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Fantasy A Tempest of Fears: a d20 Dungeons & Dragons adventure (Primary)

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Saintheart, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Darron

    "Oh - is that what they do?" Darron remembered his earlier examination. "I couldn't tell. But no, I do not use a bow. I prefer -"

    Then the others reappeared from the cellar with dire news, which did not change as they interrogated each of the prisoners in turn. Said news only got worse when Zaid tossed the medallion down on the table in front of them, and it turned out Dagon was responsible.

    Dagon ... a chill went up his spine. Darron had not had the displeasure of encountering the Demon of the Abyss before, but he had heard stories. No wonder the druids had been killed, the grove despoiled. No druid, no matter their allegiance, would have tolerated Dagon's influence in this town...

    Summer whined softly, licking his hand. His injured hand. Darron suppressed a groan - he had nearly forgotten, between the fight and everything else, that Summer would be able to tell. Once he was out from the tannery and freed from the need to guard prisoners, the wolf would - and had - noticed his injury. It was something to do with the poison altering his scent. He'd once gotten a scratch off some poisonous plant and Summer had refused to let alone until he'd dragged Darron back to his mother.

    "I believe visiting the church is a good idea as well," Darron said, attempting to cover for Summer's strange behaviour. He frowned at the wolf. Scratched him behind the ears. Summer merely stared at him reproachfully (wolves should not be able to stare reproachfully, but it seemed Summer could) and licked his hand again.

    Tag: All
  2. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Malaeus Balle

    Smooth Sailing Inn, Ashenport

    "I'm all for burning the church down while they are all inside it," he shrugged nonchalantly. He didn't take kindly to the idea of becoming a sacrificial lamb to some demon. If it had not been for Russell, he would have been in some dark, dank and dirty place bound and gagged and wondering what was happening and what was to become of him. He subconsciously rubbed at his jaw where it still ached from being punched by the cleric.

    "I'm also open to other suggestions," he added before he could get any dirty looks from the two lawfully minded members of the group.

    TAG: @Saintheart @DarthXan318 @Ramza @cassie5squared @Rilwen_Shadowflame @Livi-Wan
  3. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Ivaela Teuthor

    Ivaela was not used to having this many helpless people to look after. It wasn't a comfortable feeling; she was anchored in place, here, unable to go out and meet the enemy on her terms. And there were answers, now, of a sort, as to why her first attempt to look for evil auras had gone awry; this entire place was soaked in it.

    If only there was some way to get the others out of here. She could risk her own life willingly; she'd known her duty might call for that from the first day of her training. She could not, however, risk the lives of others so easily. The frustration and anxiety of this quandary made Malaeus's suggestion sound oddly appealing just now - it would put an end to this whole sorry mess, at least.

    But she had to be better than that. Didn't she? Thinking it over, she glanced away, and noticed Darron's current little situation.

    "Is something the matter with Summer, Darron?" she asked quietly. Travelling alongside Darron for as long as she had, she'd not only grown to appreciate the wolf's contributions to the group, but had grown accustomed to him enough to be at least somewhat aware of when he was acting oddly.

    TAG: Xan, others
    Last edited by Rilwen_Shadowflame, Sep 16, 2012
  4. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Darron

    Darron was not quite able to suppress a wince. Of course. Ivaela had not known him for very long, but a few weeks of travelling in close quarters would have shown her that Summer did not, generally, behave in a manner more befitting a pet dog than a wolf. Darron was just lucky she appeared to have interpreted it as a problem on Summer's part rather than on his.

    "He's fine. I think he just doesn't like it here." Frowning, Darron removed his hand from Summer's reach and attempted to redirect the conversation before Ivaela could press the matter further. "I cannot agree, Malaeus. We should not so lightly destroy a church of Lathander, even one that has been subverted."

    Tag: @CmdrMitthrawnuruodo, @Rilwen_Shadowflame, all
  5. Livi-Wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    Yuriko Gozen

    Yuriko fidgeted in her seat, unable to stop her hand touching the mark of Chirasu on her face to invoke the goddess' blessing.

    Lady of shadows and smoke, hide your servant from this evil.

    She shuddered.

    "I'm not sure destroying the church is a good idea either." she said, her voice noticeably more subdued than normal. "I think... I think, if we're going after this cult, we want to make sure we stamp it out."

    A memory of her mother came back to her, unbidden. Murasaki had come in from a job, dark gray clothing damp with the early morning mist, her hair smelling of incense and smoke.

