Book 2, Chapter #1: Murder Most Foul.   Posted by Belor Hemlock.Group: 0
The Raconteur
 GM, 2341 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Wed 30 Dec 2015
at 16:41
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul



The group left the basement and returned to the sanatorium’s main floor, where Doctor Habe waited with ill-concealed anxiety.  After partially assuaging his concerns by informing him that there was no undead menace waiting to drag itself up the stairs and assault his facility, Kerr assured the physician that they would tell Sherriff Hemlock and Lieutenant Barett about the recent events and see if they could not get a guardsman or two dispatched to protect it whilst the necromancer was still at large.

They then gathered their things and began the heavily-laden trip back towards Sandpoint.  Twilight had fallen, and frequent stops were necessary given their unusual burden.  By the time they had stumbled into town night had fallen—the street lamps lit its avenues and byways with a soft, almost-eerie glow.  The fog rolling in off the ocean obscured had begun to obscure them, making it seem as if the buildings floated on a sea of mist.

A bored-looking Tal Harden stood guard at the southern bridge over the Turandurok.  But he straightened up as soon as he saw who was crossing.

 “Sergeant Storval,” he exclaimed, nearly dropping his halberd as he brought it up to salute.  “It’s good to see you!  You should go directly to the Garrison!  Your horses came back a couple of hours ago, and nobody knew what had happened!”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2776 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 30 Dec 2015
at 17:44
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
The trip back from the Horrible Hamper of Doctor Habe had, for Pisca Neep Freemish, been filled with may exhortations for the others to hurry on.  Not too curiously enough, this had been juxtaposed with complaints that she was tired, and that her feet hurt, along with occasional enquiries as to whether they'd arrived yet or not.  But the news upon the arrival of the Saviors Five seemed to make up for all the weary trial.

"NETTIE!"  The gnome flung herself at a no-doubt-bewildered Tal Harden and seized his leg in an inexplicable hug.  No sooner had she struck there, than she dashed off in the direction of the garrison - a ball of kinetic energy, recharged by the good news.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:11, Wed 30 Dec 2015.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1201 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Wed 30 Dec 2015
at 21:00
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Cato marched back to town in stoic silence, mind still working over their encounter with the necromancer, the recovery of the spellbook, and the his stance against necromantic magic.  For the moment, at least, that wouldn't become an issue.  He needed time to study the necromancer's spell book to learn the spells himself, and it looked as though that wouldn't be possible in their current chase.  But sometime soon, the young mage felt he might need to put to the test the claim that magic wasn't inherently ethically biased in and of itself, only the uses to which it was put.  But something like necromancy seemed infused with too many dark connotations to possibly be true.  Gentle Repose might be used to preserve the corpse of an ally for later raising...or preserving a corpse for vile experiments.

Cato's dark thoughts lifted with their return to Sandpoint, and he smiled to the Harden and followed the eager gnome to the garrison.
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1202 posts
 Miniboss
Thu 31 Dec 2015
at 19:13
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Kellan trudged up into town, his pole axe on his shoulder, looking weary but driven. He raised his free hand in greeting to Tal Harden as they approached then paused to take a draw from his waterskin before he spoke.

"We'll head right over...got ambushed, out at the sanitarium" he replied as he glanced off in that direction. "Habe got trussed up and some wicked sorts moved in, but he'll be fine. Keep a sharp eye out Tal, and your head on a swivel. Looks like we aint out of the woods yet" he patted the fellow guardsman in the shoulder and moved to hustle on over to the garrison to see about the surviving stock, and about getting some replacements for their more urgent needs.
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2512 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Mon 4 Jan 2016
at 16:23
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
The walk back to Sandpoint was especially long and exhausting.  Every moment that passed caused more worry and anxiety to build up in Liseth.  Foremost on her mind was Heily; her kind and gentle horse abducted by an evil necromancer and his minions.  After he had murdered the other horses.

And there was the evil necromancer himself!  Loose on the countryside after doing all of those terrible things in Doctor Habe's hospital.  He was studying ghouls too...ghouls like the one who had bitten her.  And the Ghoul Fever that these ghouls carried...and spread to their victims.

