RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
Go Back   RPG Crossing > Games > Hall of Fame > Hall of Fame Games > Previous Inductees > 2015 > Carrion Crown
twitter google facebook

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #226  
Old 02-14-2018, 02:33 PM
Sassafrass's Avatar
Sassafrass Sassafrass is offline
Man・Earth・Sky
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 50980
Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass
Posts: 16,639
Book of DaysThere is nothing magical about the items found, but the necklace is a wonderful and gorgeous thing. The knife and tools are themselves not magical and have nothing magic about them, except how well they're put together.

It takes a moment to notice anything, the duo heading down the path. Fortunately, Fido points out quickly that there is a trap, hidden under a bunch of leaves that have not been blown away; enough have been, though, that he notes the rusted claws. Fortunately for him, no one is going to get hurt here. And Pike, his keen mind at work, knows what to be looking for, and trusting Sully completely, finds that trust vindicated.

Heading down the trail, like coming down a steep hill, a tangle of willow trees grows by the shores of this small lake, many of them scarred by fie. Just as Sully said: they had come, bearing torches, and ran him from the village. While there might have been something here once, a tiny hut or a dwelling of some kind, it is no longer here: grass grows high around the shape of a building that Pike points out. About it are several logs, but not: torches, abandoned once the villagers had done what they came to do and see the Beast removed from their village. Looking within, there is a very obvious book underneath the ashes within: Sully reads. Looking over the page, it's hard to tell what it is, but it is not prose. In verse, it is some sort of poetry. Written in Taldane, it is almost certainly one of his own, one of his few books.

They've found the Beast of Lepidstadt's home.

left-aligned image
There is not much magic to be found about this place, but there is a bit of history that Fido knows of the place. Hergstag once had a blind hermit, a mystic the villagers called him, though he did not call himself that. Unseeing, he claimed that he was holding onto the house for someone, someone who would bring great change to their lives. Then, one day, he was gone. No one was sure what happened, though there were those in Lepidstadt who claimed to have seen a happy old man in rags pass through. A few months later, the Beast of Lepidstadt attacked Hergstag, and this hermit's hut was the exact place where he lived. And so it did come true: funny how that works out.

Within the house, the two Paladins wander, preparing for the strike they need to put Elssa to rest. Using their supernal instincts, they feel her: hiding under the stairs, summoning them accordingly. Better to spring the trap than beat around it and let the creature that was once Elssa attempt to strike out at them. Glaive at the ready, she begins to move up the stairs, when Elssa leaps out at them: expecting this, the glaive flies through the incorporeal child, and while the blow would kill a living being of her kind, the creature is able to brush it off. She would have been a pretty girl, blonde in hair and round of face with dimples that would be enviable, if not filled with pus; if the skin was not rotting; if the eyes were not little lights. The wraith, the glaive going through her, roars, but moves out of the glaive, electricity dancing around it. She begins to sing.

"Who'll bear the pall?
We, said the Wren,
both the cock and the hen,
We'll bear the pall.

Who'll sing a psalm?
I, said the Thrush,
as she sat on a bush,
I'll sing a psalm.

Who'll toll the bell?
I said the Bull,
because I can pull,
I'll toll the bell.

All the birds of the air
fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
when they heard the bell toll
for poor Cock Robin."

Elssa is ready to fight. Reaching out an overly-long arm, the girl misses outright, but draws back, preparing to flee.

They had better get her now, or this is going to be a chase.

Down by the lake, they hear the roar of the ghost, but nothing definitive. There is silence from the other houses and the hill: there is no sign of victory yet.
Soul of a PoetThe defense room bustles with activity, the world seeming to grow altogether more friendly here. There's much to discuss, after all.

Kendra and Jamir exchange glances concerning Pike's behavior, never quite knowing a time when the Dwarf would seem so willing to withdraw himself. "My carriage? Whatever do you mean?" She seems less perplexed by this, expecting that cleaning duties would have to fall on someone, but likely, everyone knows, Samovar will take that from her and not let her do it. He is a dutiful soul, more gopher than servant, and very, very unwilling to let her do something so menial. He is the annoying older brother she never asked for, yet everyone would love to stick around.

Where is Samovar, anyway?

The Dwarf nods, Gundragrin smiling behind that perfect mustache. "Glad to be of service." At Mara's request, he gives the tools a cursory glance, before going back to filling out forms. "As they have not been filed with the court yet, and we have time, I see no reason to enter them into file. To do so would put back your investigation and give the prosecution, whom I suspect of hiring Fido and Signy, due reason to stop you from investigating further, which would give the job to the constables, who would not be able to finish their investigation before the B—Sullivanni, as you call him, was executed. So take them now, before anyone knows they're here." He stops. "Unless that woman knew." No one knows how to answer that one.