    "If you want something dead," she echoed, shrinking into herself, "you have to strike the killing blow one to one."

    TAG: all
  6. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Russell Holston

    The Smooth Sailing Inn, Ashenport
    Three hours past dawn, Third of Marpenoth
    Year of Lightning Storms (1368 DR)

    The captive he looked at sternly was the woman - the second mystic, the younger one with gaunt cheeks and eyes as dead as the hag's corpse.
    "Who knows?" she replied. This one had unsettled Russell the most during the questioning - there was a cunning intellect hiding behind those dead eyes, one he felt was stalking him as surely as the evil in this town. And to make matters worse, she appeared to have gained some courage in the darkness of the cellar, particularly with Zaid upstairs.

    The mystic settled back against a decaying rack of bottles. "There will be a sacrifice, though. He wills it. Whether you try to stop him or not. No feeble god of traders' scales will stand between us and him."

    TAG: cassie
  7. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: Russell Holston

    "Who would know better someone who has lived here and served it?" he replied, his voice quiet but with a note of steel in it. He was not about to give satisfaction to someone deliberately trying to get a rise out of him. "If you do not wish to talk to me, however, I am more than willing to have some of my other companions... talk to you all instead. I'm not sure how much you'd like that, though." He looked around the room, drawing a commanding presence about himself, and locked eyes with the captive who'd been least difficult to get information out of. "Will that cry come again or not?"

    TAG: Saint
  8. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Malaeus Balle

    Smooth Sailing Inn, Ashenport

    Malaeus huffed lightly. "Burning it down in the middle of a ritual would certainly stamp it out," he muttered under his breath. He glanced at Darron and his wolf companion, quirking a brow at the druid.

    "I had a familiar once, til I accidentally roasted it but then again it wasn't my fault. The damn bird flew in the path of my scorch spell." He wore a slightly amused expression and then nodded toward Summer. "Maybe he is hungry?"

    TAG: @DarthXan318 @Rilwen_Shadowflame @Livi-Wan @Saintheart @cassie5squared @Ramza
  9. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Ivaela Teuthor

    Ivaela frowned. It wasn't like Darron to be this evasive, and he did definitely seem to be dodging around answering just now. In a village that had already demonstrated a range of threats that might prey upon the mind or otherwise sway a person's actions, such an oddity - such an omission - worried her.

    It wasn't strictly related to the discussion at hand, but she had no wish to ignore something that might actually be wrong with a friend.

    She looked at Darron steadily, holding his gaze with her own. "Darron, why is Summer fussing so?" she asked evenly. "What is it that is wrong? Please, tell me."

    TAG: Xany, others

    OOC: Sense Motive: 24
  10. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    OOC: Rilwen, that roll's good enough to develop a hunch that something's wrong, but no higher. :)

    Russell Holston

    The Smooth Sailing Inn, Ashenport
    Three hours past dawn, Third of Marpenoth
    Year of Lightning Storms (1368 DR)

    "He will not know," responded the hag; all three prisoners were in the same room, and all within earshot at this point. "Because none of us know that. But we do know that none of you will leave this village alive. That will not change no matter how badly you or your dog from the desert beat us or cut our flesh. The master will repay every stripe a hundredfold. Depend upon it, Tyrrant."
    The same hateful gaze echoed from all three faces.

    TAG: Cassie
  11. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: Russell Holston

    He regarded them all quietly for a moment, then inclined his head slightly and left. There was no point trying to argue with them when they were so hostile, and he wouldn't give them the satisfaction of stooping to their level of violence.

    The cleric returned to the others and sank back into his seat. "My apologies for rushing off like that. It wasn't much good anyway. Where were we?"

    TAG: All
  12. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Malaeus Balle

    Smooth Sailing Inn, Ashenport

    "Discussing how to burn down a church full of occultists," quipped the warmage. "Darron and Yuriko are against the idea, and Ivaela..." He shrugged lightly, unsure where she stood on the idea though he swore he saw her seriously considering it. Of all the people he thought would have been against the idea of burning down a church of Lathander, he thought it would have been the paladin.

    TAG: ALL
  13. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Zaid Nejem, Death's Hand
    Etc.


    Well, this was a bit of an awkward spot. The old laws said that one must never agree with a witch - but what he suggested, it was sensible! There was Sabbá here and the fire could cleanse it as surely as it cleansed the earth! And the Sabbá... Dai’na ghulnaath! The mere word Sabbá could not encompass the rotten stench of his presence here.

