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  #1  
Old May 4th, 2014, 11:41 AM
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Prelude: The Queue

Falcon's Hollow

The small village of Falconís Hollow is a wild place. Nestled in the shadow of Droskarís Crag, the people of Falconís Hollow are hearty and stern. Theirs is a life of hardships, broken only occasionally by a handful of festivals and the infrequent merchant caravan.

They face constant adversity from both the wilderness and the wiles of man. Wolves nip at their heels and cutpurses ply at their pockets. It is a testament to their strength that they even manage to survive at all.
ó Pathfinder Chronicles


The QueueThe queue stretches on forever it seems. People coughing into small handkerchiefs get a little more room, but all in all itís crowded on the dirty street in front of Laurelís shop. Since last week numerous townsfolk have fallen sick with a deadly affliction. Even some of the people accompanying the caravans that stop here from time to time have suffered from the ill effects. And neither prayer at the resident temple of Iomedae nor any of the local remedies have proven useful.

Yet, you are standing in line for some reason. It is known by most townsfolk that only thanks to Laurel not more have fallen sick, for she identified the source of the malady to be a small spring at the edge of town, Brookmanís well. Maybe she has further insight into the matter, maybe her shop holds the right herbs, and maybe youíre just desperate. So, here you stand in line with sick folk; people, whose loved ones have fallen ill; and hypochondriacs, who seem to cough most viscously of all.

You have been waiting for more than half an hour and the queue moves painstakingly slow. You all stand in row next to each other and wait for your turn to enter the small shop.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 02:08 PM
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Jenna Softpaw
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Jenna knelt beside her companion, the wolf known simply as Brother. The druid lovingly scratched behind his ears as she waited. The large wolf drew many stares, but worked well at keeping the crowd at bay and giving the group some breathing space. She turned to the nearest people, not fearing her wolf, "Nature Check:
Dice Roll:
1d20+8 (8)+8 Total = 16
Survival Check:
Dice Roll:
1d20+9 (9)+9 Total = 18
Any ideas on what could be causing this illness?"

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Last edited by Hound; May 5th, 2014 at 12:25 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 08:04 PM
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Hands were near hilts, on the off chance the crowd got unruly, of one tall newcomer to town. A distracted would be patron, if bothering to look his way, might possibly just think the young man was just holding his hands on his hips, keeping his belt pouches guarded. Bother townsfolk might take one look at him and think it was just another sellsword, one trying to look strong and ready for anything.

"Caravaner told me they have rare herbs in here. Maybe you'd want some." Those words were spoken the better part of a candlemark ago, spoken by the sheathed-swords wearer to the woman he had walked into town with. It was as fair a reasoning to be in line as any, but as the minutes passed, the young man learned why there was a line in the first place. Sickness. All these miles and I find myself in a town full of sickness.

The dark haired man had taken a handkerchief and wore it in front of his mouth now, wore it as if a bandana place below the nose, not above. It wasn't a novel idea, keeping the breath of others away. Truth be told he just saw a couple passersby wearing them as they walked, but it was a good idea, so he thought, so he quickly adopted his cloth as half-mask for health purposes.

"I can stand in line for the both of us, should you need step away for a bit." The cloth muffled his voice ever so slightly. "But don't go too far, thank you kindly. This is day one of our agreed upon season. Bayern has a pledge to keep."

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Old May 4th, 2014, 11:34 PM
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Wild Woman MalvaMalva had been uncomfortable since the moment they had stepped into the town. She had been restless with the caravaners, shifty and nervous in a way that had made the leader even more mistrustful, but once they'd entered the gates she was incredibly nervous. There were so many people, and such an aura of illness and discomfort, it was nothing at all like the life she had lived. Breath was just as uncomfortable, straying a few paces, then flaring his wings and returning to malva's shoulder, looking ever towards the door of the shop. What it was that caught his attention she didn't know, but she knew that she would enter there and find out.

She didn't like the idea of entering the building.

Unlike her companion she had no fear of the illness, in all her life since she had entered the forest she had never fallen ill or diseased, and she had no reason to think that today would be any different. She stood tall and clenched her spear, looking on those gathered with equal parts mistrust and pity, unsure what Breath had brought her here to do.