And finally, permission granted to go see the prisoner below, they ask about this or that. Gundragrin smiles to Hrani's request. "Certainly, Hora is an old friend. I'm overdue to see him, actually. So, once you're done with the business down below, I'll accompany you. But I have no interest in seeing the Beast, as it is. Come and fetch me and I'll escort you on my way back to the shop." He reaches over and takes a roll off of the platter, biting into it. Kendra has her own request. "If you see Adivion out and about, please remind him that we have a job to do and limited time in which to do it."

Lidia, leader of the three Crooked Kin, smiles. "Lay on, Master Carlo." And so he does.

Heading down the spiral staircase to the basement, they hear the poetry before they even reach the first floor. It is a whispering thing, almost raspy, but sounds sweet besides. The cadet leads them, pausing for a moment to listen; Carlo notes a smile upon her face. The many-armed Vudrani woman carries the Human Catepillar at this point, and he willingly allows her to; they seem closer than one might have expected, and this is a comfortable position for them.

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr' all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot—"

He stops, upon seeing the cadet. The eyes are the first things seen, in the darkness. But once Mara is seen behind the cadet and Carlo, he moves forward, his face smiling. "The nice lady, with the pretty voice. You came back." When the others start coming in, he does not react in shock to the bearded woman, nor the limbless man, but does to the many-armed woman. "A goddess of many hands and many souls: you are divinity in many veils." This stops her, and in the scarce light of the dungeon, the Vudrani Princess blushes. "I... thank you." The accent difference between the "I" and the thanks is notable, but she does not seem to show anything beyond that. The Human Catepillar looks at the Beast curiously.

Sully looks at them all. "I had a good meal. Bread, and gruel, and there were carrots. I like carrots." The soul of a child, the heart of an innocent, the body of a gods-damned monster. The Beast of Ledpistadt: thus far, innocent of all but theft.
 
__________________
Carrion Crown | Tyranny of Dragons | Rise of the Runelords
Coming Soon: Planescape: Tales from the Outlands

Last edited by Sassafrass; 03-23-2018 at 02:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #227  
Old 02-15-2018, 12:00 AM
ekidnu's Avatar
ekidnu ekidnu is offline
Nargle
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-18-2019
RPXP: 26107
ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu
Posts: 6,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrani
"If you have any ideas how to go about investigating our new...friends'...employers, I'd be moooore than happy to assist."
In response, Mara smiles thoughtfully at Hrani. “Excellent. I would appreciate your company.” Whatever ideas she might have, if any, remain unspoken, but it is clear that she appreciates the elf's offer of assistance. Kendra's request regarding Adivion, on the other hand, receives no more than a small, polite nod and a noticeable frown.

As the others begin to head down the stairs, the singer pauses—a thought occurs to her, and she instead moves towards the feast-laden table. Hovering for a long indecisive moment, she finally selects a small apple tart, wrapping it carefully in a napkin and placing it into her purse before making her way to the staircase.

The last to descend, Mara gently picks her way through her companions to the front. Though still a bit unnerved by the Beast's fearsome appearance, she is much calmer than when she initially met the Beast—and more confident, for she moves right next to the bars without any hesitation. “Yes, of course I returned. And I am glad the gaolers have fed you well, but it does not sound like they have offered you dessert?” The soprano plucks the tart out of her purse, gently unwrapping it as she if needed, take 10 on Diplomacy for 22extends her offering between the bars. “I do hope you like apple?”

“Oh, and pardon me. Allow me to introduce you to my companions. This gentleman,” she gestures towards the cage with an elaborate flourish of her arm, “is Sulliviani.” The songstress completes the introduction by naming the others one by one, ending with Carlo. “They are sympathetic to your plight, and have something they should like to ask you.” Her gaze remains fixed on the Varisian, as if not trusting his social skills. Perhaps this is why she is accompanying his visit to the Beast?
Reply With Quote
  #228  
Old 02-17-2018, 01:38 PM
Blackfyre's Avatar
Blackfyre Blackfyre is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 10296
Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre
Posts: 3,033
right-aligned image
It is not as simple to find Elssa as it was to find the boy, but find her they do eventually. The wraith spawn is greeted by the crackling glaive and its own attack goes wide off its mark. As well it should and would continue to do, if Signy had anything to say about it.

"Do not flee the inevitable. Do not run from release. Rest is awaiting your troubled soul and with Margrim’s guidance you shall find the way out of the darkness." Signy made her way past Runa, invoking her god’s might to aid them in the fight and ensure that the wraith spawn would not be able to make good its escape. Conveniently that also put herself and her shield between the creature and the other paladin. As wonderful as the glaive obviously was at a distance, it was not the best implement for defense.