    Judgement was needed. Swift. Terrible. Exact.

    And if he had to agree with the witch to exact judgement...

    No! No, he would not compromise his ideals in the name of purification. He was too quick to employ the sword, too swift to seek death. If there was truly a cult here, it would have leaders. Leaders that could be made an example of. The followers could be brought back to the right folds.

    It was a difficult decision. It required guidance. He rubbed the ring on his finger, almost unconsciously.

    There was a slight whistling in his ear.

    "No. No, we must not simply burn them. That is too indiscriminate. That is not judgement, that is revenge. Where there is ath al-lantis there is a spring from which it flows. Cults have leaders, no different from any masjd. Those leaders must face judgement. But perhaps the rest can be saved."

    The Bedine's expression was as unmoving as ever. "There is Sabbá here - blacker and more permeating than I had even begun to suspect. But the blowing sand wears down even the roughest rock. Remove the source of the impurities, and the polishing can begin."

    TAG: All
  14. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: Russell Holston

    "...At least there's one person here who agrees with my thoughts on the matter." Russell sighed a little. "We should not burn down the church; it was built to honour Lathander, and despite the evil it's been put to, it could still be re-consecrated once we deal with this cult. On the other hand, I don't have any argument with the idea of going up there to find out what might be going on before their ritual tonight."

    He glanced around. "Anyone else have anything to say on the matter?"

    TAG: All
  15. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    OOC: I guess nobody does have anything else to say on the matter. That being so...

    The Party

    Gleaming Dawn Church, Ashenport
    Three hours past dawn, Third of Marpenoth
    Year of Lightning Storms (1368 DR)


    Rain poured down, the winds howling ever higher as the group of six adventurers made their way up the last slick, unsteady steps to the crest of the church on the hill. Though Ivaela and Russell had advised caution, it wasn't needed; nothing stood at the crest of the hill to bar their way.
    Just as nothing had impeded their journey from the Smooth Sailing Inn through the town to this place.
    It had been a long, tense walk, shields readied, Malaeus's hands half-clenched, Summer peering from one place to another. Eiros, accompanying them, was also on guard. But nothing sprang at them, and no further ambush resulted. Simply that same murmuring, chilling feeling of being watched. Simply dark windows like eyes staring at them. The Cycladis Ash trees of the grove nodded and whispered to one another with the impact of the rain as they passed. Nothing.

    The hilltop, at least, was open ground except for the temple of Lathander, its cemetery, and the small cottage nearby that probably served as residence to the local priestess. All quiet; all calm. Almost unconsciously, the party spread out, cautiously looking from one part of the hill to another. Russell and Ivaela couldn't help but glance up at the symbol of Lathander, still weeping its tears of rain.

    Yuriko, for her part, and for no reason she could immediately think of, wandered in the direction of the cemetery. Quaint enough tradition, to bury the dead rather than cremate them; the practices of the East were somewhat different. Waterdeep's own graveyard was a true necropolis, stretching for unsettling miles in length; thousands of stone mausoleums, headstones, all polished marble and granite...
    She peered closer at the headstones, flickering her glance from mossy headstone to mossy headstone. Stepped back; re-evaluated the size of the cemetery and thought over the town that was here.

    Russell's cough made her jump half a mile in the air, but it also spurred her to action: she walked back across the muddy ground before the church to see the cleric. Ordinarily she'd be staying away from templars of Tyr like her life depended on it, but on this case the opposite was possibly required. "That graveyard," she said, waving a hand lazily to hide her unsettled mind. "It's not been used for years. The last date of death's around the Year of the Watching Cold."
    1320 Dale Reckoning, Russell's memory whispered. A good fifty years past.

    TAG: All
  16. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Malaeus Balle

    Smooth Sailing Inn, Ashenport

    The warmage remained silent. There was no point in arguing with the cleric. He felt the best way to deal with a threat was to send it to the Nine Hells in one neat little package, preferably aflame. Having these, obviously, murderous villagers and their occult leader all together in one building was an opportunity that was going to be wasted in his opinion. He would have liked to have voiced that opinion, he decided it was the better part of valor to keep it to himself.

    Malaeus leaned against his bowstaff and sighed softly. Although he had to admit that, perhaps, the villagers could be redeemed. A little. He was quite biased at the moment considering that he was still smarting from being mind controlled and nearly turned into a sack of shredded meat.

    Impatiently he finally spoke up, "Discussing it further in a committee wastes time and gives them the opportunity to deal with us."

