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  #1  
Old Mar 15th, 2020, 01:21 PM
Exfilia Exfilia is offline
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Barovia Wants You!

Liiare is a paladin who grew up as an acolyte in a temple in the Shadowfell, praying that the Raven Queen would put her talents to use. One night near the end of her paladin training, she wakes with a strange feeling that something is going on in the woods surrounding the hamlet which her temple serves. She senses that something isn't right.

Hey, she's a paladin. She arms and armors herself and slips out to check into it. Strangely, the watchman doesn't seem to have noticed anything. Best not to trouble him--he's an old soldier who tends to laugh at the youngsters who train here and take themselves too seriously.

Liiare ventures into the wood, and within a few yards is totally enveloped in a mist impervious even to her elvish senses. Then something... something shifts, and she hears the howling of many, many wolves, and a bunch of noisy humans and such blundering around, and finally, well, she witnesses the manifestation described below, and then, in a most un-elvish way, she manages to stub her toe against a root.

And she curses out loud. That's not something Liiare would normally do in such a situation, but somehow it happens, and somehow she finds herself moving forward toward the waiting party.


The first night out of Daggerford, the remainder of the party camps in a traveler's shelter open to all--just a rough, floorless stone roundhouse beside the road. It's mostly a silent camp, as you mull over your mistakes and the injustices done you--even if these thoughts aren't normal to you, somehow, tonight that's what's on your mind. A cold mist rises from the nearby creek, creeping and coiling into all the low places, and then higher and higher until it envelopes you all.

By the time the first watch ends, the mist is so thick that you couldn't see one another even if you were awake. And just then you all suddenly are awake, awake and alarmed, blasted from sleep by the bloodcurdling howl of a nearby wolf. One wolf, two, three--they're all around you, and all howling in a way that could freeze your blood--even if you're not normally subject to this kind of fear, this time it chills you to your core.

And there's something out there, some kind of motion, something easing its way through the underbrush. The mist thins, and you can make out one another's figures--and one more. There's an elf woman at the edge of your camp, a dark-haired woman dressed in black, slender as the willow, and she seems to look at you.

She speaks, in a voice like a hiss of ash: "Kill the dead man!"

Then she explodes. Literally, her body spasms and shatters, and a great unkindness of ravens erupts in all directions and vanishes into the mist. Nothing remains where the woman stood, but out in the forest you hear a curse in a strange dialect of elvish, and then a different elf woman stumbles into your camp. I'll let Liiare tell you what you see as she blunders in, and you can describe yourselves to her, because this is the last member of your party.

So please don't kill her out of paranoia.

Now the wolves are back, and nearer, and howling madly. You hear a young child scream "Daddy!" once, but not again. If you venture into the woods, you find nothing at all. Eventually the howls grow more distant, and as the sky begins to lighten they die away entirely.

Dawn comes, and you break camp. The mist remains, but you can find the road, or at least, a road. It doesn't look much like the one you were on yesterday, but there's no other road around. This one is a narrow dirt track with thorny shrubbery crowding you on both sides. Oddly, it doesn't matter whether you turn in the direction you think leads toward Daggerford, or away from the town. In either case, you soon stumble into a derelict farmstead with a the skeletal remains of a cow lying in the farmyard near the door to a tall, narrow farmhouse.

There's a sign beside the road at the point where a path leads to the farmyard. It says "Durst Manor."

A soft whimpering draws you around a cart with a broken wheel, and you find a pair of children standing in the mist, holding each other and weeping.

When you approach, the elder child, a girl of about ten, pushes the boy behind her and turns to face you. The little boy clutches a stuffed doll to his face as if trying to muffle his sobs.


What do you want to do?
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Last edited by Exfilia; Mar 15th, 2020 at 03:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old Mar 16th, 2020, 10:20 AM
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Thane, Wood Elf Rogue
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Thane was happy taking watch, being one of the group who required less rest. It was also one of his reliable roles and he liked to be reliable, especially among a group as freshly formed as this one where lasting impressions were still being formed. Nevertheless, it was no less frustrating that he'd been forced out of Daggerford for something that wasn't his fault, local lines of work drying up in the process. Finding his way in the world on land rather than sea was proving more difficult than he'd anticipated.

