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  #91  
Old Jan 5th, 2023, 02:50 AM
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Oniver Stramont
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Well, so much for getting back quietly, the peddler thought, and stifled a groan. He was still fussing with a strap as his absurdly large pack dragged to one side, but then slid out of it when Phol burst into action. With considerably less eagerness, Oniver followed Phol's lead, dropping his pack somewhere inconspicuous and jogging after the half-elf hunter. He was right, of course: not aiding the villagers with bucket duty would draw suspicion, especially since the Kiersapians were supposedly here to help Greyvale with their problems.

When Hemdan mentioned he was returning to the inn with Stahl, Oniver kept glancing overtly after him until the dimunitive figure disappeared around a corner. So loath was the peddler to let the goblin out of his sight, he almost shouted to dump the lame horseman into a gutter and get in line beside him. Instead, he shouted, "Do hurry back! Every hand counts!"

The mysterious artifact that seemed to awaken the vengeful spirit of the woodcarver had been gnawing on Oniver's mind ever since the shock of the cellar encounter faded and clearer minds prevailed. He desparately wanted to unravel this mystery. But no such luck! Here he was now, helping to clean up the mess he had single-handedly caused, while the cunning little imp stumbled off under the weight of Stahl with the very curious prize hidden in his bodice.

Suddenly, a more pressing matter intruded upon the peddler's thoughts. As he passed buckets back and forth, he only hoped the fire destroyed any evidence anyone had been inside Ephres' shop. The look of concern on his face was not feigned. Thankfully, many other townsfolk had the same expression.


OOC

 

Last edited by Effete; Jan 5th, 2023 at 02:51 AM.
  #92  
Old Jan 5th, 2023, 08:16 PM
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OOCOk folks! I'm going to ask for some unconventional rolls for this one.

Please roll one of the following (your choice):

Strength (Endurance) - Because you can lug big heavy buckets of water, no worries!
Agility (Move) - Because you're fast at filling buckets or dashing to water sources!
Wits (Survival) - Because this isn't the first time you've tacked a fire, and you know how to hit it hard!
Empathy (Manipulation) - Because you're going to direct people to be as efficient as possible!

The 8 villagers helping will be rolling one dice each. They got 3 successes so things are looking reasonable. Now it comes down to you!

The more successes, the faster the blaze goes out, and the less chance of... well... collateral damage :-)

Hemdan can re-appear on-scene if he wants, once I post up the result of the rolls.

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Last edited by 97mg; Jan 5th, 2023 at 08:17 PM.
  #93  
Old Jan 8th, 2023, 07:43 PM
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Ending what was started

It would have taken a miracle to save the old wood carver's workshop. Actually, it was kind of a miracle that the abandoned place hadn't burnt down long before now. It was like a four-walled firetrap, not only largely constructed of timber, but as its most recent of guests knew, also loaded with woodshavings and all manner of goodies just ready to burn! Maybe the real question, was did ghosts burn?

The flames grew quite high in the early evening air, licking their way up the walls and onto the roof's thatching. It crackled and popped before falling in on itself. A good thing it wasn't a windy night! The embers seemed content not to explore too far from their place of birth, no doubt the neighbors quite pleased not to have to face battle as though a front was met with hot, angry reinforcements.

The villagers worked well, and their effort showed a sense of community, pride and persistence becoming of any village who'd survived a centuries-long isolation. Without help, they would have got the flames under control by morning. As it happened though, the arrival of Greyvale's latest guests couldn't have come at a better time!

Oniver had his own way of inspiring people, and a merchant's life always equated to some skills in crowd control, offering directions, and keeping eyes on more than one thing at a time. There was some resistance to his authoritative attitude at first, but once it was clear that his waving hands and raised voice were speaking true, everyone in attendance began to comply. His input really assisted in keeping the train of water-filled receptacles coming along, urging folks to move with pace and conviction!

Phol, being in the hunting profession through either choice or circumstance, wasn't a stranger to the dangers and weaknesses of fire. Survival instincts kicked in. Though this was no wildfire or camp's flames gone out of control, the principles were much the same. Saving what was lost was folly. The important thing was to prevent the disaster from spreading. He helped get the water delivered to where it really mattered.