 
Reply With Quote
  #229  
Old 02-17-2018, 01:52 PM
goatmeal's Avatar
goatmeal goatmeal is offline
neighbor to the beast.
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 10967
goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal
Posts: 3,954
CarloAs they descend the winding staircase to visit the Beast, the poem winds its way up to meet them in turn. The words, to Carlo, seem like a sort of Harrowing in their own right. The pictures not framed within a card, but flowing from word to word, image to mental image. He feels an almost trance-like connection to them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post

"…
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
And somehow the first image that springs to his mind is that of Olga. He feels the passion returning as well as the shame and the immediate loneliness. He thought he was done with this, but apparently not…
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post



A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
And now the image morphs to that of Runa processing with the other godly folk. The night he’d slept there in the temple and woke to those religious hymns. Religion he’d always scoffed at, but in that moment when he was still fresh from the wounds of Olga it had felt wondrous to imagine that he could be redeemed afterall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post



He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
And he sees himself. Cheating at the academy. Running away from the mob. Prying open the coffin. Knocking Samovar out with his magic. Gawping at Mara when her true form was revealed. In many ways he is the source of all of his own problems. In many ways he has caused the problems of those he has been closest to. Somehow he doesn’t want to see this, but he’s not the one turning these cards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post



Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
He turns around, as if to avoid the words that pronounce his own judgement. There, locking eyes with him, is Prince Zhar cradled in his lovers arms. The eyes won’t let him turn away. They seem to say “don’t you dare mess with us. Don’t you dare be as foolish now as you have always been. We have no mercy here for fools. “
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post


...
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot—"
An image of Hap Tarvin begins to form in his mind. He knows there is some meaning to this image, just as there were for all the others, but the words of the Beast come to a halt all of a sudden and it fades away. They are here, in the prison. It is much bigger than he could have possibly imagined…

He must have been stopped there staring for longer than he realized, for Mara had made her way down to the front and started the introductions. When she indicated it was his turn, Carlo took a step forward and began his pitch.

“Greetings, Sully. I am Carlo, and these are my companions of the Crooked Kin: Prince Zhar, the Human Caterpillar, S’Jeer, the Vudrani Princess, and last but not least, the always lovely Lidia Gerod.”
He paused for a moment, realizing that Mara had already made these introductions. He wonders what he is to say, there is so much that he’d rather leave out. But he remembers that one card that seemed to keep popping up during the Harrow reading this morning. It was so aggravatingly exactly what he wanted to happen in this situation, and yet required more of him than he’d ever given to anything: honesty, commitment, integrity. If he was to avoid the same fate that befell him with the mob, and with Andrzej, and with his fellow heirs to Lorimor he knew he must try out some of these things that he’d been avoiding his whole life.

“Anyways, the Crooked Kin, at least those who are gathered with us today, are very interested in having you join their ranks once you have been cleared of these accusations. The Crooked Kin are performers extraordinaire, and their show would no doubt benefit from the addition of your eloquent poems. I must say, I was moved by what you shared on the way down here. I suppose I should also say that there are a few members of the Crooked Kin who have not yet agreed to this arrangement. I’m sure if you stated your interest in this venture it would go a long ways towards convincing them as well. And of that detail, Lidia can share a bit more than I can.”

He gestures to the bearded woman as if to have her continue the sales pitch. It was the most honest speech he’d ever given in his life. Hopefully it would be enough.

 

Reply With Quote
  #230  
Old 02-18-2018, 02:33 AM
Thorsten's Avatar
Thorsten Thorsten is online now
Rules Enforcer
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 25826
Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten
Posts: 6,902

Runahildr Valkadottir

It was strange not to be the only one to offer up words of prayer during battle anymore. And while Signy's god differed from her own, the faith behind the dwarf's word was no less firm.

It was a difficult thing inside the house, but the paladin tried to stepg to the side to allow Signy room while at the same time put some space between herself and the undead spectre, before she stabbed forward with the glaive once more,
Dice Attack Child-ghost (BaB 5, Str 4. MW 1, Lastwall Defender +1, Furious Power Attack)::
1d20+11 (4)+11 Total = 15
Dice Damage (+1, Lastwall Defender 1, Str 6, Power Attack 4) + 1d6 Electrical::
1d10+12 (5)+12 Total = 17
1d6 4
aiming for the core of the abominations being.




 


__________________
Going through a rough patch in my life. Forgive me if I forget a post.
Father of a proud toddler. Expect the next 18+ years to be erratic and/or chaotic.