Very quickly, his concerns switched to the enveloping fog. One that started to make keeping a lookout itself pointless. Then the cry from a nearby beast made him draw his weapon. He'd encountered wild animals before, and yet there was something chilling about the ones that were surrounding him now. Even on his best day he couldn't win the numbers game. When something finally broke through the fog, Thane felt helpless as the strange vision unfolded before him, the inexplicable sight of a woman exploding into dark birds. The sound of Elvish cursing was the first point of normalacy that grounded him as Liiare approached.

The Wood Elf himself was dressed in dark brown leathers, allowing for mobility and stealth among the woods. A fur cape hung to keep him warm when clung to tightly and short hair was slicked back to keep his face clear. On his back a short bow, and now in his hand thanks to unsettling circumstances, a worn whip, clutched tightly.

As the mist settled and the sound of threats departed, Thane turned to Rolen, the person he felt most comfortable with and spoke aloud.

"On the stormiest seas I have never witnessed such bad omens."

Thane would scout if people asked it of him, but find nothing. He also made sure to respectfully introduce himself to the new arrival with head bow followed by a firm handshake just as he had been taught to share among crew and friends alike.

Come the dawn, Thane took up his usual post of looking ahead for trouble. He felt far from the most qualified to deal with children and so left it to someone else. Instead he surveyed the scene with curiosity. Is this the child he had heard scream in the middle of the night?

 
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Old Mar 16th, 2020, 12:30 PM
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Arquiztex
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Arquiztex did ... nothing.

After all, why? Small human children were best left to small human people to deal with. This was no concern of hers and had nothing to do with the shaman's visions of a infernal-yet-sweet smelling human that threatened to throw off the balance of the fragile peace in which the lizard folk lived with the people and humanoids around them.

Plus...this world brought pain.

It wasn't necessarily a bad pain, it was like the pain in the head she and her friends would find when they spent too long underwater playing together as young lizards. If the lizardfolk were ever to talk of "exhilaration" then that might be the word that Arquiztex would use. But they didn't. And so she didn't. This was simply pain, not bad pain. And though Arquiztex might have no ability or desire to describe it, she knew what was causing it. The colors. Make no mistake. The colors in her marshland were rich and variegated--particularly if you were talking greens, browns and blacks. Greens, for example, there were endless shades of green in the Rak'ta skin. The light, mottled one of her youth friend Qu'lgarto. The generous, dark almost shiny green of her shaman mentor. The sinewy, wispy green of the lily pads when seen from below; and their counterpart, the bright, almost yellowy green of the above-waterside of the lily pads when the rare sun broke through the marsh trees. Arquiztex knew and loved all of these colors.

But here...there were colors in over-abundance, as if a rare flower had bloomed in the marshland and continued to spew out butterflies of every shade and of shades unimaginable. Above her, the trees were dressed in oranges, yellows and reds. On the ground, there were flowers in colors she had never seen. There were even countless shades on the clothes of these fellow travelers she was forced to join from necessity. In the eyes of those elf creatures. In the hair of that warrior. In the speckled, reddish nose of the gnome. In that garish little human-thing that the small human child clung to. Arquiztex thought it would be useful to study the colors one at a time. But all these colors all at once brought pain into Arquiztex's head. Though, again, not a bad pain.

So Arquiztex did as she had the night before when all the commotion broke loose. She simply removed herself from the others and these newest of colors. She stood back from the wagon, the child and the others who began pressing forward. Hood drawn on the travelling robe that she had grabbed from a the drying line of a farm on the outskirts of Daggerford, she waited, observed and allowed herself to be unnoticed.

In short, Arquiztex did what she did best ... nothing.