"They die much." She observed, her tone cold despite any empathy she might feel for them, "Why?" Perhaps her companion understood the idle chatter and small-talk that she struggled to understand. So much noise and movement and strange words that seemed just out of her grasp. Her discomfort was almost palpable.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 11:46 PM
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Braal drew a few stares as he walked into town, but not as many as he might have thought. A beardless dwarf was more than an oddity where he came from - it was a sign of madness. Maybe the humans were used to more of his kind looking as he did. But as he approached the center of the town, saw the line of sickly people snaking it's way down the road, he suspected these people had more to concern themselves with than a beardless dwarf.

He paused for a moment, noticed the dust that seemed to fall from him, perpetually falling from him ever since he left Highhelm, and examined the townsfolk as they waited in line, some shuffling their feet, others wiping the sweat from their brow, and many covering their mouths with spare bits of cloth. He reached to scratch his beard, found a bald and peeling pink patch of skin, sprouted up among stubbles of red hair, like some infection on fallen forest tree, and unconsciously covered his mouth.

Been two months still I left Highhelm, and still not coming in right. Best I may get, though, and there's more important things to consider than a dwarf's beard....

He approached the end of the line, saw a man, a warrior from the likes of the swords dangling from his belt and the weapons in his boot. He reminded Braal of merchant guards that would pass through Highhelm, trading with the dwarven blacksmiths.

"Pardon to you," he addressed the warrior, gesturing at the cloth he held covered over his mouth, "what manner of death you and the rest of these folks be warding off?"
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Old May 5th, 2014, 12:27 AM
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"Why? You asking me, or you asking yourself?" The young weapon carrier, what with the dagger on one boot and axe on the other, in addition to the swords near his hips, raised his voice just enough to make sure he was heard by the woman he arrived with. "You'd have a better answer for the why, yes?"

Moments later, a very short human approached him and had query. No, not a human, the young man supposed, but a dwarf...with no beard. This is...new. The taller of the men was quick to answer the shorter. "Can't speak for what others ward off. Me? Today, cough, sickness. Yesterday. Bandits."
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Old May 5th, 2014, 01:05 AM
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Wild Woman Malva
"No." Malva did not know, she had not had a chance to properly examine these people, and from some of the looks that she was getting she was not entirely sure that they would actually let her examine them. Their looks only made her grip the spear tighter, though her lack of general social skills meant she failed to realize that only made her seem more threatening.

She couldn't try to piece together a more complex question for her companion before another party joined them. If Bayern though he was confused by the dwarf, well Malva had never seen such a thing. She knew plenty of plant and animal anatomy, and Bayern looked enough like her to figure out that they were similar in species, but the short one that joined them was something else entirely. "You are… what?" Her confusion was evident as she looked down at the stout man, her brow creased in as she examined him.

Once more Breath wandered, flaring his wings and leaping from her shoulder to loop once, twice, in the air. Examining the village, examining the line, examining… a wolf. With a chirp the familiar landed, hopping towards the great beast fearlessly, used to the presence of such animals. But this one, this was not one of his, this beast was used to humans, was not one under the guardianship of himself and Malva. It was unusual to Breath, to say the least.

Quick StatsMalva, Level 1 Human Shaman (Sheet)
HP: 10/10, Init: +1, Speed: 30ft
AC: 15, Touch: 12, Flat: 14, Fort: +2, Refl: +3, Will: +4
Stats: Str 15(+2), Dex 13(+1), Con 14(+2), Int 10, Wis 15(+2), Cha 12(+1)
Skills: Handle Animal(+5), Heal(+6), Know:Nature(+4), Perception(+2), Survival(+7)
Condition: Alertness
Wielding: Spear (1d20+2, 1d8/x3dmg)
Spells: Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Guidance, Cure Light Wounds, Remove Sickness, Detect Undead

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Old May 5th, 2014, 03:40 AM
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Moving alongDoing their best to avoid being coughed on, the mismatched group of five (maybe six, counting the ever fluttering birdlike creature) slowly moved on up the line as it progressed. Like the hands on an oddly shaped and slow ticking clock they turned the corner and now could at least make out the shop all those people were standing in line for. The two story building sprouted a weathered sign depicting some unidentifiable greenery and the words "Roots and Remedies" in flowing letters.