She had gathered every note on Ghouls Fever that she could find.  Hopefully it would help them if...anyone were to come down with it.  She had to show these to Father Zantus.  And she had to rescue Heily...and they had to stop the ghouls and that necromancer and the evil ghoul murderer who had killed Katrine.

So much...

It was dark and cold before they got back.  But the moment they were greeted by the gate guard Liseth was in a line with Pisca.  "Heily's back!?"  She started off as fast as she could go at her stumbling, awkward gait; barely managing to keep pace with the energetic gnome.
The Raconteur
 GM, 2342 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Tue 5 Jan 2016
at 07:31
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Tal Harden looked on with bemusement at he received a quick gnomish embrace, but his expression quickly turned serious when he heard Kellan's report.  "Ambushed at Habe's Home?"  The guardsman asked, looking pained as he used the colloquial name for the sanatorium.  "Isn't nowhere safe anymore?  I'll keep an extra-sharp watch, Sergeant."  He saluted with his polearm as the weary group moved towards the Garrison with varying degrees of enthusiasm.  "Won't nothing get past me!"

Night had fallen, and with the crisp chill of the night breeze only those with urgent business were out on the streets of Sandpoint.  But as the party approached the Garrison, it looked as if the guard was out in force.  Alergast Barett, clad in full armor, stood on the steps of the building addressing a gathering of eight guardsman.  Sheriff Hemlock stood next to him, arms crossed as he watched his lieutenant, a serious look on his face.  Alergast's words, indistinct at first, became clearer as they approached.

"I'm sorry to have rousted you at this hour, but as the Sheriff said, time is of the essence.  Sergeant Storval and his group left for Habe's Sanatorium mid-morning, and two of their horses returned an hour ago with no bit, no bridle, and no sign of where their riders might be.  We will be moving on Habe's in force, hoping for the best but assuming that Storval and his companions have been attacked.  Dav," Alergast gestured towards the shadows at the edge of the building, where the group could now see Sandpoint's horsemaster leaning against the Garrison, somehow blending into the stone, "will be taking point, looking for any evidence that they were ambushed on the way.  As I said . . . ."

Alergast glanced toward the group, then did such an exaggerated double-take that it would have been comical in less-pressing circumstances.  His mouth fell open as his speech abruptly ended.  Then, as the rest of the guardsmen turned to see what it was that had interrupted their marching orders, the lieutenant's face burst into a smile.

"Kellan!"  He nearly yelled, jumping down the stairs and moving through the assembled guards, who scurried to get out of his way.  "Good gods man, it is good to see you!"  He took in the others.  "And you all as well.  And that you all are well, if," he now took note of their bedraggled appearance, "somewhat the worse for wear.  What in the nine hells happened to you?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2777 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Tue 5 Jan 2016
at 15:47
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
"WHERE!?!?"  The single word sort of burst forth with as much bursting as a word can manage from between the panting breaths of a running gnome.  But that single fortunate word was all that escaped the lips of Pisca Neep Freemish, and the next few moments were filled with wordless pleading and the clutching at the lower garments of any human within reach - beginning with Alergast Barett.  That, and more panting and the catching of breath, until at last, Pisca managed to speak again.

"Where's my pony?  Is she alright?  I was so afraid that Auggie the Necromancer had eaten her.  Or part of her.  Or the Tiefling Twins.  They must have had their own horses.  Somewhere.  And they're on their way to meet up with Aldren.  Where the colored pins are the thickest."

Breath, and with it the power of speech returned with something of a vengeance, spewing across the gathered humans in a stream that was, unbeknownst to them, less important for what it said than it was for what it did not say.
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1203 posts
 Miniboss
Tue 5 Jan 2016
at 18:20
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Kellan, with the situation being what it was, raised a hand to the assembled and kept it there a few moments as he hustled up. He was not smiling, their ambush and the death of their stock was still too fresh in his mind, but neither did he look especially rattled.

