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  #121  
Old Aug 31st, 2010, 02:18 AM
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"That would be very kind of you," Aymeric nods politely. He is, in fact, rather glad of their forced relocation. He really does not want to repeat the morning's incident - and besides, the walls have ears. Some things are better discussed in private.

Thus, he waits until all four of them are in their room and the door is closed behind them to speak. "Well, I hope you have been a little more successful than us," he says to Fraela and Nalus, stretching his neck before sitting down on the windowsill, "because it would seem that all we managed to find out makes the matter more convoluted still." He shakes his head to clear it of all the unrelated bits of information aimlessly floating around it. Unsure of where to begin, he picks what intrigues him most. "Did you speak to the herbalist's wife? She mentioned the body being turned over to the Flamers... and a certain Father Durn sending a letter to Flamekeep." He looks around his companions. "My memory may be flawed, but I cannot recall Talesin mentioning such a letter. Now, I may just be paranoid, but doesn't it strike you as odd that Talesin would privately hire some drifters like us when there is already an official church investigation pending?"
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  #122  
Old Sep 1st, 2010, 12:16 AM
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Ugren nods along with Aymeric's comments while looking to the other two. "Aye, something seems off to me here. I get the feeling noone is telling us everything we need to know." He lets his gaze drift briefly to the man he had been investigating with. "And I ain't one to be paranoid, either." He crosses his arms across his chest as he waits for whatever information Fraela and Nalus might have.
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  #123  
Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 12:04 AM
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Fraela listens to Aymeric and Ugren's accounting of their trip closely, nodding as she takes her pack from her shoulders and drops it upon the floor. Looking to Nalus, she nods and produces the small vial containing the specimen she picked from the smashed door and hands it over for all to see, offering her magnifying lens if they would like. Before going on, she goes to the door to check for any eavesdroppers before turning back and whispering to the others...

"It's a bit of skin that I picked from the smashed door at the late silversmith's shop..." she says quietly, pursing her lips. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I suppose I am..."

It wasn't the first time her path had led her across such evidence. Working with the Finder's Guild in Sharn, she'd found a similar clue working as an apprentice to an Inquisitive in the Lower Wards. The more experienced inquisitive had gone pale as a sheet and abandoned the case altogether...

"I place very little truth in the story about the werewolves, guys. That little piece there came from a Dolgaunt... if you've heard the stories, you know who they serve..." she finishes, not wishing to speak of the daelkyr aloud. She'd only heard stories used to scare children into behaving but who knew what lurked in the depths below...

Flopping into a chair, she blows all of her air out in a whoosh and rubs her eyes.

"We've been led to believe that the Dolgaunt was there to interfere with an order placed by House Vadalis... a dagger was found bearing their seal. There was something extremely odd about Brother Talesin's operation... but there was something dark about Laird, the fellow with the lute. It would be no surprise to me that Talesin and his crew would have no real affiliation with the real church of the Silver Flame. But if they are doing the work of some cult..."

"I don't know what we've gotten into..." she says with a humorless chuckle.
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  #124  
Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 12:29 AM
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Nalus stands dumbstruck by Fraela's deductions. The warforged cannot imagine the kind of temerity it would take to impersonate a priest of the Flame. If Fraela's suspicions were correct, then the man would surely be "purged" from his life.

"So let me see if I've got this right. There are no werewolves, and our benefactor was lying? Is it possible that he was also mislead?" Nalus's red eyes glowed a little brighter than normal. Anyone claiming to be a priest of the Flame under false pretenses was a mortal enemy of the order, and subject to immediate sanctioning. Nalus would see to it personally if it were true, but of course the safety of the innocents would have to come first.

Last edited by Peter172; Sep 10th, 2010 at 01:19 PM.
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  #125  
Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 03:19 AM
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Well, well... isn't it convenient how murderers always seem to cut themselves on doorframes? Aymeric thinks to himself, taking the small vial and the proferred magnifying glass with raised eyebrows. He inspects it for a moment, then hands it on with a shrug. Skin, a bit warty, perhaps. Unhealthy colour. But hardly conclusive to him. Then again, skin or scales is the only differentiation that matters back in his homeland.

As he listens to Fraela's conclusions, they seem to make less and less sense to him. For that matter, he has no idea of what the creature she mentioned is. But he judges it better not to brag with his ignorance. Besides, it shouldn't be too hard to guess: it's rare and scary; some kind of supernatural assassin. Undead, perhaps, or extraplanar - and in a state of advanced decomposition, to judge by its tendency to leave skin lying around. And it serves a sinister, not-to-be-named cultist organization. That can only mean the Blood of Vol. Ta-daa! Basic deductive reasoning.