    TAG: @Saintheart @Rilwen_Shadowflame @DarthXan318 @Ramza @cassie5squared


    OCC: Well... this is BEFORE Saint's post since he posted as I was writing this, lol.
    Last edited by CmdrMitthrawnuruodo, Sep 27, 2012
  17. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Darron
    Inn, Ashenport

    Damn. She wasn't fooled. Darron averted his eyes, knowing as he did so that Ivaela would definitely take that as an admission - which made him simultaneously annoyed and, oddly, relieved. He wasn't alone, here. Ivaela might not be a sister druid of the Ring of Swords, but she was a friend and a paladin besides. Darron was still half-furious at himself for not having the foresight to prepare the spell that could purge the poison from his veins, but having not done so, he should have asked her help. Paladins were not as good with druids with natural things, but they were all trained in healing.

    And even if she could not cure it, at least someone would be able to watch his back until it wore off.

    He was taking a rather stupid route with this.

    The discussion turned back to the greater problem with Russell's return, but Darron had an inkling that didn't mean Ivaela was letting this go. So when everyone moved to leave, Darron lingered for a while back at the table.

    "There was a ... I set off a trap," he admitted softly to Ivaela. "My fault, I did not realize ... I healed the wound, but the dart was poisoned. I do not think it is serious, but I - I'm not certain. It clouds my mind."

    Tag: Rilwen

    ---
    Gleaming Dawn Church, Ashenport

    "So long?" Darron murmured. For obviously there had to have been some deaths in the last fifty years - for there to be no gravestones meant that the town must have taken up a different method of interring their dead fifty years ago. Fifty years of worshipping Dagon ...

    Tag: All
  18. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The Party

    Gleaming Dawn Church, Ashenport
    Three hours past dawn, Third of Marpenoth
    Year of Lightning Storms (1368 DR)

    Yuriko nodded, moving across to the door of the church.
    None of them had asked her to do this. They didn't have to. She had a feeling there were already a few embarrassed looks she couldn't see.

    She crouched down at the main door of the church. The keyhole looked as rust-pitted as most of the steel in this town. She hadn't been here when the cleric had come to inspect the place first time round, but if anyone had asked her that detail alone would have convinced her that something was seriously wrong here. Whatever you could say about Lathander's priests, they were fastidious about security into their churches; the locks on Lathanderite churches were as clean and shiny as a pompous duke of Cormyr's armour.

    But now, peering at the keyhole, she realised there was something else out of the ordinary about the door. One quick exploratory probe with a single lockpick established it. Yuriko straightened, looking back at the others.
    "It's not locked. Standing open."

    TAG: All
  19. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Ivaela Teuthor and Eiros
    The inn

    Ivaela's eyes widened a little, but she held back the rebuke that sought to spring past her lips. True, Darron hadn't spoken of the matter until now, but now was more important.

    (Besides, much as Ivaela admired her mother, she'd rather not turn into her for at least another twenty years or so.)

    "I can help, I think," she said instead, reaching out to touch Darron's shoulder lightly. She turned her focus to the ever-present memories of moonlight within her mind, and sent out her prayer to Sehanine. Please light the way and guard the mind, Mystic Seer, I pray; bring back what was stolen away. "Let no strengths be lost in darkness, but restored instead in light," she murmured, the graceful motion of her hand ending, as customary, at the symbol of Sehanine she wore.

    TAG: Xany

    --
    Outside the church

    The paladin was wondering quite a few things right now. For one thing, where the bodies were of those who'd died here more recently; had they been burned, or slipped into the pitiless seas, or fed to some terrible creature? For another, how many had truly been slain here; she had been sent because of some, but what of the others? What of the villagers themselves? Surely some had resisted, though their fates had likely been cruel as a result.

    Fear was as sure a poison as any that lay in vials; had it crept in slowly, smothering this village? Had the chains of nightmare formed gradually, so that the people here had never known until it was too late that they were snared beyond hope of escape?

    Perhaps some of them could still be freed, if the evil in this place was stripped away.

    Ivaela shook her head a little. "There will doubtless still be some within," she said very quietly. "Or one, at the very least. One who could cry alarm if we entered, and call others."

    TAG: Group
  20. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Malaeus Balle

    Gleaming Dawn Church, Ashenport

    "Let's get on with this," Malaeus muttered behind the group and gestured around them. "If they were going to raise an alarm, they would have done so by now. We did pass enough windows on the way here for anyone to see we intend to enter this place and I for one would like to get out of this wretched rain."