"We got ambushed out at Habes" He began, loud enough for those guardsmen nearest to hear. "Looks like Erin got taken in by a wicked sort, who turned on him in short order and locked him up in his own home" He paused for another drink from his water skin, swishing it about in his mouth before he swallowed.

"The leader, who knows a fair bit of magic, brought on a couple half breeds with some hellish blood in the family, easy to spot and hard to miss. Together they started experimenting...seems obsessed with the undead, ghouls in particular and that sickness they carry."

"We fought free thankfully and got a haul of evidence, a map of some sort and a journal, but they cut up my horse and took off with the rest of the stock while we were distracted." He glanced over at Cato. "Cato here unleashed some serious spellcraft, might of saved our lives, he can probably tell it better than I can given his schooling"
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1202 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Tue 5 Jan 2016
at 19:56
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Cato shook his head and stammered a rebuttal.  "No, it was nothing so much as that.  Just an evocation that stopped those shambling minions before they could get to us.  I just wish I could have helped against that foul cloud he conjured and stopped him from getting away."

Cato shrugged.  "But we lived, and the horses have returned.  So it's not a total loss."

The wizard had to look away from Kellan, dismissing his horse like that.  But there was nothing to be done about it now, only heading after either the necromancers or following their lead to Foxglove.  Which might both be the same, if he was following Pisca's thoughts.
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2513 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Fri 8 Jan 2016
at 02:08
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
"Pisca...Pisca, slow down!"  Liseth couldn't keep up with the gnome; she shouldn't try.  Even when they both were so concerned.  The girl's hand went to Pisca's shoulders, "Sorry Lieutenant Barret.  Today hasn't been a good day for us."  Which she was sure the explanation from Kellan and Cato would relate.

She could put her own interpretation on it later.

"Mister Hosk..."  The acolyte steered her gnome friend towards Sandpoint's horsemaster, "Is it true that Heily and Nettie returned already?  Are they alright?  They're not hurt, right?"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2778 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 8 Jan 2016
at 17:09
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
The gnome stilled beneath her friend's calming hands.  Her violet eyes turned upwards from even further below those of the golden-haired acolyte of many gods and goddesses.

"Yes, please."  Her hands wrung gently before her, signs of where her previous nervous energies may have gone.  "Please tell us that they're alright."
Daviren Hosk
 NPC, 6 posts
 Goblin Hatin' Horsemaster
 Sandpoint's Finest Scout
Sat 9 Jan 2016
at 23:15
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul



Sandpoint’s horsemaster gave Liseth and Pisca a sympathetic sort of look.  He could understand being worried about horses.  “You don’t need to worry, ladies,” he said, sketching a slight bow as Alergast began the process of dismissing the summoned guardsmen.  “Your steeds are being well cared for even as we speak.  I put them up at the Goblin Squash Stables, anticipating your return.  Only the best oats for the both of them," he smiled, "since it seemed like they’d been through quite the ordeal.”

He turned to Kerr, Cato, and Kellan.  “Sadly, only Nettie and Heily returned.  I was hoping your horses were with you, but,” his eyes hardened, “apparently not.  Tieflings.”  He spit, an edge entering his voice.  “You can’t trust ‘em.  Told Alergast that, but you know how he is.  ‘Give them a chance,’ he said.”  Dav looked over to where the lieutenant stood.  “Love the man like a brother, but sometimes he’s almost unbearably naïve.”

“If there’s anything I can do to help you, please just ask.  Horse-thieves are bad, but horse-killers are worse.”  Dav leaned back against the wall as Alergast seemed to be winding up his instructions.  “They deserve what’s coming to them.”




This message was last edited by the player at 23:25, Sat 09 Jan 2016.

Alergast Barett
 NPC, 35 posts
 Sandpoint Guard
 Lieutenant
Sat 9 Jan 2016
at 23:16
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul



“Thank you for coming gentlemen,” Lieutenant Alergast Barett waved to the assembled guardsman.  “You are dismissed.  Regular shifts tomorrow.”  The men dispersed in ones and twos, the pairs talking animatedly among themselves about what had just happened.