Leaning back against the windowframe, he points his gauntleted hand at a nearby candleholder, which is softly borne aloft until it almost touches the ceiling. Then, it falls down again, only to rise back up the moment it lands in his palm. "Whatever the case may be, the story about the paladin woman is most likely true." He looks up at the inquisitive. "We talked to the woman who had her lying on her kitchen table. Says she was bitten through the chest. A fairly muscular woman, wearing armour - does your dolgrunt have that kind of maw? And furthermore, one shaped thusly as to be mistaken for a wolf's by Eldeen villagefolk?" He pensively looks at the candleholder, now ascending again while rotating slightly. "Second, and I do not mean to question your professional skills, what other evidence ties the whole thing to House Vadalis? A dagger is not exactly out-of-place at a blacksmith's, seal or no seal." The candleholder lands in his hand with a sharp, metallic sound. "To be honest, Lady Fraela, I do not think your theory and the werewolf story to be contradictory - one responsible for the paladin, the other for the smith. Which would raise the question of if and how they are related."
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Last edited by Cherubaddon; Sep 2nd, 2010 at 03:20 AM.
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  #126  
Old Sep 4th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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The dwarf all but gave up trying to folllow the conversation. Once again his frustrated was evident as he clearly did not understand what was going on. "Regardless of who is behind this, how to we find 'em and make 'em pay. It sounds like anyone could have made it seem like it was someone else. We need to begin to flush the goblins out of their warrens, if you catch my drift. And what be this Dolgaunt you speak of?" Ugren sat with his crossbow across his lap and waited, hoping they would get a lead that would send them out of the town and towards whatever their enemy might be.
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  #127  
Old Sep 10th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Fraela leans back into her chair, giving her flame-like hair a twirl before clasping her fingers behind her neck. She waits for the others to speak their piece before further explaining what she had found...

"It is possible that Brother Talesin is being coerced... though I firmly believe that the construction is a ruse and that Laird has sinister aims..." she answers to Nalus. "Once night fell, I had a look around and the workmanship was hasty... shoddy. I am no carpenter but what I saw made no sense. Suffice it to say that my assessment of Laird's character is a knack of mine, but nothing will make me trust that man."

"True enough, Aymeric."
she concedes about the two crimes. "From speaking with the detective..." she pauses, pulling her small journal out and flipping to a particular page, "... the detective seemed convinced that the Vadalis weapon was one that was stolen..." she pauses in thought as if considering something new.

"The only reason that I propose they are related is that the murderer of the smith has become involved with someone's preparation in fending off this "wolf". What would the murderer gain by doing so? I very much wish that I could have examined the paladin's wounds myself. I'm no expert on denizens of Kyber's belly but there are many terrible creatures that serve terrible beings. It could be a were, as we have been told, but I would not rule some sort of monster out as of yet..."

Looking to Ugren, she answers solemnly and quietly. "The Dolgaunts are just one way that the daelkyr have twisted beings from this world. They are wicked perversions, by all accounts... I have never faced one directly but this one shattered a door with brute force and pummeled an armed dwarven smith to death within his own shop. No easy feat." she says, nodding to their dwarven friend to back up this assessment.

"I would like to speak with our friend, John... the fellow with connections to the Gatekeepers. They have been at war with the minions of Khyber for ages and he also seemed to know something of this wolf problem that he did not share. Perhaps we can persuade him tell us more of them and confirm my appraisal of this specimen... I am sure that the Gatekeepers would love to know that dark things are slinking about here. That gives us a bargaining chip... and I'm sure that Ugren here would love to get back into his element." she finishes with a grin.
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  #128  
Old Sep 10th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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"Consutling the Gatekeepers seems like the most logical course of action." Nalus says, sounding somewhat pleased. "They will be interested to hear that Kyber is spewing forth some of its undesirables." The warforged turned to start back to the tavern, then remembered something. "Oh, John told us that he is only in town a day or two per week right? Maybe we could find out where his grove is and pay him a visit? If he's not still around that is."
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  #129  
Old Sep 12th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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Aymeric frowns slightly at Fraela's conclusions, unconvinced. Beside the fact the she appeared somewhat hasty in her deduction linking the two cases - which to him seem connected by nothing but temporal happenstance - he is even more surprised, not to say downright irritated, at her cavalier dismissal of the townfolks' results. They may not know what a dolgaunt is, but he is quite certain that the forest-dwellers have seen enough wolf bites to know one when they see it. After all, villagers would be the first to chalk up and be it a missing tooth to supernatural forces, so if even they say it was a wolf, he is just going to believe them.

But in the interest of finally getting to work, he keeps his mouth shut. He gets up from the windowsill, catching the levitating candleholder and putting it back on the nightstand, before nodding to his companions: "Sounds good. Let's ask downstairs - he seemed like a popular fellow. They'll know where to find him."
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Last edited by Cherubaddon; Sep 12th, 2010 at 10:45 AM.
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  #130  
Old Sep 12th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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Ugren grunts his agreement and prepares to move on to the next part of their investigation. He had been adjusting the tightness of his crossbow while half listening to the conversation. His thoughts had frequently drifted to his impressions of those he had met so far. He knew something had seemed off about them all but he still could not figure out just what it was. He hopes his companions figure it out soon rather than later.
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  #131  
Old Sep 27th, 2010, 11:54 PM
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AllWalking downstairs much of the earlier atmosphere has left with the crowd as people have returned to their daily work. Still there are a few people around, and a quick enquiry with the hostess directs you to a table occupied by a muscular woman with flowing brown hair named Alera and even sitting you realize she is very, very tall, likely over 6 foot.

"I know my way to the Gatekeeper's grove, truth is, I'm a friend of theirs. If you've got information for them, I'll take you to them, no problem. It'll probably take much of the rest of the afternoon. They claim quite a bit of land and we shouldn't exactly go barging in uninvited, so we'll go to the edge of their territory and wander around until they come and get us."

Rising to leave her table you realize you were right, she is easily as tall as John, and ever bit as muscular. On her way out she pauses and fetches something from the closet, a worn great sword with an old but well oiled leather wrapping on its handle. She hoists it confidently and slips it into position on her back as though she has done it a hundred times. Turning she grins sheepishly. "You can never be too careful, you know?"

Leaving the town she takes you west and slightly north, toward a large forest. The walk takes about 3 hours alone and then true to her word, you're left wandering game trails and crisscrossing what appears to be the same small stream for nearly two hours before a halfling materializes out of the undergrowth, looking rather annoyed.

"You must be the great werewolf hunters John's been talking about, unless of course that's another dragon marked woman and warforged 'round these parts, though he seemed to think there were 7 of you, rather than the 4 my eyes tell me. Got him quite excited and now he won't shut up. He keeps this up and we're going to put him in the visitors hut, with you all, for the night. That is you will be staying the night won't you." The halfling shakes his head. "Please forgive me, I'm talking ahead of myself, I've been out here listening to him babble on too long. Ever since he flew back from lunch. Oh, I'm doing it myself now, I'm Kennon, I'm sure you're tired, come with me, our village isn't far."

He flashes and awkward smile and turns hopping off into the underbrush. Thankfully there is a trail nearby that Alera knows and she leads you to it. He's not lying, in about 15 minutes a clearing and a village seem to melt out of the woods. It contains maybe 20 thatch huts and a couple log buildings. The sounds of children laughing and playing ring out and you can't help but wonder how you couldn't hear it half way across the forest.

Alera, and Kennon lead you to the village center, the nicer of the two log buildings, inside is a small fire and John, talking animatedly to a group of 5 people, 2 human females, a human male and and a halfling and an elf, both female. At your approach they smile warmly and John turns to greet you.

"It is nice to see you all again. I was just telling the elders of our circle here how you came to rid us of the werewolf, but I guess now you can do that for yourselves huh."
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  #132  
Old Sep 28th, 2010, 03:22 AM
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"It's hood to see you again too Jon. Freila here has discovered some evidence that points to the culprits being some creatures known as dolgaunts." Nalus stands ramrod straight as he speaks, his voice strong and steady. "Apparently you gatekeepers have had some experience in dealing with the aberrations that Kyber is known to send forth from time to time, so naturally we decided to come and speak with you about the problem. Do you have any idea where the creatures might be reaching the surface, or why?"

Nalus still had his doubts. The lycanthropes were who he was sent to deal with, and after all, why would someone steal all the silver weapons if not to protect the werewolf, or werewolves?
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  #133  
Old Sep 28th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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Aymeric winces quietly, barely managing to disguise it as a polite nod of greeting. He isn't quite sure which part of Nalus's introduction is most cringe-inducing - his presenting of their vague theories as unavoidable fact, his assumption the Gatekeepers knew something about it, his implication of their incompetence - but he makes a mental note to be quicker next time it comes to conversation. Letting a statue do the talking is a bit like carving wood with a battleaxe - sure, you can do it, but don't let the results surprise you.

"We, erm, yes," the Q'barran says, somewhat unsure of how to continue conversation after such a start, "as my, erm, companion rightly pointed out, Lady d'Tharashk does indeed harbour the suspicion such creatures may be involved." Having regained his aplomb, he steeples his fingers, smiling gallantly at the Gatekeepers. "How exactly, if at all, this creature is linked to the lycanthrope, remains to be seen. For the time being, we wanted to consult with the local experts on chthonian influence whether there has been, in the recent past, anything... unusual, in your realm of study. Interference, heightened activity, cult genesis, anything at all out of the ordinary."
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Last edited by Cherubaddon; Oct 3rd, 2010 at 08:08 AM.
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  #134  
Old Oct 1st, 2010, 08:53 PM
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Ugren watches quietly, letting the more social members of their group do the talking. The dwarf was having difficulty understanding what lead was correct, and who their enemy really was. There was never this much subterfuge involved when he patrolled the wilds. But just being in the forest seems to relax him quite a bit. A confidence returns to his overall demeanor as he listens intently to what is said. His eyes begin to wander to the others in the village, watching their movements as a hunter would his target. Ugren had learned very early in life that very few people were to be trusted, and even fewer are what they appear to be.
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