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  #31  
Old Jun 14th, 2014, 04:41 PM
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An examination of the water drawn from the well yields no new results; if anything this water is cleaner, although it has still accumulated some sediment from the bottom of the well. Nothing about the soil or vegetation, what there is of it here in the middle of town, suggests that there's anything wrong. However, as you are putting the bucket away you do notice something odd. At the bottom of the well, you see a glimmer of light, which at first glance is nothing more than the diffused rays of the sun reflecting off of the water. However, the hue seems ever so slightly off. Normally when sunlight shines on the surface of water, it is a pure white, but at the bottom of the well you can perceive the faintest hint of green.
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  #32  
Old Jun 14th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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"Hmm..." An odd hue isn't much, but it's the first unusual sign I've had so far. Algae growing on the sides or bottom of the well could be greenish, or tiny plantlife suspended in the water, but neither one would've caught my eye as unnatural or suspicious. Just in case I'm missing something obvious, I cast Detect Poison on the water in the well.

"Miss Pearl, do you know what this well is lined with? Stone, brick, glazed tile?" The unexpected color could just be a result of the well being artificial. But I want a better look at it. I stare up in the sky near (but not at) the sun to acclimate my eyes to bright light. Then I stare intently at the well, cast Flare as far down as I can manage, and look for anything I can notice about the color or other visual properties.
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  #33  
Old Jun 14th, 2014, 10:33 PM
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Your magic recognizes no poisons or toxins in the water. Pearl watches you intently as you cast spells over the well, and seems a little confused by your question. "Huh? It's just stone down there--" She blinks as you cast another spell, causing a burst of light deep within the well. Under the light of your spell, the water and the well look perfectly normal, but you don't see more than a few small patches of algae.
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  #34  
Old Jun 15th, 2014, 01:25 AM
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"I thought I saw something, but it may have been a trick of light. I think I'll just cast one more spell here and then move on to foodstores if I don't find anything." I seem to be confusing Pearl repeatedly today. There's only so much I can explain to someone untrained, but I can try to do a better job. Maybe I can answer questions on the way to the foodstore.

I repeat my Flash inspection, including acclimating my eyes to bright light so the flash doesn't dazzle me. I also take note of the sun's position. It looks like there are between two and a half and three and a half hours of daylight left.
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  #35  
Old Jun 16th, 2014, 12:15 AM
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Your second examination of the well's depths yields the same result; sturdy stone walls with a bit of algae clinging to them, and relatively clear water with only a trace of sediment to cloud it. Pearl is watching you expectantly. "Well? Anything?"
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  #36  
Old Jun 16th, 2014, 10:01 PM
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"I'm sorry, no. If there is a problem with this wellwater, it's not the sort I can detect or tell you how to fix. I suppose I could magically purify water as an alternative to boiling it, but that's it. It's the same with the river. There's some time left in the day; I could examine large foodstores the whole village uses. Or we could stop for now, if you'd rather. We've covered a lot of ground today. There's something else I can try tomorrow. It's a healing spell different enough from standard healing spells that it may do some good."

Poor Pearl. She was so sure of her idea, she got her hopes up when a druid arrived, and she's been travelling quite a bit considering her weakened condition. And no results.
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  #37  
Old Jun 17th, 2014, 11:59 PM
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Pearl sighs a little, or perhaps she is simply breathing hard due to the long walk. "Foodstores next, then. That'd be the grain stores; the harvest is shared, but folks usually grow their own vegetables, catch their own fish, that sort of thing. Come on." She leads you to a large storehouse on the edge of town. Even a glance shows that this building was made with more care and precision than most of the others in town; in order to keep the grain from spoiling, great care has been taken to render the walls and roof waterproof.
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  #38  
Old Jun 24th, 2014, 08:40 PM
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I examine the building. It's artificial, built. It's a planned structure filled with all one part of one species of domesticated plant. But natural growth will find a way to happen. I check for ventillation problems that would let some types of rot grow. I taste the air; is it damp? Could moisture be seeping up through the floor? I look for signs of pests: insects, rodents. How much are they getting in, are they bringing in contagion? Outside the building, are there plants or fungi associated with decay that might indicate a problem inside?

Anywhere I notice a problem I cast Detect Poison. I cast it once or twice without finding a problem as well. I cast Purify Food and Water on a small sample of grain and compare it with all my senses very closely to the unaltered grain.

It feels odd to be looking for signs of natural growth as harmful and treating the static artificial building as beneficial, but that's what works in this situation.