“It doesn’t sound like it’s been a good day.”  Alergast gave Liseth a sympathetic pat on the shoulder after he’d heard the group out.  “But think about poor Erin Habe.  He’s just been trying to do something good for the community, and he’s been harassed, bullied, and essentially kidnapped.  For what, a year?”  The lieutenant frowned.  “That’s disturbing.  People shouldn’t be punished for trying to do good.”

“So, there’s another threat on the loose in the Sandpoint Hinterlands.  And this one’s a powerful mage, sounds like.”  Alergast grimaced as he ran a hand through his hair.  Was there more gray than there had been?  There were certainly some noticeable strands of it.  “I think we’ll all want to take a look at that evidence you found and see if it gives us any clues to his purposes or whereabouts.  And let’s try and keep this as quiet as we can.  People are already frightened about the attack at the mill.  We don’t want that fear to spread if we can help it, and there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it anyway.”

“Sounds like you did a good job of it, Cato.”  The scholar earned a tired smile.  “I’m sure Aeren will thrill to your exploits if you want to stop by and share them.”

“Wait."  He stopped and turned to Pisca.  "You think that this necromancer is going to meet up with . . . Aldern?  Aldern Foxglove?”  Alergast’s voice was thick with skepticism.  He shot a glance at Sheriff Hemlock.  “That’s . . . hard to believe.  He’s always been a friend to Sandpoint.  He’s one of the good guys.  Didn’t he throw a dinner for you all?”

The sheriff stepped in.  “That’s a serious charge, Pisca.  If you’re going to go around accusing Lord Foxglove of something, you’d better have some evidence for it.  He’s a very popular man.  And a powerful one.”




This message was last edited by the player at 23:44, Sat 09 Jan 2016.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2779 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 11 Jan 2016
at 15:00
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
"Yes, well that's what I thought at first too, Lieutenant Barett."  The calm of relief had settled over Pisca, that, added to the exhaustion of their hurried return to Sandpoint, had turned her into a more reflective and more realistic gnome.  "But many things point toward Aldren.  He is a lord.  The map that we found show more ghouls around his mansion.  And he did know Kerr Mollin.  He might even have had reason for making think that Kerr was the murderer.  He did seem to have an eye for Lysa."

"When was the last time you saw Aldren Foxglove?"  That was the question.

"I guess, the only way to find out for sure is to go see him.  I wouldn't want it to be him.  And if it is, maybe we can help him in some way.  He struck me as a good man.  But, bad things happen to good people.  And, if it is him, and we can't help him.  Maybe we can avenge the man that he once was."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1204 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Tue 12 Jan 2016
at 20:55
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Cato listened to Alergast, his expression grave.

At the mention of Aeren, his expression finally changed, and the mage allowed a smile to sneak through.

"Yes, it's the exact sort of thing he'd like, I'd wager.  When we get to the bottom of this...unpleasantness, I'll have to come by and relate the story to him, and proceed with his training."

Cato sighed, aware of how often such things as were happening now interfered with everything else he'd rather be doing.  Tutoring Aeren, debating with Brodert, even relaxing in the Rusty Dragon.  At times like these, his worries about his past faded into the background, which was an...interesting change.  At least the Hellknights and his family worries didn't threaten Sandpoint.

Cato's expression snapped back to its somber state when the discussion continued to the implications of Foxglove and the attacks.

"We don't have any serious evidence that would hold up, but many pieces of telling clues that seem to link the undead activity with the Foxglove estate, if not Foxglove himself.  Investigating and proving the veracity of those leads is going to be one of our next steps.  At the very least, we'll have scratched out another possibility, though I have to admit that we don't have a good second option right now.  Unless there's been a very thorough campaign of disinformation and false planted clues, too much points to Foxglove, or at least his manor, for it to be coincidence."
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1204 posts
 Miniboss
Wed 13 Jan 2016
at 21:15
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Kellan shook his head, obviously sharing some of his mentors reservations. "A suspect perhaps, sure, I agree that there is plenty here that needs looking into." he nods to Pisca a few times. "But just like we've been asking people to give Kerr the benefit of the doubt while we figure all this out, I think that Aldern at least deserves a chance to speak for himself before he go down that road."