 

Last edited by bananabadger; Mar 16th, 2020 at 11:21 PM.
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Old Mar 16th, 2020, 12:43 PM
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Rolen the wood elf rangerRolen wasn't the least bit upset about his exile from Daggerford, that brute got what he needed. What do they have for me in a city anyway, this is where I belong out in the wilderness under a starry sky. Since Thane took first watch the elf started his trance awaiting his turn. The visions started almost immediately, a dark swirling fog and bones; so many bones. He was brought back to reality by the howls of wolves. He noticed the thick fog obscuring everything and for a moment wondered if the dark vision remained. But the howls, surrounding them now, something was off. These wolves sounded different than the ones from his forest home, frenzied and somehow more feral. He grabbed his bow and nocked an arrow.

When the elf woman emerged from the fog and made her grisly proclamation before bursting into ravens the ranger held steady. As the son of a druid he'd witnessed a woman turn into an animal before but this, it was not the same and something about it all rattled Rolen. Thane speaking leveled him and he replied, "Stay Swift brother, there's something un-natural at work this night". Rolen would introduce himself to the new elf and welcome her into their camp but upon hearing the child scream would rush out and return soon after finding nothing.

When they set out at dawn Rolen, usually good with directions strangely recalls nothing of their current surroundings. He knew the sun rose in the east but it felt different somehow and he shook his head in confusion. What in all the hells has happened, that cursed fog... After the farmhouse the ranger's attention lands on the skeletal remains and then the children. He knows they are frightened but the girl seems strong "Where is your father?"

 
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Old Mar 16th, 2020, 01:48 PM
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zilgim
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sleeping out in the open is nothing new to an adventurer and the comfort of his animal friends playing alongside him only brought further comfort though the "vision" he saw definitely was disturbing. A woman exploding into birds? Talking of killing a dead man? Another wanders in seemingly lost and confused? Then the sound of wolves? While again nothing new but ominous for sure. Day breaks something Zilgim is thankful for and he prepares to make his way into the marshlands though he seems to make his way to a farm. A dead cow were the wolves this close last night that's not good news for daggerfold though were is the city? Where's durnst manor? In my studies, I don't remember such a place.

Seeing a lizardfolk within the group he finds like even in the harshest and strangest of environments. He goes to approach it until the sound of children. His small size allows for an opportunity his size grants above the others in the group. "Hello, children... It appears... you have lost... your parental figures... while I am not a parent... perhaps I can share comfort... in these inopportune times.. we seem to face. I have tales of grandure... I can share audibly... if you'd care to listen. Perhaps the tale of the... giant fire Beetle."


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Old Mar 16th, 2020, 02:48 PM
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Herr Doctor Johanne Peoter Wens
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Herr Doctor Wens was asleep when the trouble began, but like everyone else, the bloodcurdling wolf howls awoke him. He witnessed the elvish woman in the mist admonish, "Kill the dead man," then explode into ravens. When they heard the child cry and the wolves howl again, he was not among those to investigate, being unsuitably qualified for such an endeavor.

When dawn came, Herr Doctor Wens noted the seeming change in their location and the odd way the road lead them to "Durst Manor."

As some of the others sought to comfort the child, he held back. Herr Doctor Wens instead found a place to sit, Knowledge rolls: Religion: (12), History: (17), Arcana: (21), Nature: (10)take notes in his journal, ponder their change of fortunes, and consult "Lore of Faerun: Being a Collection of Unconnected but Fascinating Tales of Arcane and Occult History" by Cedric Thistledown (1123).

He wrote:
Elvish apparition fulminates Corvidae: Raven Queen? "Kill the dead man?" What dead man? How does one kill a corpse? Mere dismemberment? Ritual destruction?

Mist: transmutation or conjuration? Illusion?

New location: intra- or extra-planar translocation? Known risks? How to reverse?

Wolves: natural or merely auditory/illusion? Look for signs, footprints, etc. No tracks, fur, or scat yet seen. Werewolves? Aren't they solitary? No full moon last night!?
And in truth, he was happy to not approach the child. He found children … off putting. He understood that young are necessary for species continuance, yet he had absolutely no desire for offspring himself.

I should consult with Mr. Gummen when he's no longer occupied with the child, he thought.