Things were looking fairly acceptable, as far as burning buildings went, when little Hemdan came running back up the road. He proved himself too, not the first time he'd started something that was difficult to control.

The road heavy in haze, together, the assembled achieved victory. Yes, it would smoulder for days to come, and it wasn't a pretty sight, but any risk of further damage was gone. It would be a good long while before anyone might risk poking around the blackened remains... and potentially finding a pile of roasted bones.

Their evening's interruption now controlled, the villagers began to wipe their faces with sooty hands, and stand tall to cheer. They also started chatting.

An old man with a grey beard that went near to his knees, now had a much shorter length of facial hair.

"Aha! We did it! We always knew that place was cursed! Sure is, eh? I'm not sad to see it go."

A young woman in little more than an ash-coated nightgown nodded.

"Maybe this is an omen? Things are going to get better? The mists gone and the creepy shop no more?"

A wide-shouldered man who looked like he'd been covered in stains from coal, well before the unfortunate event.

"Thank you everyone! Particularly you! Strange time to meet new folks, but I'm not complaining."

His eyes moved to Oniver, Phol and Hemdan, whilst behind him, Bethe the bartender nodded with appreciation, though there was also a strange look of... was that... anxiety, in her eyes?
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Last edited by 97mg; Jan 8th, 2023 at 07:45 PM.
  #94  
Old Jan 8th, 2023, 08:44 PM
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Phol
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The half-elf remains aloof from the excitement of the residents, not trusting to be drawn in and then excluded. When complimented on his assistance he only shrugged and answered, "Was a fire. Where else should the water have gone?" Some might see him as humble....or just socially awkward. Meanwhile Phol listened to the conversations around him a bit before asking, "Who's shop is this? We heard the name Ephes shouted earlier. Is he here?"

Perhaps ignorant appearing questions would be rewarded with explanations that might shed some light on the evening's earlier confrontation.

OOC



Last edited by DBCowboy; Jan 10th, 2023 at 09:28 AM.
  #95  
Old Jan 9th, 2023, 08:34 PM
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Oniver Stramont
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Some of the villagers had been running about aimlessly, not really helping all that much, so Oniver, with his unrequited need to speak, barked orders at them. He was ignored at first, for the most part, but as he kept shouting, venting his frustration, some began to listen. Eventually, he found himself directing groups to some key areas, maintaining a steady supply line, and generally keeping things orderly. He was not the only one in command, but his directives seemed to make a difference. His skill at reading people and spinning yarns to sell cheap products at inflated prices seemed equally effective at giving pep-talks and convincing people of a particular course of action. It was stressful work, and by the end, Oniver was mentally exhausted.

When the fire was finally quenched, a small cheer rose up, and Oniver found himself joining in the celebration, shaking hands and slapping others on the back. The woodcarver's shop was a total loss, and the peddler couldn't be more happy about it. No jimmied lock, no dusty footprints nor shattered oil flask will be found tonight. The strangers won't be viewed as suspects, but rather as heroes. "Ho ho! What fortune! What fortune indeed... that the fire is out. Congratulations all around! What marvelous and admirable folk the people of Greyvale are! Eh, what's that? Cursed? Creepy shop?" Oniver followed Phol's example of feigning ignorance. When the large man extended his thanks to the Kiersapians, Oniver extended his hand. "Oniver Stramont. A merchant seeking his fortune. And these are my companions, Phol, an expert hunter and tracker, and Hemdan, a scholar of the mystical arts and repository of obscure knowledge. Our leader, Stahl, has taken injury and is resting at the inn." At that moment Oniver noticed Bethe standing behind the large man. The peddler acknowledged her with a wave and worked his mouth as if about to speak, but then turned back to the chatting villagers.

He had almost asked Bethe what news from the druid, but decided this was definitely not the place for such a conversation. Time for that later. Now was the time to hear about this supposed curse and to deflect suspicion of the fire away from the strangers.