Another badge of townsfolk just exited the wooden door and a group of four or five new ones shuffle along inside. The once coming out holding packages wrapped in linen cloth and looking if no less sick, then at least somewhat relieved. The once going in were greeted by what the group can only make out as a less than happy woman. Somewhere near the front of the line, some children are weeping in between coughs and further on up the street merchants could be heard praising their wares. Sickness did not make normal life stop in Falcon's Hollow, it seemed.

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Old May 5th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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Jenna Softpaw
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Wolf suddenly stood up, smelling the air. His ears perked and his tail began to wag as smelt something good. Following his nose, the Wolf turned his attention to a weird bird sitting upon the shoulder of a woman not far from them.

The bird was odd looking, Jenna and Brother had never seen anything like it; though the look in the wolf's eyes said that looks tasty! Jenna quickly lunged forward and hugged the wolf to make sure it didn't charge the bird. She whispered gently into the wolf's ear, "Brother, you can't, that bird looks like her family, just like us."

The wolf's ears dropped as it turned to look at Jenna, it gave a small whimper and lowered its head, showing it would not attack the bird. Jenna smiled and reached into her hip bag. She pulled out a large dried, smoked deer sausage and offered it to her companion. The wolf greedily took the meat from her hand, grateful for the treat.

With brother happy for now, Jenna turned to face the woman. She was tall, with a long braid and she smelt familiar. She had a similar scent to Jenna, the scent of the forest.

Beside her was a stubby little man she almost thought to be a dwarf, but in all the tales of dwarves they all had huge bushy bears. This man did not, so clearly he wasn't a dwarf, just a small person. The third person to their party had a bandana covering his face, but considering the town's condition, it didn't seem odd.

They seemed to be discussing the illness but seemed to have little information. Feeling curious, Jenna approached, "Sorry to intrude, but I couldn't help over hearing. It seems this illness is somehow linked to Brookman's Well. It seems the water there is somehow contaminated. I do not believe this to be a natural illness. I am sorry, how rude of me, my name is Jenna. Jenna Softpaw. A pleasure to meet you all" She bowed her head in greeting.

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Old May 5th, 2014, 09:23 PM
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Braal nodded at the man's response, his eyes lingering a bit on the swords that hung from his hip.

Scratching at his bushy mustache, at least Angradd left me that, he heard the cry of a bird and turned to see the human woman before him, asking what he was.

Braal had spent most of his young life underground, but part of his training was adapting to life above ground, for war is fought on all fronts. It took him the first couple months of his sojourn, but he recovered from the initial agoraphobia most dwarves experience upon leaving the undergound. While much of his journey had been new experiences for him - birds instead of bats, sunlight instead of lantern-light, stars instead of glowworms - he had quickly adapted as that's what he was taught to do. But he had yet to see a bird such as the one that circled and cawed above him, or a human woman such as the one who stood before him.

She looks as out of place as I feel.

He spread his arms out at his sides, palms up, weaponless. Friend, he thought, hoping his gesture could convey his thoughts.

"I'm Braal. Braal Ashenblud. I'm a dwarf, although you couldn't tell it by my beard." He tried to smile at his own joke, but his lips only slightly managed to turn upwards. Anything associated with joy was still hard for him.

Catching only the last part of the conversation from the stranger, another human female who had just approached, Braal listened to her words, speaking of a sickness in the well...taking in the scene before him, seeing the sickness, perhaps unnatural, seeing the hope of the townspeople in the eyes of the children that scampered at their parent's side, he had two separate but distinct thoughts:

So this is what has become of Jernashall.

Maybe I can still do some good after all....
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Old May 6th, 2014, 12:01 AM
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The young children were a bit of a distraction. They reminded the swordsman-in-appearance of the older kids that were part of the caravan he'd spent some weeks with. The ones that lost parents along the way, he'd given them part of his pay only hours earlier. He expected half of the kids, kids he thought them, despite not being much older than several of them, to be spending those coins as he watched. He hoped that at least they'd see him and think to cover their faces, or spend their coins wisely.