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Last edited by Oakie; Mar 16th, 2020 at 03:35 PM.
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Old Mar 16th, 2020, 09:28 PM
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Mercy Petreva, Human Cleric
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Mercy trailed behind the group, mourning the loss of her bath, her bed, and her occupation. A night's convenience in bedding down with strangers for safety had turned into a terrifying series of awful sounds and sights, and then a mystery in the morning. Where were they? What road was this -- not the one she knew. As she dragged herself up to the manor house she inspected the sign. Durst Manor? Never heard of such a place. Her wanderings in the woods around town with her sketchbook had always been anchored by the river, and she marked where she was by her position with relation to it. But now she was all turned around. She couldn't smell the river. She smelled poop. Old poop. And desiccated cow parts.

And look at those poor little children. Not a thread of clean clothes between them, covered in snot and hair a mess. Insight roll: 11What were they afraid of? Something out here? Why stand here then? Or were they afraid of something in the barn? As the gnome and the ranger approached the children she approached the doctor and nudged his arm.

"Here's another note for your novel, "she said. "Durst Manor's not on any map around Daggerford. I've lived here a year and I've never heard of it. "

 

 

Last edited by lostcheerio; Mar 16th, 2020 at 09:32 PM.
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Old Mar 17th, 2020, 02:22 AM
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Liiare
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As Liiare stumbled upon the camp, the series of strange events seemed to affirm her unsettling sense of things amiss nearby. "You all," she says directing herself to the party, "what do you know of the dark energy that is present here?"


Character InfoCharacter Sheet
Hit PointsDivine SenseLay on HandsHit Dice
12/123/32/21/1d10
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Old Mar 17th, 2020, 05:23 AM
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Sylvi



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Old Mar 17th, 2020, 01:14 PM
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As Thane looks around, he sees an ancient farmstead long fallen to ruin. That cow skeleton has been dead for decades at least--it's fallen apart and is just bones on the ground, recognizable only by being in pretty much the right place.

Arquiztex, also observing, has noted that the sages in the party are interested in what they call "lizardfolk."

Herr Doktor Wens also looks around, but he does it from the perspective of a sage who's done a lot of reading in the field--in several fields, in fact. He scribbles notes in his notebook.





Liiare does indeed notice something unsettling about all this. The children say nothing in answer to her question.

The gnome natters on a bit, and that seems to relax the youngsters a little. It's Rolen and Sylvi who asks the pertinent questions, though. Where is your father? Was this your home? Where are your parents?

"This was our home," the little girl says. "I'm Rosavelda Dunst, at your service and your family's. Please may I present my brother Thornholdt. Say hello, Thorn!"

"At y... your ser... urserbissanur fambly!" The boy's recitation descends into a whimper.

"Our father... our father is downstairs with the monster. Mama, too. There's a monster in our house, you see" says Rose, pointing at the farmhouse. Its windows are dark. There's a fenced farmyard in front, the sagging gate of which is slightly ajar. The rest of the farm buildings are in varying states of collapse, but the house still looks safe.

"Mummy and Daddy locked the monster in the basement," says Thorn. "We're not to go down there."

"No, we're not allowed," says Rose. "so we've never seen it. We've heard it, though, howling like anything! It's horrible! Mummy and Daddy are down there dealing with it."

Thorn buries his face in his sister's skirts.

"It didn't get us," she continues, "but it might have got loose and got the baby. Our brother Walter is in the nursery upstairs. Papa told us to watch him, but Thorn got scared and ran out here, and he doesn't want to go back in."

Thorn snuffles.

"I don't, either," the girl admits.

"Not going back in there," Thorn says. "Monster!"

"I wish I were brave enough," says Rose, "but I'm not. I wish I could have got little Walter out, too."
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Last edited by Exfilia; Mar 17th, 2020 at 01:15 PM.
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Old Mar 17th, 2020, 03:05 PM
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Liiare
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Liiare kneels down as she listens to the children’s fears. She then rises up and walks past the children as though they were not even there and proceeds towards the house, beginning to open her senses towards the dark nature of the place, to see if she could figure out what kind of monster they were dealing with.