Last edited by Thorsten; 02-18-2018 at 02:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #231  
Old 02-19-2018, 10:28 AM
Cedric's Avatar
Cedric Cedric is online now
Trial by stone!
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 21082
Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric
Posts: 5,093
"Well wouldn't you know it...." Pike let's the words linger as he thumbs through the half burnt pages of the book. He feels as if a great weight is off his shoulders, knowing that at least in this the Beast spoke true. The detective is truly starting to belief that his client is indeed innocent, yet without finding who the real culprit is behind all the tragedies they'll have a hard time to sway the popular belief in Leipidstadt, the mob mentality has this fascination with seeing someone die.
Shuddering he pockets the book, at least it's an evidence that could be used to put things into perspective and an offer of a glimpse into the living construct's mind.

He glances at Fido, hoping that this is enough to at least put him on the path of believing in Sully's innocence "This is our best bet, right here. We must search this place thoroughly for anything that connects to Sully." lighting his lantern to better get a look at the interior of the place he starts his search, painfully aware that nearby the spirits of the lost children cry out in rage.


 
Reply With Quote
  #232  
Old 02-26-2018, 12:55 PM
Sassafrass's Avatar
Sassafrass Sassafrass is offline
Man・Earth・Sky
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 50980
Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass
Posts: 16,639
Elegy for ElssaThe child does not seem moved by this, by such prayer: after all, she has already shown a disdain for the clergy, commenting on little black books. But this is not the faith of Pharasma she faces: indeed, it is something else entirely. Margrim and Iomedae stand ready to deliver justice and freedom to the child, who becomes altogether darker, more twisted, the more time she spends in distant sunlight.

Signy puts her blade to the test, finally getting a swing in, and the blow is deft, she switching places with Runahildr to drive her blade home with a powerful swing that sends parts of the wraith dissipating into the air. Runa, glaive at the ready, brings her blow home into the core of Elssa. The girl cries out, her scream lifting up into the high heavens, before she herself explodes, destroyed.

Another child freed.

Outside, the screams can be heard again by Pike and by Fido, who hear the cries of the remaining wraiths, but being so close to the hill, they can hear it much more profoundly: there is something in that hill, something dark and terrible, whose scream almost drowns out that of the children's. The remaining four voices in the village are nothing compared to it, being simply two boys and two girls. But that is not their objective now: they are looking through the ashes for something definitive. Pike quickly finds he has found everything there is to find. Anything worth value was either burned or blown away in the intervening days. This book is all there is.

There are four children left, and whatever that thing is. The path from where they are at goes two ways: to a series of houses, or back to Elssa's house, standing bleak above them.
Myth WeavingSully eyes Mara for a moment, then when she offers what she offers, he moves forward, a series of clanking and banging of chains accompanying him. The cadet jumps, fearful suddenly, and the guards therein seem nervous. But they do not stop Mara, and the tart in his hand not only is dwarfed by the largeness of his one human limb, but compared to Mara, makes everyone keenly aware of how easily the Beast of Lepidstadt, if he wanted to, could have grabbed Mara by the wrist, pulled her into the bars, and squeezed the life out of her small neck before anyone in the room, even her, could stop him. And if he used that claw....

Upon introducing the Crooked Kin, Lidia bows, pulling her dress to the sides in something akin to a curtsy. The Human Catepillar nods, Zar doing his best to keep his balance, and S'jeer is too busy blushing. Carlo introduces them as such, and they repeat the motions, this time S'jeer moving to curtsy herself with one of her many arms. "'Lest my nature be that of beast or devil, with these hands I employ only that with wit and wager the gods have granted me, in goodness.' Hello." He grabs the sides of his pants, not quite understanding the gendered nature of a curtsy, and tries to imitate both Lidia and S'jeer. He puts the apple in his mouth, and says no more, unmoved by the suggestion that Carlo has given; perhaps it was the manner, or just the delivery. Lidia, seeing the gap, decides to close it.

"We, like you, have faced our fair share of troubles. Zar and S'jeer have had to flee their homelands, both in the Mwangi Expanse and distant Vudra." Zar nods at the mention of Mwangi; S'jeer does not do the same at the mention of Vudra. She barely reacts at all, in fact. Lidia does not notice this; Hrani, Mara, and Carlo cannot help but do so. "We were wondering if you could perhaps tell us more of your tale. We can get it to the people, so that they can know the truth. They say such horrible things about you: we would like to correct them. We are kin, not in blood but in bond of experience, that much I can tell you. I'm the only woman short of the Five Kingdoms with this kind of facial hair, and I'm not even Dwarven!" To that, Sully smiles.

"Who birthed you?" says Zar, proudly picking up from where Lidia left off.

"Father," is the reply, and there is no context.

"Where is he now?"

This seems to trouble Sulliviani. "He ran me from home, for my face and failure. I was not what he wanted: for he sought to regain what he had lost. And when he found I was not that, I...." He looks down at the apple tart, one bite left, and devours it instead. "I have not been home in twenty years. Father may not even be caught in this mortal coil." Better that he was, so that they might have answers.