    Would he ever be dry again?

    The warmage scowled under his hood and clenched the staff he used more as a walking stick than anything else. He muttered under his breath about catching their death from a cold was more likely than from some demonic deity and it's occult.

    TAG: ALL
  21. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: Russell Holston

    The cleric glanced around, weighing up the situation. They had a few options, it seemed: enter immediately and risk an outcry; take a look from the outside and see if there was anyone there; or just stand out here and rust and be indecisive.

    He decided the last option was the least appealing of the three.

    "Miss Gozen," he said after a moment, "you seem to have fairly sharp eyes. If you'd not mind, could you take a look in from outside and see if you can spot anything?"

    He had a sneaking suspicion she'd not only have sharp eyes, but a knack for remaining unseen, to her advantage and wouldn't need to be reminded to use both.

    TAG: All
  22. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    OOC: Borrowing someone here as Ramza won't be around til Wednesday :p Also, Ivaela restores Darron's WIS to normal levels, though she still lost that spell.

    The Party
    Gleaming Dawn Church, Ashenport
    Three hours past dawn, Third of Marpenoth
    Year of Lightning Storms (1368 DR)

    While Russell was talking, he had his back to the door. Consequently, he did not have a chance to say or do anything as his travelling companion marched up to the church door and kicked it in with a crunch that echoed even above the storm. The door flew back on its hinges, a flare of illumination from a bolt of lightning far above casting skeletons of white light into the hall beyond.

    Zaid drew his longsword, though the weapon didn't make perhaps the expected hiss as it cleared leather; the Bedine had a certain grip for the open end of their scabbards to make the draw silent. He adjusted his shield's position on his far arm, and started inside.
    "Snakes do not lie in wait," he said as he moved into the church. "They flee. Or attack. Either way, I would rather open ground behind me than to maneuver in darkness."
    Yuriko moved up into the Bedine's shadow, a dagger balanced on the palm of her hand. Maybe not the smartest place in the world to be, but given present conditions, being in the middle of a bunch of steel beetles was a lot better than standing outside alone.

    As it was, nothing immediately assailed them. Yuriko hadn't been here the first time round, so she had a chance to look over the church with new eyes. It looked pretty typical. No candles burning. They were in a long chamber, vaulted ceilings giving it the misleading appearance of a cavern. At the far end, a raised dais boasted a heavy altar, draped in cloth embroidered with a smattering of holy icons, and supporting several chalices, incense burners, and candelabras. Nothing worth theft, she judged; Lathander might be proud, but the temples of Waukeen were a lot richer pickings than this sort of place.

    Rows of wooden pews, made rough and rickety by years of use, faced the altar. Several stained glass windows—probably worth more than the rest of the building combined—sat high in the walls. The occasional flash of lightning sent multi-hued patterns dancing and wriggling obscenely across the floor.

    TAG: All
  23. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Ivaela Teuthor and Eiros

    Uneasy, Ivaela did not go further than the door. Eiros looking outward, the paladin looking inward, they took up a guarding position. If there was anything coming for them from outside, Eiros would see it, and give warning. If anything moved to strike at them from inside, Ivaela was ready to assist the others.

    Someone had to stand guard, after all; the deeply unpleasant mental image that came to her then, of the door slamming shut behind them and confining them in here with some enemy, was not one she wanted to risk.

    TAG: All
  24. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Malaeus Balle

    Gleaming Dawn Church, Ashenport

    Malaeus peered into the church. It looked ordinary enough, like what you would expect from a church of Lathander. He paused beside the door and leaned against his staff as the rest of the group filed in. "No body home," he commented, his eyes glancing around the church. "Though if there is someone, they will most likely be found in the back rooms, if any."


    TAG: ALL
    Last edited by CmdrMitthrawnuruodo, Oct 5, 2012
  25. cassie5squared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2010
    star 2
    IC: Russell Holston

    ...All right, so Zaid was going to take the initiative here. Russell bit back a sharp comment and followed; to back the others up was a better choice than waiting outside while they could be attacked. The sound of thunder covered the sound of Alcaeus being drawn, and in a few steps he had come to stand on the other side of Yuriko, ensuring the little thief wouldn't be sneak-attacked without going through either him or Zaid.

    "We'd best get to searching, then," he said quietly. "If this is the centre of their worship, there must be something here we can gain knowledge from."

    TAG: All
    OOC: What say everyone take 20 on their Search checks? :p We seem to have enough time on our hands, after all, and we're not being disturbed.
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