ActionsMoves close enough to the house to use divine sense. Divine sense allows her to sense the location and creature type of any fiend, celestial, or undead within 60 feet as well as whether there is any hallowed or desecrated ground within that range.


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12/122/32/21/1d10
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Old Mar 17th, 2020, 03:29 PM
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zilgim
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"I was traveling... Through mirabar... A dwarven mining encampment... It appears the more towering... folk... have made their decision. You are very brave... For what you have done rosavelda. Until you grow tall... I shall count you within... Clan gummen... Take strength... in being small and brave."

Zilgim follow's liiare trying to remain stealth(14)hidden behind her cloak.



Last edited by delpinator; Mar 17th, 2020 at 03:31 PM.
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Old Mar 17th, 2020, 04:46 PM
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RolenThe ranger fought back the urge to rush in the old farmhouse at the mention of the word "monster" instead, he listened to the scared children's introduction and lamentations. A monster and a baby! We must act quickly! When the strange elf rose and approached the house, Rolen nodded to the frightened kids as if to reassure them and fell in line with Liiare. "They mentioned howling, possibly the same we heard last night?" He stared at the farmhouse as he spoke to the pale elf "Whatever it is, we won't give it the chance to hurt these children." His hand instinctually moved up to rest on the hilt of one the shortswords strapped to his back.


ActionsMoves up to the house with Liiare stopping 5 feet to her right.


 
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Old Mar 17th, 2020, 06:19 PM
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Arquiztex could barely make out the gibberish coming from these small humans. Their dialect wasn't quite the same as the one used by the traders who passed through Rak'ta land. Plus, it was more...well, snotty. Mother. Father. Monster. House. Something like that. At the very least, their words seemed to greatly affect some members of the party who strode off to the house. But what if the monster is already here?


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Readies rapier and keeps an eye on the children, either to protect them or to protect the party from them as may be warranted. Arcana check
Dice Roll:
1d20+6 (5)+6 Total = 11
Examines children for any signs of infernal influence as seen in the shaman's visions.
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Old Mar 17th, 2020, 07:17 PM
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Herr Doctor Johanne Peoter Wens
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Startled, Herr Doctor Wens looked up at the young woman interrupting his meditations. "Hmm?" he said, "Not near Daggerford? No, I should say not, Mother Petreva. Or rather, Durnst Manor and the Durnst family were near Daggerford about five decades ago. The family and the manor simply ... dissipated. One of my professors covered the case in his lectures. As no sign of even the manor's land was found, his hypothesis was planar translocation. And that is my hypothesis now. I should like to interlocute with that elvish warrioress who just found us. Yes, I expect her evidence will be revelatory...."

Herr Doctor Wens had overheard the children mention a monster in the basement. Now he watched Liiare and some of his traveling companions leave the children behind and approach the manor house. ""Attention" in Old Condathan (German IRL)Achtung!" he shouted to the advancing party, "Be careful! I suspect we are no longer in the Sword Coast or Faerun, perhaps not even Toril! If correct, the usual order of things may be distorted!"

It occurred to him that, all things considered, they might well be in for some trouble, and so it behooved him to prepare. He quickly wiped and stowed his pen and ink bottle, and slipped his journal and "Lore of Faerun" into his satchel. Then he pulled a thin, spheroidal piece of polished onyx from his pocket. Carved onto its surface was a sign of circles and spirals. Concentrating on the sign for a moment, he whispered harshly in an Primordialodd language and made certain unusual gestures.

Satisfied, he slipped the onyx back into his pocket and turned his attention back to Mercy. "Is 'mother' your correct title, by the by? I shouldn't presume." But before she could answer, he walked briskly toward the children for further examination. "Miss Rose? Master Thorn? Rose and Thorn Durnst? Did I hear you correctly?'" he said to the two children, standing over them and not softening his voice as many would to children. In truth, he was examining them for any Arcana 24 ... NATURAL 20! Woohoo!signs of arcane influence.


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Last edited by Oakie; Mar 17th, 2020 at 10:36 PM. Reason: copy edit
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