"And what have you been doing, eh, these last twenty years?" S'jeer's accent is back, in full force.

Sully looks downtrodden but continues. "Look upon my face and mark me the Devil of Lepidstadt! For those who have seen me have hunted me, burned me, scarred my flesh, and all tried to kill my spirit! But I have met kindness, and friendship, and I have found the written word and flow of words and therein lies my sanctuary, salvation, and stalwart defense against a world of blades and broken spears!" He has the rhythm of a poet, but Mara cannot help but wonder if he understands even half of the words he uses. Hrani and Carlo have no hard time believing he does not, the way he uses them; no one should say "stalwart" that way. He has read them; has he seen a devil?

"Elssa. The child in Dipplemere, whose name... I have seen his face this day, in that court room. For every blade presented me and torch which burned me, I have met kindness. The old man who taught me to read, but whose family drove me away. The kindly monk of meditation and wisdom, who hailed from another land and looked not like any I have yet seen; the family of Halflings whom fed me when I was at my lowest, and provided me with... my book." He seems sad. "These faces, these souls, no matter their fate, have made me what I am: not the swords! Not the vile victims of their own prejudice!" He nods. "And their kindness I have always tried to return in kind, no matter how others look at me. From the horrors of the swamps, from the trolls and the trinkets and bandits and boogeymen, I have tried to stand my ground and save them: but I am but one man, if I am even that. I cannot save them all." Quickly his face moves to pout.

Lidia and Zar look to one another; S'jeer speaks. "Tell us some of these tales, that we may spread them." Lidia nods, then looks to Carlo and Mara. "This may take a while. You gonna stick around or are you gonna go look about? I think we've got what we need here, we just need to put this to memory and spice it up."

Veronique, clearing her throat, seems to offer them an out: an escort, at least.
 
__________________
Carrion Crown | Tyranny of Dragons | Rise of the Runelords
Coming Soon: Planescape: Tales from the Outlands

Last edited by Sassafrass; 03-23-2018 at 02:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #233  
Old 02-26-2018, 04:04 PM
Inem's Avatar
Inem Inem is online now
Bad Wolf
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-18-2019
RPXP: 22105
Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem
Posts: 9,348
Hrani descends into the cellar, new home of the beast, together with the others, though like Carlo and unlike Mara, it is his first trip. The two of them had already been hard at work when the others came down here for their first visit...not that that was any less effort. The magus hears the words as they descend, the same words that touch even Carlo, echoing forth from the creature Mara has dubbed Sullivani. But unlike the others, he isn't touched. Oh, it is good poetry, to be sure, even more so considering the source. Yet somehow, where it reaches into the other's chests and clutches their hearts, in Hrani it gets diverted to the brain, which tries to make sense of the rhymes, bringing forth their hidden meaning. And failing to do so. 'Does this creature even know what it is saying? Or is it just rambling? Repeating and jumbling lines stolen from other sources?'

And then he sees it, the Beast of Lepidstadt, source of all this commotion. He can understand why it has the town in such a stir. Sully certainly looks every part the monster the people would like to make him out to be. The Crooked Kin will have their work cut out for them in convincing the public. A task that will require the beast's full cooperation. Something the elf expects will more likely be given if he and his lack of social graces stay out of this as much as possible. So Hrani shuts up and doesn't say a word after they reach the cell.

That doesn't mean he isn't listening though. And how fortunate that is, for the Crooked Kin are experts at getting stories, it seems. The Beast's origin. Something the brain in his head had been mulling over for a long time now. 'So, not an accident then. Someone created him on purpose, and gave him sentience. They failed horribly at what they were trying...' Hrani realizes. Sully's 'father' then, was a man who had lost his spouse, or his child, and tried to bring it back to life, or create a replacement. 'Is it a living soul then, bound to this body, that gives it sentience? The soul of whoever his father lost? And if so, how is it possible? Did he pull the soul back from the afterlife, or at least try to do so? Or did he somehow prevent the soul from leaving this plane, saving it for later use...?'

The more time the magus spends pondering it, the more he wishes to meet and question the creator. If he even still lives. 'Twenty years after a tragic loss that spurred him to create this marvelous monstrosity? Old age might have taken his life by this point if he did not do it himself...'

'But what if not? What if he yet lives, or the secret of his creation survives. What power would the man have who wielded the ability to create sentient, intelligent constructs? The one who saw it for what it was. Not the means to restore a loved one...but a weapon. An army, wielded in the right hands...' - 'But if Sully really has a soul bound to him. That is a severe limitation to the power...' - 'A limitation. An obstacle. Nothing that could not be overcome...by the right mind.'

