and my pack are here to find them. A traitor told two of your pack members to find and kill the monk that I was traveling with. When they attacked us, we defended ourselves, and I slew one with this very Rapier." He puts a hand on the hilt of his weapon for emphasis, rattling it slightly in its sheath. "Gorak, I believe the other called them. We let your other packmate live; they are running loose in the south, causing more trouble." At mention of this, Rhaegalt feels his face slightly blush as he quickly glances over at Barretti. "We were not keeping them hostage, and once the issue is settled amongst the monks here, I will make sure your other packmate is brought back north, as long as no one else has harmed them."

 

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  #125  
Old Mar 6th, 2023, 10:04 PM
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Bill “the Orog,” Custom Lineage FighterSheet|AC: 17|HP: 13/13|+6/2d6+4|Status: Normal
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Bill considers the tactical situation, then agrees with the woman. "Good idea," he says, before ushering Olin in and closing the door. He suddenly pulls a spike from his pack and jams it into a gap to seal the door. Then he turns to the woman.

"Almoner Ektrae?" Bill asks, and turns to Olin for confirmation. After receiving it, the orog turns his great mass back to her. "My colleagues are getting Steward Crotho's answers while we're here, but we were hoping to hear from you why you wanted Brother Olin here dead. Y'know - with what you did with the gnolls, and Sister Nedri and all."

OOCBill's not very subtle.

 

 

 

Last edited by secretID; Mar 7th, 2023 at 01:04 AM.
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  #126  
Old Mar 12th, 2023, 05:13 PM
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A Silence at Midnight

Girgadan, Rachik, Hathrin, and Lodd"What? When?" Girgadan points at the corner, then looks more closely and sees a small chink in the mortar, just under an inch wide. Rachik huddles into her thin blankets, looking not at all confident at waking to be confronted by two Abbey officiants and a shouting stranger. Hathrin sets the now-empty vial down, then sits on the edge of her cot and speaks in a calm voice. "No fault of yours, sister, you've done nothing wrong. Our guest is just asking what it was you saw."

Rachik pulls the blanket tighter around her. "Don't know when. Last night sometime, maybe this morning. I woke up and I saw a rat there. They're everywhere, right? I just shooed it off and rolled over. But I woke up again and it was on my cot, right by my face. I reached to smack it away and it jumped over my hand and bit me. It hurt like hell and I passed out."

Girgadan keeps his eyes on the little hole. A rat wriggles out of it tail-first, pulling something along behind it. Clenched in its teeth is a small scrap of parchment, tightly rolled and twisted at both ends. It turns around, sees Girgadan, Hathrin, and the now-conscious Rachik, and moves to dive back into the hole.


Bill and Olin"Good idea." Bill leads a less-than-enthusiastic Olin into the storeroom and wedges the door shut behind them. "Almoner Ektrae?" Olin nods, and the elder elven woman nods his way as well. "My colleagues are getting Steward Crotho's answers while we're here, but we were hoping to hear from you why you wanted Brother Olin here dead. Y'know - with what you did with the gnolls, and Sister Nedri and all."

Ektrae waves a hand toward a few barrels near the door, seeming not to notice that Bill spiked the door on the way in. She continues sorting dried fruit. "Please, have a seat, tell me what this is all about. If your colleagues manage to get a sensible answer from dear Crotho about anything, they have my warmest compliments. Why would you believe I bear ill will toward young Olin?" She looks toward the corners of the room again.


Rhaegalt, Crotho, Barretti, and Deamiss"Are there any spellcasters within the Gnoll packs? Is it possible you could have had your mind messed with? This sounds like it could have been the Suggestion spell..." Crotho looks extremely uncomfortable at the thought, but Barretti nods before he can answer. "A few, yes. The occasional shaman, hedge wizard, or priest of Yeenoghu."