When I've looked everything over as much as I can I check the time again.
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  #39  
Old Jun 24th, 2014, 09:16 PM
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Although you have yet to encounter the artifice which can completely shut nature out, this storehouse is as close as you have ever seen. The air is cool and dry, and you can find no trace of mold or animal leavings, and although there are a few spiderwebs in the corners, their creators have either abandoned them or starved to death. You can find no trace of poison, and although your purification spell cleans trace amounts of dust from the grain, there is nothing to suggest that the food is dangerous--save that it is dangerously low. It is hard for you to estimate how much these halflings eat compared to a person of your size, but a village of 98 humans would not be able to survive more than a few days on the grain here.

Examining the sun's position, you see that there is probably not more than an hour or two of light left.
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Last edited by Morathor; Jun 24th, 2014 at 09:23 PM.
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  #40  
Old Jun 24th, 2014, 09:40 PM
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I sigh. It would have been nice to deal with this plague the easy way. If the grain is low, Pearl probably already knows and reminding her might upset her. The fields were full of ripe unharvested grain, after all. "I don't see any problems with it, Miss Pearl. Unless you have another suggestion, I think we should finish for the day, and maybe speak with this Bofgrim."
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  #41  
Old Jun 24th, 2014, 09:51 PM
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Pearl's frustration is obvious from her expression, but she doesn't mention it. "Bofgrim should still be working the fields... lately he's been working well past sundown, so we'll have to go to him." Pearl closes her eyes as she tries to concentrate. "I think he was going to work the Greenlock fields today, but if he's already finished those he might have moved on. But he would have told Holman and Violet, or rather, asked Holman where to go next."
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  #42  
Old Jun 24th, 2014, 09:55 PM
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"Then it would be easiest to ask Holman?"
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  #43  
Old Jun 24th, 2014, 11:01 PM
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Pearl looks out over the fields, then sighs. "I suppose. Honestly I ought to check in with those two, I've been gone all day... I meant to be helping but... nevermind." Without another word, Pearl leads you out into the fields, and although her slow pace gives you ample time to question her, she doesn't really have the breath to spare for a response. The light is starting to fade when she leads you to a small shed, where two halflings are beginning to put away their tools. Although she doesn't say anything, Pearl visibly relaxes when she lays eyes on the two. "Violet! Holman!"

The smaller of the two (although only by an inch or so) glances at Pearl, then up at you, before quickly lowering her eyes and returning to her work. She wears padded cloth similar to Pearl's light armor, although if she has any leather pieces to protect her she is not wearing them at the moment. She does, however, have a rather odd strap of leather coiled decoratively around her forearm, over her sleeve. She is visibly unwell, more so even than Pearl; her skin is pale and she is breathing hard.

The other halfling, whose dark hair is just beginning to gray, chucks the rest of his tools haphazardly into the shed and leans against the side of it. Although he wears no protective clothing, an assortment of knives and a small hatchet are hanging from the numerous loops on his belt. He looks up at you with something of a smile, though it is clearly strained. Like the other two, he is terribly pale and clearly exhausted. "Found a... found a big one, have you Pearl?"
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  #44  
Old Jun 27th, 2014, 09:32 PM
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As we walk out to the fields, I again encourage Hrr to stay between me and Pearl, so that Pearl can inconspicuously lean on her if she needs to.

The halflings look tense. Am I intimidating them? I drop to a crouch and put my arm around Hrr. Looking smaller and less mobile while cuddling with my dog should help if I'm intimidating them. Besides, Hrr deserves some affection. She's had a busy day and hasn't eaten since morning. I look in the general direction of Violet and Holman, but carefully avoid looking either one in the eye.

The halflings appear to be talking with each other, not to me. I stay crouched quietly and wait for them to address me before talking.
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  #45  
Old Jul 3rd, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Pearl gestures at you. "This is Kristhana Pegason. She's a druid, and she's trying to help us with our problem..."

"Is that right?" says the slightly older halfling. Despite being ill and out of breath, he seems to be more or less at ease. "I knew a druid once... cheerful little... nosy brat she was. I'm Holman, pleasure to... all that..." He pauses, looks at the woman next to him, looks back at you, then sighs. "Are you planning to... introduce yourself?"

"'m Violet,
she says, without looking up at you.

At this point, Pearl steps forward to interrupt. "Holman, do you know where Bofgrim got to? Is he still at the Greenlock place?"

"Think so. Wouldn't... he wouldn't leave without... telling us, y'know?"

"Okay."
Pearl turns back to face you. "I can take you there now."
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