The trial, gathering evidence...all that is currently driven from Hrani's mind, until there is mention of them going. He doesn't want to go. There might be so much to learn from this creation's story. Somehow that seems more important than what they were previously doing, even if on some level the magus knows it shouldn't. No, he won't go. He is determined, he has made up his mind. Nothing anyone says changes his mind, and Hrani remains, continuing to listen. Unless it is Mara. If the songstress speaks, and states a desire to leave, the elf manages to clear his head enough to reset his priorities, nod, and follow her out of the dungeon...

Last edited by Inem; 02-26-2018 at 04:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #234  
Old 02-28-2018, 12:06 AM
ekidnu's Avatar
ekidnu ekidnu is offline
Nargle
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-18-2019
RPXP: 26107
ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu
Posts: 6,630
Mara listens with focused but unconscious intent, drawn in by the Beast’s heartfelt words, surprising in their eloquence, and marveling at the skill of the Crooked Kin in coaxing out the Beast’s story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulliviani
I am but one man, if I am even that. I cannot save them all.
“Each of us is but one person. No one can save everybody.” The singer’s voice is gentle and soothing. “But we save those we can. We may not be able to defeat all the darkness in this world, but we each do our part, however great or small, and that is all one can ask.” Her face is thoughtful and sad, but also resolute and even happy, in a quiet, wistful way, for she is sharing her memories of words spoken by the late Professor Lorrimor.

The songstress smiles at Lidia and gently waves off Veronique’s implied offer. “For my part, I would very much like to hear the tales Sulliviani would tell—the family of halflings in particular.” Indeed, she is curious to hear more, wondering what drove Sully to his lowest point, and what sacrifices the family must have made to feed their colossal guest. She also recognizes how rude and disheartening it would be to abruptly leave, just when Sully is about to share his past. No, he needs their encouragement and support. But there is one other reason for staying—a question borne of their discovery of a second Beast in Morast.

“I do wonder about one thing though …” Mara turns back to the Beast. “You spoke of your father. Have ... have you a brother? Might your father have sired another like yourself?”
Reply With Quote
  #235  
Old 02-28-2018, 12:10 PM
goatmeal's Avatar
goatmeal goatmeal is offline
neighbor to the beast.
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 10967
goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal
Posts: 3,954
CarloCarlo’s face reddened a bit and his voice stammered as everyone looked at him with their emotionless eyes while he presented his case. Mercifully, Lydia soon took the floor and it was like he was completely forgotten while the conversation between her and the beast played out.

Pretty much everything he had wanted to happen with this meeting had just happened, yet he somehow felt a bit unappreciated for his efforts in bringing it about. Sort of like the officiant at the wedding who never got as many compliments on his clothing as the bride did. That’s how weddings worked, right?

When the guard offered them an out, Carlo took a half step in that direction before realizing nobody else was leaving. He then looked at the Beast like he was pretending to be interested in the conversation, hoping nobody just noticed him almost leave the room.
Reply With Quote
  #236  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:27 AM
Cedric's Avatar
Cedric Cedric is online now
Trial by stone!
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 21082
Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric
Posts: 5,093
Having finished his search through the ashes Pike nods to Fido and motions for them to move, the screams from various points around them indicating that Runad and Signy have dealt with another wraith-child. Sprinting back up the path he waits for the two paladins to exit the house "I think we need to address the howling from that hill before dark is upon us. Perhaps it's the source of all this, perhaps not but in any case I don't want to meet it when the sun has set."

He motions to the hill where the terrible scream came from, adding "We found Sully's lair, not much there except this book which perhaps holds something. Did you find anything in Ella's house other than her restless spirit? If Sully speaks true they were friends, perhaps there is something there that indicates it." he crushes the cigar under his heel "But like I said; something has awakened in that hill and needs to be dealt with."
Reply With Quote
  #237  
Old 03-04-2018, 07:46 AM
Blackfyre's Avatar
Blackfyre Blackfyre is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 10296
Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre
Posts: 3,033
right-aligned image
So far things had gone rather well. Two of the wraithspawn had been destroyed and neither of the paladins had been wounded in the process. Hope dared to suggest it might remain so, even though experience dictated that it likely wouldn’t. Not with several of the spawn and, more importantly, the master remaining.

Once they had reunited with Pike and Fido Signy threw a weighing glance towards the mentioned hill. "It would be good if we can deal with the wraith directly. The question is whether it will come out to play. You are right about facing it in sunlight being preferable. We may as well go and have a look." As for the other question: "We didn’t really take the time to search the house. I’d wager that nothing in there is going to run away and will still be there come the morning." Dealing with the wraith and its spawn surely was more important for the time being.
Reply With Quote
  #238  
Old 03-06-2018, 05:59 AM
Thorsten's Avatar
Thorsten Thorsten is online now
Rules Enforcer
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 25826
Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten
Posts: 6,902

Runahildr Valkadottir

Runa listened to the two dwarves and bit her lip as she pondered their situation. Wraiths were one of the few creatures she remembered reading about back at the order's archives. And as she recalled, one of the things to be wary off - and one of the things that made wraiths particularly nasty foes if left to their own devices for too long - was that unlike many other undead creatures, killing the leader didn't necessarily do anything good.