Through the gate, Rhaegalt sees two more gnolls standing about 60 feetwell behind Grivin. A few other 'wild folk' are watching from more distant camps with interest. A group of four orcs lounge around a tent, seeming to find the dispute highly entertaining. A couple goblins peer out of a smaller shelter, and farther away, a few kobolds huddle under a loose deer hide not even supported by a pole. The paladin takes charge of the situation and Grivin Grivin rolled a 3 vs 14 to contest Intimidationquiets, backing up a few steps while Rhaegalt speaks.

"Monk fight monk? That funny." The gnoll leader snickers and hoots in gnollish laughter at first, but by the time Rhaegalt is finished, his voice has sunk to a rasping growl. "Grrrivin not say do this. Who say do this? Aerrrlllin say do this?" He grabs the gate bars and tugs at them again, glaring at Rhaegalt and the abbey folk. The Prioress answers. "Aerlin did not. Nor did I. We have both been wronged, Chief Grivin." They lock gazes for a moment, then Grivin turns around with a roar, waving his spear at the other two gnolls. "Grrrratch, Kannirrr, get herrrre now! Who you talk to?" One reluctantly approaches the gate. The other stares blankly at the Abbey wall, swaying slightly on its feet, and shows no sign of noticing the chief's shout.


 


 



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  #127  
Old Mar 13th, 2023, 11:01 AM
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Bill’s eyes follow Ektrae’s to the corners, but there’s nothing there but a few of the seemingly ubiquitous rats. It appears that the monks have not been using their poison very effectivel – at least not in the manner intended. Bill briefly wonders whether there is some connection between that fact and the murder.

“Oh, no, Almoner,” Bill responds, “I’m not here for conversation. As you probably know, my colleagues and I have been retained to investigate the Abbot’s murder, so I’ll need your answers to my questions.”

Bill retrieves his quill and some parchment from his pack and awkwardly maneuvers the former into his beefy fingers. Then he looks directly back at Ektrae. “Let’s start with: why do you think so little of Steward Crotho’s communication? Have you been having difficult conversations with him?

Exactly why,”
Bill continues, “did you pull Sister Nedri from her duty at the gates the other night? And let’s not forget: why kill Brother Olin?”

Bill pauses, but before Ektrae begins her response he glances once more into the corners. “And with all the rat poison available,” he asks, “why haven’t you gotten these rats under control?”

 

 

 

Last edited by secretID; Mar 13th, 2023 at 11:02 AM.
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  #128  
Old Mar 13th, 2023, 12:15 PM
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Girgadan
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Seeing as he already had his axe out it seemed a waste to not continue using it so Girgadan swings at the rat.


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  #129  
Old Mar 13th, 2023, 09:58 PM
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Rhaegalt
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Seeing the Gnoll lost in somewhat of a trance, concern grows on Rhaegalt's face. Pointing, he says, "Grivin, make sure that one helps the other, something seems to be wrong..." What kind of sorcery or mind-manipulating is going on around here? Perception check of 7Looking around to see if anyone seems to be concentrating on a spell, the Paladin turns to Barretti and says, "Are there windows along the northern face of the Abbey wall?" If this is a spell, it could be coming from any room...

 

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  #130  
Old Mar 26th, 2023, 11:59 PM
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A Silence at Midnight

Bill and Olin"Oh, no, Almoner, I’m not here for conversation. As you probably know, my colleagues and I have been retained to investigate the Abbot’s murder, so I’ll need your answers to my questions." Ektrae doesn't even blink, just looks up at Bill very primly. "I'm at your disposal then, Sir, ah, what is your name? If any did harm to poor Aerlin, Sir, I can assure it was not I."

"Let’s start with: why do you think so little of Steward Crotho’s communication? Have you been having difficult conversations with him?" She sniffs indignantly. "Crotho is a silly and foolish man, a small-minded and soft-hearted man, fit for nothing more than counting beans, yet he thinks himself as good as his elders. Have I had difficult conversations with him? I have had nothing but. Despite decades of trying to convince him otherwise, he..." The old elven nun leans a bit closer. "...he takes it upon himself to preach Abandonment to the novices. Do you know what that is, Sir? It means giving up the defense of the Abbey and the southland, letting the wildfolk prey as of old! This cannot be our duty to Torm. Generations of, er, shorter-lived devotees have given themselves to the defense, and yet we are still far from secure." She looks like she's about to stand and launch into a full sermon of her own, then glances at Olin and settles back down.