OOC

 
  #96  
Old Jan 10th, 2023, 12:43 AM
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Hemdan - feeling the heat
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After getting Stahl comfortable and his new possessions secure Hemdan quickly heads back downstairs where he runs into Bethe. She looks like she's about to start asking questions when the Goblin just interrupts her "There's a fire in the village we need to go help. Quick lets go" and he grabs her arm and attempts to drag her with him. She resists obviously so he lets her go and makes for the door shouting over his shoulder "Come quick!"

Leaving the Inn door open to encourage Bethe to follow he dashes back to the burning woodshop and joins a line of people hauling buckets "Just followed the smoke and orange lights" he mutters to one, "Easy to see where the water needs to go "he says to another Best give no sign of involvement, we were all at the bakers

Working up the line he gets closer to the workshop curious to see if anything besides wood is burning but he doesn't spot anything incriminating, he gets closer and notices that one side seems ready to topple risking spreading the fire. He does his best to encourage some others to focus more water there as well as his own efforts and manages to contain it. Eventually the fire is under control and no longer a danger but the heat, smoke and effort have got to the little Goblin and he starts to suffer with headache and lingering glow to his face from the flames.

Joining the others Hemdan is suddenly flushed with success, he's never had this kind of praise before and some weird feeling is occurring inside him - he might like it and needs to think more on this, find out what its called, see if its natural for a goblin.

Oniver is being his usual self and seems to have been the champion of this firefighting exercise, well you would assume that based on his little speech but better to be a hero than a fire starter. He pretends to miss Phol's question about Ephes not sure how they would have heard that name as they were so busy at the bakers but he does follow up on the other statements "A creepy and cursed shop? No wonder it burnt down but why would someones home be a creepy and cursed place? Was the owner out when the fire started?"


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  #97  
Old Jan 11th, 2023, 12:07 AM
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Cursed?Of the proud and celebrating villagers, it was the sooty-faced man who seemed to have coal-stains ingrained, who ended up replying to the new arrivals. Whilst the others muttered nosense about a curse with little explanation, this fellow approached the questions more... logically. He introduced himself as Robbo Barrelhelm, and offered a friendly hand to shake. He was quick to reveal that he was the husband of the local blacksmith. Yes, the village's blacksmith was his wife, one Missus Kilyne Barrelhelm. So, this Robbo was quite well built, and also rather chatty.

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"Oh friends, it is a safe and sorry tale that one. I wouldn't trust anyone who says they know the full truth of it. According to the village records though, Ephes died about fifty years ago. Some of the elderly in the village say that he hung himself, in his shop, because nobody would buy his stuff. After that, nobody was keen to enter the place, so it was mostly left alone. It was locked up, and everyone kind of steered clear.

Anyway, one of our sadly departed, Miss Granol, who passed several years ago, she had some different thoughts on it all. When she was a child, she said she once saw Ephes's wife going really crazy. Like, full nuts! Granol always said that his wife killed him... or something like that."


He smiled to Hemdan then.

"I wouldn't worry too much, the owner is long gone. Now that the shop is gone too, maybe this will inspire the village to clean up the mess there and build something more... uplifting. There's going to be questions though, about how this started. Probably some kind of accident, I mean who knows what was festering in there! Won't be long until the villagers start pointing fingers at the druid too, I guess. They say he can turn you into a donkey, or a pig. Sounds like hogwash to me."

So it seemed that the trio had gotten away with it, the whole returning to scene of one's crime "thing"...

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GM: Rise of the Redscales - Fraillie Farm - Forbidden Lands -
PLAYER: Red Claw - Ebonclad - Blackguard - Tales from Elystar - The Yondering Lands

Last edited by 97mg; Jan 11th, 2023 at 12:08 AM.
  #98  
Old Jan 12th, 2023, 11:48 AM
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Hemdan - looks too happy
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It had been a really exciting day in Kiersap and Hemdan was keen to get back to the inn and recap the days fun. He did his best to hide it as he thought the fire was a more serious affair and he should look like he took it just as seriously. Still he couldn't hide a little excitement when he went to gather Phol and Oni and started tapping them enthusiastically on the shoulders "Lets get back to the inn" he looks around making sure no one is too close "I have something you need to look at" and just in case he adds (like the mastermind he sometimes thinks he is) "the ankle, Stahl might be stuck here for a while". Not waiting for his co-conspirators he heads back to the Inn.