"Unfortunately, cutting off the head does us no good in this case," she replied when the two were done. "We know the wraith is somehow bound to this place, but there is no guarantee that the spawn is bound to anything but the wraith. By killing it, we might only free the spawn to wreak havoc elsewhere." The paladin shook her head. "Instead, what I I think we need to do, is use what little light is left to purge the remaining spawn first, then slay the wraith itself afterwards. We might have to fight it after nightfall, but by then it will hopefully be alone, and as at it, at least, seems bound to this place there is no chance of it escaping our purge. "

She pointed towards the next house over. "Whichever house is closest.That one next."




 
__________________
Going through a rough patch in my life. Forgive me if I forget a post.
Father of a proud toddler. Expect the next 18+ years to be erratic and/or chaotic.

Last edited by Thorsten; 03-06-2018 at 05:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #239  
Old 03-09-2018, 01:20 PM
Sassafrass's Avatar
Sassafrass Sassafrass is offline
Man・Earth・Sky
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 50980
Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass
Posts: 16,639
In the Dreamer's House
right-aligned image
The deed done, the paladins return to the two shorter members of their group, and soon, they find themselves facing a question of procedure: go after the Wraith now, or go after the Spawn first? Fido does not offer an opinion, but thinks. Runahildr, the expert on these things, offers her thoughts: Wraith Spawn are bound to the Wraith. What will become of them when the Wraith is destroyed? It is believed, and to some known, that that will free the Spawns to become full, powerful, deadly Wraiths. And that means more trouble for them. Here, they are bound to where the light keeps them back, and by location. No, she says: they cannot kill the Wraith first. They may have to wait until the next day.

What argument is there against that?

There are four children left, and from closest to furthest, they are Rachel, Karin, Maarten, and Gaard. From what Pike remembers, the house to which Rachel belonged must be that gigantic one that can be seen from even here, two stories with plenty of rooms, a reminder of some of the larger mansions of Ravengro in so far as the architecture is similar. Still simple, though, and so much better constructed than the swamp houses of Morast. From Elssa's home they pass through some of the abandoned homes that are not marked as belonging to children; they are mindful for traps, which are visible and some have been set off. One has a dead skeleton in it that must have belonged to a rat or some other small creature, poor thing. It seems as though all paths in town lead to Rachel's home, central to the town, and the farms seem to stem from this one place.

As they approach the house, they can't help but notice that the upkeep here is still better than the rest. Boarded up windows seem the same, but here there is a note: nailed to the door is a piece of parchment, written in large letters.

VILLAGE ABANDONED.

DEAD INSIDE HOUSES. DO NOT ENTER.

DESNA FORGIVE US.
An odd warning, given how deep into town it is.

There is a humming coming from within, a haunting melody but simple. The voice seems older than a child, but not an adult's voice, but certainly feminine. A wind picks up outside, the clouds moving at an increased pace. The sun will set not too long now, perhaps in an hour, perhaps longer. They may can do this extermination job quickly, they may not.

It all just depends.

The door, though boarded, is easy enough to open, and inside, most of the furniture is left. Whoever lived here lived well enough not to need to take it with them... or were simply too fearful to.
Tales of Harrowing GoodnessThe invitation to remain seems one that leads Mara to influence her companions, and the misstep by Carlo is not noticed by the towering being, who seems to clap. The cadet, gulping, looks to the other guards. "Let's, uh. Let's get chairs." Lidia smiles, and nods. "I'll help." Leaving two guards watching, the cadet, Lidia, and one other head upstairs to get enough chairs for everyone downstairs to listen. S'jeer and the Human Catepillar seem comfortable enough here, and Sully grins. "The Halflings... the Halflings... The Nightgleams. Fourteen years it's been." He pauses, thinking for a moment; he does not seem to have a terribly good concept of time, but his words, driven by his time reading poems and stories, seem polished enough.

But first, Mara has a question of lineage. Sully's face turns dark.

"Father... had a family. A wife and child. Plague took them, and he lost everything all at once. So, in his time, he looked at what he could: in his wealth and knowledge, looked at what others had done. But I was the first, and only: there are no others beyond me. He swore he would never try again, that I was... was abomination. I am alone in this world, damned to a father who disowns me, without a sibling to know me, with no child of my own." So, he knows nothing more of another: if there is one, as Mara might suspect, he would not seem to know it.