"Exactly why, did you pull Sister Nedri from her duty at the gates the other night? And let’s not forget: why kill Brother Olin?" "Nedri? Because I needed an extra pair of hands, and what else are novices for?" She gives Olin another glance, and then a harder stare when she hears Bill's next question. "Who would harm young Olin? Have you declared your conscience, young man?" Olin remains a bit behind Bill as he replies. "I keep my own counsel, Almoner, as I always have. I would not want to influence anyone else's decision." Ektrae huffs. "Gutless child. There a few others such as you who stay silent on our future. Purely theoretically, you understand, Sir, someone might wish to influence the vote for our new superior. When Barretti dispatched Olin for purposes unknown, there was much gossip, but most decided that you, young man, might as well have declared yourself a Maintainer. Are you a Maintainer, Olin?" The monk edges farther behind Bill and says nothing.

"And with all the rat poison available, why haven’t you gotten these rats under control?" The Almoner's eyes again dart to the corners, lingering on the few cowering rats. "You cannot imagine what it would be like if we didn't keep them under control, Sir. I'm sure we throw a bucket of dead rats out the gate every day." She looks back at Bill with a guarded expression. "More just keep showing up."


Girgadan, Rachik, Hathrin, and LoddGirgadan I rolled init, Girgadan beat the rat 15 to 4dives for the corner and brings his axe down on the rat with authority, cleanly slicing it in half before it reaches the hole. He lifts his blade and the vermin is simply gone, no body remaining, not even a drop of blood left on the floor or the blade of his axe, but the small roll of parchment remains, halfway out of the small gap in the stones.

Lodd leans closer to look for the missing rat, then reaches for the parchment roll. As he untwists one end, rat poison trickles out onto the floor. The orc Roundsman carefully unrolls the parchment, no more than three inches square, and holds it up for everyone else to see the few words written inside.


I have chosen to take my life out
of guilt over my crime against the
Abbot. It is fitting that I die by
poison as he did. Pray for me.

Rachik


Rhaegalt, Crotho, Barretti, Deamiss, Pijjar, and Grivin"Grivin, make sure that one helps the other, something seems to be wrong..." Grivin whirls around to face the gate as the second gnoll reaches his side, then slams the butt of his spear into the ground and turns back to the wobbling gnoll. "Help what? Kannirrr! Get here!" Deamiss peers through the gate at the trance-lost Kannir and makes a sagely pronouncement. "Like Fluffy."

Rhaegalt looks at the small crowd in the tunnel and gets no sense that anyone around him is casting. Except for Deamiss, all eyes are still on the distressed gnoll chieftain. The Prioress is watching Grivin very carefully, Crotho looks quite appalled by being so close to a screaming gnoll, and Sister Pijjar is leaning against the tunnel wall, apparently enjoying Grivin's discomfort. "Are there windows along the northern face of the Abbey wall?" Barretti barely looks Rhaegalt's way, but nods as if she'd been thinking something similar. "None, Sir Rhaegalt. The only views in and out are this gate and the ramparts above."

Grivin screeches "KANNIRRRRRRR!", then slaps the gnoll at his side. "Grrratch! Drrrag him here." The second gnoll flinches away from Grivin's claws and starts loping toward the one down the road. Gratch barely takes a step before the far gnoll snaps awake with a look of complete horror. It focuses on the screaming Grivin and howls back while drawing signs with its claws. Three arcane bolts sear the air, two of them Scorching Ray for a crit and 24 damageburning through Grivin's armor. The gnoll chief's spear drops from his hand and he keels over into the dirt.

The far gnoll, Kannir, takes off down the road north. Gratch stops a few feet from Grivin and howls at the sky. Along the northern road, the wildfolk orcs send up a cheer for the theater as Kannir runs past, while the goblins duck back into their tent and the kobolds hit the ground, pulling their ragged deerhide over their heads.


 


 



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  #131  
Old Mar 27th, 2023, 04:10 PM
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Bill takes some quick notes before delivering a few more remarks to Ektrae. "Well, I suppose an Expansionist like yourself would have exactly that motive," he observes, then thinks for a moment. "Now that I think about it, of the three factions here in the abbey, the Expansionists would be the most likely to feel passionately enough about their cause to murder - ends justifying the means, and all that. And of course, their cause - yours, I mean, Almoner - is itself both militant and aggressive. No judgment there; just an observation.

"So you pulled Nedri away from the gates, against policy, so the gnolls could be hired to kill Brother Olin here. You say Crotho is an Abandoner; I haven't heard that before. Maybe my colleagues have sorted out the details of his involvement by now. Anyways, it's pretty clear to me that you played a part, unless you want to explain yourself any better.

"You better come with us,"
Bill says, taking a step forward and offering an inviting hand. "I don't want to lose track of you." Bill takes her arm gently but with authority and leads her out the door, headed for Rhaegalt at the gate. As soon as he opens the door, Bill hears that the disturbance by the gate has escalated, so he positions Ektrae behind him as they walk.

 

 

 

Last edited by secretID; Mar 28th, 2023 at 11:38 PM.
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  #132  
Old Mar 27th, 2023, 06:51 PM
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Girgadan
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After reading the note he looks at Rachik "Well sister I am guessing that you didn't want to commit suicide, if you are well enough perhaps you can tell us whats been happening to have you involved enough to be a target. You have obviously made an impression on someone"

He has another read at the parchment trying to see if there is anything else that might give a clue. There are so many rats and poison in this place its getting hard for him to see the good from the bad. He hates situations like this where you cant tell when one tree is rotten and one isn't, he tends to want to chop em all down and be done with it but that's unlikely to solve this problem.

"Can you all write like this? Does everyone have access to parchment and ink? Rolling it up with Rat poison seems cunning and vicious too." Girgadan is losing patience with this entire monastery and he makes a concerted and obvious effort to stow his axe "Well Hathrin, Lodd, you live here do you want a poisoner and murderer in the midst of your religious order?". An image of lining everyone up and dealing out a series of lashings springs to mind, a memory from an old battle where someone had let the stores go bad, he suppresses a nasty smile as these monks weren't responsible and that would be no revenge on that brutal captain.

He calms his tone "What about the writing style, is it familiar?" trying to remember when he first Olin and whether they asked about vows of silence or stupidity or stubborness


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  #133  
Old Mar 28th, 2023, 09:45 PM
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Rhaegalt
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"None, Sir Rhaegalt. The only views in and out are this gate and the ramparts above." Rhaegalt was about to sprint up to the ramparts, when Deamiss makes a cryptic observation. Like Fluffy? "Deamiss, are you saying Kannir has a familiar like yours?" But before the elder Wizard could reply, the seeminly dazed Gnoll snaps out of whatever trance he was in and blasts his pack leader. Seeing Grivin's lifeless body collapse, Rhaegalt is momentarily shocked by the events as Kannir begins running North.

Reaching through the gate the Paladin is just able to make contact with the Gnoll, and closing his eyes for a second to concentrate restores Grivin back to Lay on Hands healing for 3 pointsconsciousness. "Seems we found an outside accomplice... Grivin, you NEED to bring Kannir back here, alive, so that we all can get some answers!"

 

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  #134  
Old Apr 8th, 2023, 04:48 PM
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A Silence at Midnight

Girgadan, Rachik, Hathrin, and LoddHathrin stares at the small parchment in horror as grains of rat poison spill out, poison that clearly recognizes as his own. "Well sister I am guessing that you didn't want to commit suicide, if you are well enough perhaps you can tell us whats been happening to have you involved enough to be a target. You have obviously made an impression on someone." The young human nun huddles farther under the blankets. "Kill myself, are you insane?"

Lodd sits down on the edge of her cot, the frame creaking from the orc's weight. "Sister, did you tell anyone how you might vote?" There is a long pause before she whispers from under the covers. "I wasn't going to. I was going to keep it to myself like is fair. It was after Olin left, me and Mott were working the brewery and the Steward started preaching us down about abandoning. Mott didn't say nothing. I got mad and told old Crotho where he could stick it. Abbot Aerlin did nothing but good, everything was fine 'til he got sick, and no one's supposed to be leaning on anyone else's decision anyway, so I said I was behind the Abbot all the way." Lodd and Hathrin trade a glance before Lodd replies. "Speaking your mind is risky now, Sister. There may be some trying to count votes in advance."

Girgadan examines the scrap of parchment in detail and finds nothing more but the traces of rat teeth along one edge where the missing vermin had been dragging it along. Hathrin looks entirely subdued as he answers his questions. "We all write, on parchment from the same stores and using ink that I brew, much as I brew healing draughts and rat poison for the entire Abbey, and Demmyrin cooks for all. We have everything in common." The Infirmarer looks much more heated at Girgadan's next question. "Well Hathrin, Lodd, you live here do you want a poisoner and murderer in the midst of your religious order?" "No, sir, I do not! My first duty is to heal! I do not take kindly to seeing my concoctions used against us."

Lodd barely glances at the parchment at Girgadan's last question. "Any of us would be hard pressed to tell our own script from another's. We all learned our letters from the oldsters, Ektrae, Aerlin, and Crotho." The Roundsman stops to listen, and all feel a faint vibration in the walls and floor and hear an almost inaudible clanking of iron chains, the sound of a gate being raised.


At the North GateThe Almoner says nothing more, and looks entirely unconcerned as Bill tows her toward the door. Olin's distrust of her is obvious; he stays ahead of Bill as Ektrae trails behind. A rasping shout and a long gnollish howl echo down the hallway, followed by a confused clamor of voices that becomes understandable as they round the corner into the tunnel.

Deamiss mumbles "...like Fluffy...see with other eyes, hear with other ears, can't use own same time..." Barretti's voice is level and grim. "Get the gate up now, Pijjar." The goblin nun dives into a side room as Rhaegalt crouches and stretches his arm through the bars, barely able to get a hand on the fallen Grivin. "Seems we found an outside accomplice... Grivin, you NEED to bring Kannir back here, alive, so that we all can get some answers!" The gnoll chieftain starts out on all fours before getting his feet under himself, growling and fumbling for his longbow as Kannir bolts farther down the path. "You DEAD, KANNIRRRRRR! Rrrun, Grrratch!". Rhaegalt pulls his hand back as the gate starts to rise with a grinding clatter.


 

 



OODM@All - You're up! If your PC is at the gate and you want to get involved in the gnoll dispute, roll initiative in your next post. The gate is raised about a foot and a half so far, you can get under it by dropping Prone and crawling five feet. Grivin and Gratch are chasing Kannir, Grivin is 20 feet from the gate with 3 HP, Gratch is 45 feet from the gate, Kannir is 150 feet away and Dashing.

Girgadan is 2 turns away from the north gate at Dashing speed.
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Old Apr 11th, 2023, 06:32 PM
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"Dammit, Grivin, ALIVE!" The Half-Elf is about to drop to the ground when he spots Olin and Bill rounding the corner, pulling an older monk behind. "Deamiss, tell Bill what you just discovered. I'm going to try and stop Grivin from killing another Gnoll who might have some answers, follow if you must." And with that, Rhaegalt crawls under the slowly rising gate, before popping back up on the other side and sprinting after the Gnolls.

Kannir's got too much of a head start... I don't know if even the best aimed shot could hit him from here... This may prove foolish, running into the wild north, but we're so close to solving this!

 

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