What had started as a two person conversation had turned into a quartet of voices, with two animal onlookers among them. The young man supposed that the woman who called herself Jenna had some sort of connection to the land, to those among them, what with how she talked and having a wolf for a friend. The dwarf identified himself next, by name and by culture, so that his dwarven lineage wouldn't be mistaken.

The sellsword felt no urge to share his name, but did decide to share his thoughts on the illness. "Sounds like they need a new well."
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Old May 6th, 2014, 02:20 PM
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Jenna Softpaw
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"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Braal. May I call you Braal?" Jenna smiled sweetly, as she asked. She reached out and took hold of one of the dwarf's hands and held it up with both of her's, "May you be blessed with Good health, and Great Wealth." Jenna was certain she had read somewhere this was a common dwarf blessing, but then again, she was also certain you eat soup with a fork.

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"Sounds like they need a new well."
Jenna's sweet smiled faded in an instant, she released the dwarf and rounded on the tall swordsmen. "Sir, I think that would only be a temporary fix. As I said, this illness feels... unnatural. It disturbs me. I have the gut feeling that something sinister is going on around here. "

The wolf wimpered and licked Jenna's hand as she stared down the swordsmen. "Brother feels it too." She said looking down at her companion.

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Old May 7th, 2014, 12:28 AM
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Wild Woman Malva
Braal's answer of dwarves and beards only served to make Malva even more confused, her brow furrowing deeper and her knuckles turning white from the grip on the spear, the only sign of her frustration. The playing children similarly made her stiffen, there was so much noise to be had around human settlements. "What is… dwarf?" The word was even more awkward and clumsy on her tongue than most of the language.

The approach of Jenna seemed to provide the woman at least a little relief, or more accurately the presence of Jenna's wolf. Relaxing just a little bit she knelt down in front of Brother to offer out a hand for him to examine as he saw fit, "Brother." She repeated the name in greeting, though whether she understood that it was his name or whether she simply felt a shared kinship with him similar to what Jenna felt was open to interpretation.

"Water kills not, upsets Breath." Malva looked up to her traveling companion, correcting him with a point of her finger to the restless familiar. Water was life and sustenance and healing, water did not kill just from being drank, that was its purpose, water killed when something else was wrong. Contamination, poison, disease, she had seen this in her own woods many times, it couldn't really be all that different in humans than it was in deer or bears.

Quick StatsMalva, Level 1 Human Shaman (Sheet)
HP: 10/10, Init: +1, Speed: 30ft
AC: 15, Touch: 12, Flat: 14, Fort: +2, Refl: +3, Will: +4
Stats: Str 15(+2), Dex 13(+1), Con 14(+2), Int 10, Wis 15(+2), Cha 12(+1)
Skills: Handle Animal(+5), Heal(+6), Know:Nature(+4), Perception(+2), Survival(+7)
Condition: Alertness
Wielding: Spear (1d20+2, 1d8/x3dmg)
Spells: Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Guidance, Cure Light Wounds, Remove Sickness, Detect Undead

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Old May 7th, 2014, 12:48 AM
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"Sinister?" The swordsman smiled under his cloth half-mask, thinking the woman was revealing more of herself than she'd intended. Looks and acts like a nature lover from no town in particular. Sounds like Oster, when he had one drink too many and said he was gonna go protest something the government did.

"Could be something up and died in that well. Townfolk probably sent someone to go check.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 12:08 PM
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Jenna Softpaw
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Jenn frowned; this man was not exactly getting on her good side. "Sir." She put enough emphasis that the respectful term now sounded like an insult, she stared the swordsmen in the eye, with a stern solid look, that seemed to say move and I may bite. She continued talking "The illnesses caused by rot and decay are qutie different, and far more deadly. Right now this contagen is only affecting the lungs. Healthy people have little to fear from it. It is the elderly and the young we must be concerned about; they are at the highest risk. As I said, this feels unnatural. Death is apart of nature. The diseased caused by it's rot is natural."

She folded her arms, her glare never leaving the swordsmen, "I have a few theories, but I'd rather look into things before I share any. That is why I am trying to see the medicine woman here. She discovered the source. I am hoping she knows more."

Meanwhile as the stare down occured, the wolf sniffed at the new woman; she had a good smell. Once he was satisfied she meant him no harm, he began to lick her hand in greeting.

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