"I had been driven out of one of the villages, trying to eat a bushel of apples. I did not eat many and so they scarred me, burning my back with a burning fire and stabbing me with a pitchfork deeply. So hungry and enraged was I that I struck out, going into a fit of madness that cleared a forest: but I killed a poor hart, and in my sorrow wept loudly. I do not know how far I wandered, despondent, and fell into quickening sand. I screamed, holler, roared, and cried for two days, unable to free myself, and so hungry was I, I attempted to eat a passing coney. As I was about to give up, unable to reach vines or anything in the winter, a passing family of Halflings found me. Though they were fearful, it did not take long before they threw me ropes, and the four sons and father, along with two daughters, helped to pull me up. They were a large family: ten in total were the Nightgleams. They were escaped slaves from Cheliax, they said, and told me that they had passed through Lastwall on their way to a land that is no more, overrun by Demons The Worldwoundwhose name I know not. The two parents had eight children, three of the daughters infants, and they were all of them beautiful with green eyes, every last child. They were merchants, they said, fresh from Thrushmoor on their way back to Lepidstadt, and they found me. So I stayed with them in their caravan, and they fed me well; they had two extra barrels of wheat and taught me to make bread. They gifted me a book of songs from Taldor, Cheliax, and Andoran, all of them love songs. As we approached Lepidstadt, a passing group of priests, hailing from the faith of the Lady of Graves, who saw me for what I was almost instantly. The Nightgleams attempted to defend me, and as such were put under a spell that put them all to sleep. I had to flee for my life, fearing that if I hurt them, I would kill them. I never saw them again, the Nightgleams, but their caravan was burned. I saw no bodies, though, and I do not think they are dead." He smiles weakly to Mara, and says, "Or so I pray. Little lies hurt none but the teller." That in and of itself is a lead, but who knows?

In the middle of the story, Lidia and the others returned with chairs; Lidia carried the majority, being the strongest and largest, and everyone can be seated if they please. The good Prince and the Vudrani seer are keenly interested, glad to have heard the story. And there are more: the old man near Hergstag who was a heretic-dreamer of the village, driven out by the people there and forced to live on his own. For three seasons he stayed with the man, who taught him to read from a book of Desnan poetry, until the man's daughter came to check on him. Unfortunately for Sully, the old man had passed away in his sleep, and the girl blamed him; he fled before she could gather a crowd to drive him out. The monk hailed from the far east, what Carlo and Hrani recognize as Tian Xia, and followed what sounds like Irori, a common enough deity even here. It was two years after the Nightgleams, and he moved in and out of Lepidstadt, bringing him what he most desired: books, food, and clothes, allowing him to live and learn. The books he could not keep, for they came from the University Library, but Sully devoured them. The monk returned home to the distant east, but never once did he look down upon Sully, and for that, he learned to never give up hope there is true goodness out there. And there are others, of course. The Dwarven woman who taught him how to sing properly; the cleric of Cayden Cailean who was too drunk to fear him and taught him he hated alcohol; the outcast Troll who taught him to make a fire and how to read the stars to know the season.

The sun outside seems near to setting, by the time he comes to a close, but the flow and ebb of his voice is like a song, and Sully an excellent teller of tales. The Crooked Kin are captivated, Lidia even taking notes, and the three of them seem to have more than enough.

Once is done, Sully reaches back and grabs the bucket of water near the door of his cell; using it like a cup, he downs half of it in a single swig.

"Do you have any tales?" He sounds like an eager child, and expectant.
 
__________________
Carrion Crown | Tyranny of Dragons | Rise of the Runelords
Coming Soon: Planescape: Tales from the Outlands

Last edited by Sassafrass; 03-23-2018 at 02:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #240  
Old 03-11-2018, 08:11 AM
Blackfyre's Avatar
Blackfyre Blackfyre is offline
Community Supporter
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 10296
Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre Blackfyre
Posts: 3,033
Runa made a very good point about dealing with the spawn before taking on the master and Signy readily agreed with heading towards the closest of the houses that they knew to be home to one of the remaining undead. If they wanted to clear the creatures out before nightfall there was no time to loose and once the door had been opened the paladin carefully headed inside, taking the lead this time.

This house was a good deal bigger than the last one and for a moment Signy just stood quietly in the first room to try and pinpoint where the humming was coming from. Ultimately a random direction would do as well, but much better if they had a definitive direction to start looking for the undead child. "Come forth and show yourself. Do not postpone the inevitable," she called out, hoping that it might help to tempt the spawn to find them.


 

Last edited by Blackfyre; 03-11-2018 at 08:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:04 PM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.(© 2009-2012)


RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2019, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB