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Old 08-13-2019, 02:36 PM
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Chapter 3: Beyond Barovia

Test Pool: Tizenegyedik 23, Szerda 9:00AM clearThe road gradually disappears and is replaced by a twisted, muddy path through the trees. Deep ruts in the earth are evidence of the comings and goings of wagons. The canopy of mist and branches suddenly gives way to black clouds boiling far above. There is a clearing here, next to a river that widens to form a small lake several hundred feet across. Five colorful round tents, each ten feet in diameter, are pitched outside a ring of four barrel-topped wagons. A much larger tent stands near the shore of the lake, its sagging form lit from within. Near this tent, eight unbridled horses drink from the river.

As the group approaches, your collective hearts catch as you hear the sound of laughter... not the derisive mocking chuckle of cruelty... of a predator toying with its prey. No, the sound you hear is the full bellied laughter of mirth and genuine happiness. The playful strains of an accordion are accompanied with the off key singing of several brightly clad figures seated and standing around a bonfire. A footpath continues beyond this encampment, meandering north between the river and the forest's edge.

Upon entering the clearing, the music stops for but a moment. All eyes turn towards the party and a large mustachioed man hops from his stump. “Welcome! Welcome!” He announces cheerfully, his laughter carrying across the clearing. The music kicks up again and the rest of the Vistani begin to wave the party over, many of them hoisting bottles of wine for the party to indulge in.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:25 AM
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Renata Tyrfille
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For the first several minutes of the trip toward the Vistani, Renata, who agreed with the detour, nonetheless seems disturbed and unsettled. In place of its usual look of determination, her face wears concern, even consternation. Eventually, though, the paladin seems more herself, such that by the time the party reaches the camp, she strides forward confidently at the lead, save for the regular scouts.

The first impression of the Vistani camp is, in its way, the most shocking encounter since the shipwreck. Renata hesitantly accepts the greeter's lead into the camp. She nods in acknowledgment as she accepts a bottle, but before drinking, informs the nearby revelers, "I am Renata, Paladin of Tyr. My companions and I seek rest, provisioning, and information."

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Old 08-19-2019, 08:31 AM
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Iados Open
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Iados gleamed when he saw the lake and the horses. It was a beautiful scene that contrasted with the loud group within the colourful tents. His beaming smile faded and he instantly shrank back when the larger, slightly rotund man began to welcome them. He edged backwards away from the man, staff held out front and instead inched over closer to the horses. He watched Renata stride over confidently, always at the fore, and start speaking with the man. No nonsense. No fear. Iados admired that.

He cocked his head at the horses. They were beautiful specimens, clearly worked hard but looked after well enough and Iados could sense their contentment. They twitched their ears and watched him intently as he approached, but Iados held out his hands and hummed at them the way the way his mother had taught him. The sounds and smells from the tents drifted over the group and the horses, and although they were jovial and happy, they still filled Iados with anxiety. Memories of Amphail came flooding back. Too many people. Iados instead patted one of the horses lightly and stayed at the back of the group, hunched and hood up over his horns.

He narrowed his eyes and watched the man and the tent behind him, whilst whispering in the ancient tongue to the nearest horse, magic flowing through his whispered words, ”In dar’un hín nur?”



OOC
Cast Speak with Animals to talk to the horse.



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Old 08-19-2019, 10:53 AM
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Tser Pool: Tizenegyedik 23, Szerda 9:05AM clear
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The heavyset Vistani welcomes Renata with a wide smile as he presents her to the rest of his companions. “Haha! Yes… Renata… A paladin no less!” He claps his hands excitedly and bids everyone to warm themselves by the fire. It’s a stark reminder, the fire is, of the forbidding nature of the land. It is early morning, yet the sun feebly hangs in the sky, its light barely penetrating the always present grey clouds.

“Well Renata… rest you can find with us, provisions not so much… and information?” He looks mischievously at the other vistani and laughs whole-heartedly. “How does this sound… you tell us a story and we will tell you a story in return?” The vistani hoot and holler in support of the idea and the mustachioed man bows low. “Introductions are in order! My name is Arahja… welcome to our home!”

Another vistani, this is one a slight woman, looks the group over, especially the hooded one lingering near the horses. “From where do you hail?” She smiles at Renata. “With skin that dark… you certainly have not been seeded under our lightless sky. Us Vistani… we are darker because we travel… beyond.” Arahja laughs at the woman’s comment. "Yes Rina; show off that dark skin while you can, giorgio. The coming years without sunlight are sure to steal it from you."

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Old 08-19-2019, 03:28 PM
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Tarton Wetfeet
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Tarton felt a wave of releif wash over him, like he was returning home after being lost in the woods for a week. He thought of his troupe, and having to face Martin after having been left in that little backwater town. Then he snapped out of it, remembering the shipwreck, and this foresaken land. And that this wasn't his troupe.

Still, he steped forward, slightly behind Renata. "Well met fellow travellers. A story or two we can manage, I think. Have you heard the one about the two little ghosts and the heros that saved them?" He bowed ever so slightly. "Stories and songs, yes, we can tell those for certain. But I've heard tell of the hospitality of the Vistani, and I would cherish the chance to relax a bit. It has been sometime since I've had some road food as well - tell me, do you forage while you travel here, or do you have to have all our supplies before you set out?" Hoping the formalities were coming to a close, Tarton readied himself to accompany the Vistani into the camp proper and find a seat next to the fire.

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Reaction: Tarton will cast shield if he is hit
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Dice Insight Check on the Vistani to see if they seem to be hiding anything or if they are being open and honest:
d20+5 (5)+5 Total = 10
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:02 PM
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Gareth Blackcroft
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Gareth enters the camp alongside Tarton, a wicked grin splitting his disfigured face. The inhabitants of Barovia seemed to be a dour people, but the Vistani were living up to their reputation as more.... colourful.

The rogue sketches a quick bow or two before he introduces himself to Arahja, wringing the man's hand with exaggerated enthusiasm.

"Well met, Arahja. I'm Gareth, from a place called Waterdeep, though I don't think you will know it. Stories we have aplenty, and some news as well. I think my friend Tarton and I can even manage a bit of a show, if you can spare some warm food and a place to lay our heads. Later, of course!"

Gareth glances over at Tarton before he bows once again, this time with a flourish of his hands which trail minute coloured sparks.

OOC
Prestidigitation for the sparkles.

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Old 08-20-2019, 02:38 AM
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Renata Tyrfille
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Renata frowns at Rina's speculation regarding her complexion; does the woman think she has a suntan? What will she conclude regarding Tarton and Iados? Still, as she glances once again at hobbled Odur above, she briefly wonders what changes may come of weeks or years without direct sunlight.

"What did you say?" Renata suddenly asks Rina, looking directly, fiercely, at the woman. "To where do you travel? How?" Her gaze shifts to include Arahja in her questions.

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Old 08-20-2019, 08:22 AM
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Iados Open
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Iados smiled as the horse lifted its hoof, chewing the grass loudly. He checked the well muscled leg and realised that the horses were definitely well looked after. He touched his forehead to the horses long face and thanked it, letting the magic carry his meaning through his words. He gave it one last scratch about the mane then left it be.

He looked back to the group just as Darrell let out a splash of sparkles from his hands and Iados lifted his eyebrows is joyful surprise, a small gasp escaping him. He quickly realised his mistake and covered his mouth with his hand, shrinking backwards again, closer to the Lake. The cool air was blowing in off of the water and Iados forced himself to stand and not move further away. He slowly reached into the pouch at his waist and pulled out a berry, nibbling on it alongside the horses around it. Then his hand drifted to another pouch and he absent-mindedly started fiddling with the trinket inside.

Realisation dawned on him and he jerked his hand away in shock, fear and disgust creeping through him. He glanced around hurriedly, breathing short and grasping. He looked over to the group and his breathing slowed, but he couldn’t bring himself to say anything. Instead he tried to remain unseen and out of sight as much as possible.



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Old 08-25-2019, 08:26 PM
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Tser Pool: Tizenegyedik 23, Szerda 9:20AM clear
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Arahja waves the party over towards the bonfire, bidding everyone to have a seat. The jolly man smiles at the series of questions, nodding along as he listens. The vistani shakes his head and looks to his companions when asked by Tarton about a peculiar ghost story. “Well little one… we have not heard that tale… but in return for our hospitality hopefully you can regale us a bit later?”

A quite plump young woman, decked out in large hoop earrings and gangling gold necklaces waves a hand at Renata and points to her still un-sipped bottle. “Lets go hunny… it ain’t goin’ ta drink itself now. Don’t be like my Lee here… all skin an’ bones an’ no fun!” The woman’s apparent husband, Lee, frowns at his wife’s jest and waves the woman away as she dances her way towards him. “Sit down woman… really Bela…,” he pleads as he is knocked off his log perch under an avalanche of affection from the big woman.

The vistani all hoot and holler as they watch Lee’s struggles but Rina brings the conversation back towards the group’s questions. “You can stay with us for the night… that is our promise to you. You will be safe and you will be well fed.” The small woman frowns and continues, “In the morning we will leave… you were lucky to catch us here this day. We do not stay in one place for long… wanderers are we.” She looks at Gareth, “We travel to Waterdeep quite often… and points beyond. You, however, will not travel… not through the mists. Barovia is your home now.”

The collective mood sobers a bit and Arahja clears his throat loudly as he stares at Iados, still lurking near the horses. “Hey now!” the man yells as he waves at the hooded tiefling. “If you're purposefully trying to be rude… you’re doing a good job!”
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:09 AM
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Maja
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Maja didn't feel at ease among the Vistani. Something seemed to be amiss. That celebrating traveling folk didn't fit the depression, with which Strahd had cast a shadow over his realm. Nevertheless, Maja didn't let her true feelings show.

As she was offered a bottle of mine, the girl declined friendly. "Thank you very much but I do not drink," she said. "Would you perhaps have some juice or just some clear water for me?"

Rina's reply to Gareth caught Maja's interest. "If you are allowed to travel to Waterdeep," she chimed in, "do you trade for the Barovians? I guess there are a lot of commercial goods that are rare here but which can be found in abundance at the Sword Coast. Would you even be allowed to deliver a letter for me?"
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:58 PM
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Gareth Blackcroft
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As he watches the cavorting and jesting, a wide grin spreads across Gareth's face and not even the terrible scar can detract from it. Before long the rogue is happily seated next to some of the Vistani, and with a flourish and a crook of his finger, the stoppered bottle frees itself from Renata's grasp and floats over to Gareth. The thief deftly plucks the cork and allows the bottle to pour some of its contents into his mouth as he leans back, hands behind his head.

The man slings jokes and questions freely, easily mingling with the flighty Vistani and is just about to pour himself another generous helping of wine when Rina mentions Waterdeep. The young man jerks upright and the wine splashes into his face, causing him to cough and sputter, but he manages to right himself. Maja quickly fills the startled silence with a few questions, so Gareth takes the chance to take another swig from the bottle before rising.

"Arahja, I've been a poor guest and finished this delicious wine, and now nature calls. Perhaps you can point me in the right direction?"


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Mage Hand for the wine.

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Old 08-28-2019, 07:01 AM
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Renata Tyrfille
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Renata moves to Iados's side, and as she does checks him for serious wounds overlooked. "You should rest, friend," she tells him. "That is why we are here. Come and find a bedroll."

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Old 08-28-2019, 08:24 AM
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Tser Pool: Tizenegyedik 23, Szerda 9:30 AM clearMaja refusing to drink draws anguished moans and catcalls from the assembled vistani. Lee, from his position flat on his back, still semi-buried under Bella, gives the mystic a thumbs up. “Don’t let them pressure ya! Their a bad influence… the lot of them.” A chorus of laughter passes around the fire but is interrupted by a strapping man with a plethora of tattoos. “Deliver a letter you say.” He takes a long pull from his bottle, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt. “That is one thing we won’t do for you… it would be… troublesome.”

While the conversation continues, nature calls and Gareth steps away. Arahja stands as well, pointing a bit downstream. “I’ll join ya fancy hands… you just keep your tickler to yourself and your eyes down.”
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:41 AM
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Maja felt a bit of disappointment at the Vistani's reply that they won't deliver a letter for her, but not much as she hadn't really believed to receive a positive answer.

"You mean you would get into trouble with the ruler of these lands?" she asked him. "On which basis does he allow you to travel? Would it be possible to travel with you if I became one of you?"
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:01 AM
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Gareth Blackcroft
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Gareth finds tree in desperate need of watering and lets out a raucous laugh at Arahja's advice.

"There is much wisdom in your words, friend. And I'll share some of my own: always keep the wind at your back!"

The thief chuckles again, muttering to himself before falling silent for a moment, concentrating on the task at hand.

After a moment Gareth glances up at the sky, obscured by clouds as grey and ragged as a death shroud. The man lets out a wistful sigh that is only slightly overblown.

"I don't pine for home like some of the others, but this place is still new to me. You and your people are far friendlier than the townspeople of Barovia. There is clearly something that sets you apart. If I may be so bold, how is it that you travel freely where others dare not? Or cannot?"

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