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Last edited by psuedenim; Jan 12th, 2023 at 11:48 AM.
  #99  
Old Jan 13th, 2023, 08:50 AM
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Phol
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Phol dourly absorbed the tale Robbo shared. Once done the half-elf grunted, then added, "I'd think it would take more'n a hanging to make neighbors fear to tread in an empty home. Much more, says I."

With a shrug he thanked the man for sharing but it seemed Hemdan was concerned of their companion back at the inn. "Aye there's not else to do here," he suggested, "We'd as well head back."

The goblin seemed excited about something, what Phol hadn't a clue but he seemed to want discretion. Well enough, they find such in a room in the inn.

OOC


  #100  
Old Jan 13th, 2023, 06:20 PM
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Oniver Stramont
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"Oh! Oh, my." Oniver remarked as Robbo told the tale of the woodcarver and his crazy wife. "Fifty years you say? Well, I must agree with my friend here: there should surely be more to the tale than just a hanging to keep folks away for long. Still, perhaps it's a fortuitious event that, uh... that the building burned d... down. Gives folks a chance to move on and... and... WHAT?!" Oniver whirled and squared himself with Hemdan. The goblin had been continuously tapping on the peddler's shoulder for the last 30 seconds, distracting him from his conversation with Robbo. His frustration was short-lived however, and he turned back to the large, sooty man. "Ah, yes, as I mentioned, one of our companions is injured and get very ornery if he isn't waited on night and day. We really must be getting back. It was a pleasure meeting you Mr. Barrelhelm. Perhaps we'll speak again." Oniver then smiled at Hemdan and the trio made their way to the inn.


OOC

 

Last edited by Effete; Jan 13th, 2023 at 06:23 PM.
  #101  
Old Jan 15th, 2023, 11:08 PM
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Back to the InnWas Robbo's explanation enough to justify the villager's previous fear of the carver's shop? Perhaps not, though it was possible that these folks had some strange superstitions or customs, resulting from years and years of loneliness and rampant internal gossip. Unknown to them, it had probably been in their best interests to leave Ephes's workshop alone, so one couldn't fault them for that at least. Fear could have brought with it, an extra sense of care... especially on the subject of death.

The black ruins of the place continued to shed tufts of wavy smoke and haze, and all risk of it doing any further harm, other than to one's lungs if lingering too close, was gone. Slowly, the various locals began to bid each other a good night, and return to their homes, so the trio began to make their steps back towards the Inn.

Was there still time to take Bethe's promised "herb garden" tour? Hopefully! What of Hemdan's revealing of recent acquisitions? Well, hopefully there would be a chance for that too, as surely the little goblin would be quite excited...

OOCI believe writelite has a post to pop in at this point, so please hold off on your replies for a moment :-)
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  #102  
Old Jan 16th, 2023, 04:16 AM
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Late Hour Introductions
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As the three reached the inn's door, a voice caught their attention - familiar standing out of the sounds of people still talking or walking back home. It was Bethe's, who slowly approached them accompanied by someone... a man, it seemed. His short replies - mixing harsh notes and gentleness uncertain - echoed the disappointment in her tone like silent, abrupt cliffs, of unfathom'ble depth.

They stopped to wait for her and, turning, watched how their outlines changed shadows and dim light in ever increased detail. The man, tall about six feet and - apparently - clad in some sort of light armor, walked straight - with a gait both firm and weary. A few yards from where they stood, darkness (soot, and mild burns, most likely) stuck stubbornly to his features, preventing the full coming into view of this grown up human who now gazed at them in his turn - his look distant an' pale.

"This is Daneil," began Bethe, who recognized them too in spite of the late hour. And raising a hand tow'rds the stranger, she added: "a traveler like you, from far land, who joined the search parties the last few days." -- "Evening..." the man took over, in a clear voice ending hoarsely, which expressed little interest in making acquaintance and a rather demanding, self-imposed effort at being courteous.

She then hast'ly continued to say that he had just returned from the village's last attempt at finding clues - later than everyone else, after having tried his luck one more time 'round the logging site. Yet on his own, unfortun'tely, he had no more success... Pausing now, Bethe gave the group space to answer, but in her presence an anxiousness - as if to get over the moment quicker - was obvious. Her eyes moved back and forth from their faces to the inn's door, and not ten seconds later she went ahead and entered the building - leaving the men to their conversation.


Last edited by writelite; Jan 16th, 2023 at 04:24 AM.
  #103  
Old Jan 16th, 2023, 04:10 PM
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Hemdan -stopped short
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On seeing this new person the little Goblins first thought is local enforcer and he instinctively moves back behind Oniver and Phol. His plans to show his new things is off as he tries to convince his face that it knows nothing and has done no wrong.

As Bethe starts to talk he begins to wonder why she would introduce her 'special friend' Perhaps she doesn't always meet the Druid and this is someone else that helps with that patch out in the forest? As she finishes it seems this is another traveller and not someone special.

"Evening" replies Hemdan, over exaggerating a little on some of the sounds (easy to do from behind Phol). Deciding that Bethe is trying to set them up a guide or some such he steps out more fully and replies in what he presumes to be a formal tone (well for a Goblin at least) "Evening back at ya" and gives a little bow.

"Fighting fires is thirsty work and beer is good for fixing that and the telling of tales" and he turns around and heads into the inn his voice calling after Bethe


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Last edited by psuedenim; Jan 16th, 2023 at 07:05 PM.
  #104  
Old Jan 16th, 2023, 06:56 PM
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Oniver Stramont
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Oniver suppressed his impatience at yet another delay. This secret item that Hemdan possessed was almost certainly connected with the appearance of the woodcarver's ghost, and the anticapation both the peddler and goblin assuredly felt could hardly be contained. Nevertheless, Oniver greeted Bethe with a wide grin, his pearly white teeth gleaming under that broom of a mustache. His head tilted slightly as he shifted focus to the new arrival, but his expression never changed; plastic politeness that delved only skin deep.

"Good evening to you, master Daneil." The man's disinterested tone was not lost on Oniver, and the savvy peddler derived a small amount of pleasure in pressing him further into conversation. "Searched the logging site, have you? So you've met Ochala then, I take it? Well, perhaps you can save us a trip then. We had intended to meet her ourselves tomorrow, but if you can provide us with her statement, we will no longer have any need." The pudgy peddler paused for only the briefest of moments before continuing. "Ah, but my dimunitive friend is wise, despite all appearances. Talking is thirsty work, and words sound better coming from a lubricated throat. Come, come! Custom in our homeland is for the guest to buy the first round. Ho ho!" Oniver turned to follow the goblin, but the scamp was already inside the inn.


OOC

 

Last edited by Effete; Jan 16th, 2023 at 06:59 PM.
  #105  
Old Jan 16th, 2023, 08:38 PM
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Phol
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And then there were two. Two seemingly curt spoken fellows faced one another in the dim light outside the inn.

The moment lengthened...

Were they as two peas-in-a-pod, mirror images of each other regardless of race? Would they instantly understand one another?

The moment stretched long enough to become uncomfortable...

Or do opposites truly attract and like repel? Was this oil and water from the outset?

Phol grimaced in annoyance at seemingly being abandoned by his traveling companions, while being introduced to one with which he shared little other than an apparent pledge to assist a mutual, newly met, acquaintance. Indeed it was Bethe whom they owed their fare and shelter to while they remained in Greyvale, and if the innkeep felt they should speak with Daneil then it seemed they were obliged to do so.

The moment, itself, was starting to feel uncomfortable and wondering if it should instead change its title to something which lasted longer...

"The goblin had the right of it, says I," the back-woods half-elf grunted sourly, "We'll hear of your search inside." He entered the inn then, without further delay.

The moment leapt for joy and flitted off into the night, free at last.

Inside the inn Phol found the place where Hemdan and Oniver had...what were the two whispering of, huddled close like conspirators... The half-elf's eyes narrowed in suspicion, used to being the outsider, the outcast, he wondered if he were the butt of some ill-spoken chatter.

Seating himself he waved to the innkeep for a mug before pointing to Daneil and urging, "Well then, what has been learned so far in the search for the missing children?"

OOC



Last edited by DBCowboy; Jan 16th, 2023 at 08:49 PM.
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