He took a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair. "But yeah...heading over to his place would be a good next step." he agreed with the pair, seeming to be a little uncomfortable with the idea. Aldern was a very well connected and generous man, and the thought of kicking in his door with the very same boots he had so generously had delivered all the was from Magnimar sat uneasily with him.

He looked back to Alergast. "Is there anything we can do for you while we are back in town? any new developments?"
Alergast Barett
 NPC, 36 posts
 Sandpoint Guard
 Lieutenant
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 04:10
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul



“He’d like that a lot,” Lieutenant Barrett smiled back at Cato.  “You’re definitely one of his heroes.”

“I haven’t seen Lord Foxglove since the Swallowtail Festival,” Alergast allowed to Pisca, “but that doesn’t mean much.  He often goes many months at a time between his visits to Sandpoint.  He’s a busy guy.”  The big man let out a breath.  “I don’t want it to be him either.  I know him.  He is a good man, especially considering his wealth and power.  I’d vouch for him in the same way I’d vouch for one of you.”

“That’s what I’m thinking as well,” he agreed with Kellan.  “Whoever is behind this has already demonstrated that he likes to cast blame on,” he put a hand on Kerr’s shoulder, “innocent bystanders.  So for now, I’m not buying Lord Foxglove as an evil mastermind.  But,” he looked at Pisca, “it doesn’t sound like we can completely rule it out, either.”

“No new developments today,” the lieutenant went on.  “We haven’t had an attack since the mill.  I’m hoping that’s because our security measures have scared him off, and not simply a result of pure chance, but we can’t know that one way or the other.”  There was an audible cracking sound as he stretched his neck one way, then the other.  “But I don’t think I need your help here right now.  The best thing you can do is follow up on these clues you’ve found and figure out exactly what it is that is going on.”

“It sounds like Foxglove Manor is a good place to start,” he concurred with Cato’s conclusion.  “Maybe Lord Foxglove really is a bad guy.  Maybe he’s in a situation similar to Habe’s.  Maybe he hasn’t been back there since the Festival.  If what you’ve discovered is pointing that direction, then it sounds like that’s the direction you should go.”  He inspected the bedraggled group with a critical eye.  “But only after you’ve cleaned yourself up and gotten some rest.”




This message was last edited by the player at 04:11, Thu 14 Jan 2016.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2783 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 14:42
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
"If Aldren isn't Your Lordship, then he's probably in trouble," Pisca added in.  "Wait till you see the map.  White tabs and black tabs and gray tabs," she said, as though the guard lieutenant should quite naturally intuit her meaning.

"Oh, do we have those notes?  I think we should leave them with the garrison.  They say some other - quite frankly - unsettling things that you should probably know about."

"Reminder to Pisca," Pisca said.  "Always gather up notes.  They could be important.  To someone."

"I'll be by tomorrow to see Nettie, Mister Hosk," she then added to the Horse Master of Sandpoint.  "I think special arrangements may be in order.  Poor Nettie."  The look on the gnome's face was pensive, contemplative, bordering on troubled.

"But, if you don't need me, I'll retire to the Dragon for a light meal, a bath and then bed.  Will you come with, Lysa?  Kerr Mollin?  I've ... well, I've been thinking.  All the long way back from the sanatorium.  I've had a thought that I find unsettling, and I was wondering ... well ... I was wondering what humans might think of it."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1207 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 14:55
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Cato looked down at his shabby clothes, which still smelled faintly (though perhaps just in his imagination) of the foul-smelling cloud the necromancer had summoned, and wearily nodded.

"As much as we need to see to this business as quickly as possibly, I think you're right, Alergast.  We'll certainly do better after a rest.

He reached his hand to tap his pack, thinking about the captured spellbook.  Maybe I have time to learn one of these tonight, the wizard thought to himself.

Waving goodbye, Cato headed back to the Rusty Dragon, planning to get a meal and settle himself into his room in privacy for some research before a night of well-earned sleep.

Cato wants to try and learn Halt Undead.  Do you want to make the rolls, Racon?
13:28, Today: Cato Crispin rolled 21 using 1d20+12.  DC 17 Spellcraft to Learn Mirror Image.
Successfully learned Mirror Image.  Added to spellbook.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:28, Sun 17 Jan 2016.

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1207 posts
 Miniboss
Fri 15 Jan 2016
at 03:37
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Kellan was somewhat taken aback by Alergasts suggestion and his companions readiness to bed down for the night when they just seemed to be getting traction. It was not that he did not understand of course, just that he had not considered it before it had been offered. Could he even sleep right now? He felt so awake, so motivated to get back out there and end this before anybody else got hurt.

"I...well" he hesitated and looked to his friends "I'm still feelin pretty good to be honest. But you know I don't know much about magic, and I know that it can take a lot of you by the look of things." he looked mostly between Cato and Liseth. "I'll leave it up to you, whatever you decide."
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2515 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Sat 16 Jan 2016
at 06:12
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
The affirmation of Heily's safety was a salve to Liseth's tired and worried mind.  "Thank you for looking after Heily, Mister Hosk.  I was so worried after that evil man ran off with her!"  She looked at Kellan; he was handling what had happened to Hakon very well.  Liseth didn't know what she would do if Heily had been murdered too!  "The necromancer ran off with Heily and Nettie from Habe's Hospital.  I wanted to follow them but we knew we could never catch them on foot."

"Um...do you think you could follow the trail that he left from the hospital Mister Hosk?"  Liseth asked the horsemaster.  He didn't seem too happy about Hakon's killer getting away, "I would try but there is so much that we need to do with these murders and other mysteries to solve.  But you would have to be careful; he's a very dangerous evil necromancer!"

"What?"  The acolyte turned from the stable master to Pisca, "Oh, um...okay Pisca.  I can go to the Rusty Dragon with you.  If you have something that you need to talk about."  The girl bit her lip as she considered a moment.

"But I still need to go see Father Zantus afterwards.  I have to tell him about the necromancer and show him the notes on the Ghoul Fever.  Maybe he'll know more about it than we do?"  And maybe Father Zantus will know about how to test for and treat Ghoul Fever too, "Either way, he'll need to know what to prepare for in case more people become infected; like the man we went to Habe's Hospital to see in the first palce..."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2787 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 18 Jan 2016
at 15:24
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
"You're ... you're not coming back to the Rusty Dragon with us?"  The gnome tips a quizzical look at her friend in the guard.  And Lysa, or so it seems, is anxious to get back to the cathedral.  Gathering humans, or so it seemed, was like herding cats into a pen.

"Alright, then," Pisca said, and waved the others to a distance out of earshot before she began.  "I ... I was so worried about Nettie.  It all turned out in the end, of course.  But ... "  She paused when she realized that she'd been wringing her hands.  She took a moment to shake them out before breathing deeply and starting up again.  "But what if it hadn't?  What if she'd been killed like your Hakon, Stomper?  I don't know how you can bear it."

"So, I've been thinking, maybe the best thing to do would be not to become attached to anything at all.  That way you're not hurt when they're hurt or die.  Like Kathrine.  I can't imagine how shocked you must have been, Lysa.  Bad things could happen at any time.  It's so terrible.  But if you don't become attached to anything in the first place, they can't hurt you.  Right?"

"But ... but ... I can't decide whether this is a good idea or a bad idea, so I thought I'd ask you.  You're my most trusted humans, and ... and well ... this seems to me to be very much a human-ish sort of feeling."
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2522 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Thu 21 Jan 2016
at 06:08
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
Liseth stopped in some shock at Pisca's pronouncement; this was an awful sort of dilemma that her friend was faced with.  And the answer couldn't be a simple one either.  Was it even something she felt qualified to answer?

"Pisca..."  What would Father Garrick or Father Zantus say?  "It's a worse thing, I think, to live never having become close to anything than it is to risk losing that thing."  The young acolyte thought some more, "As bad as it feels when you're scared of losing something, the good feelings you get from having it makes it so much better."

"I don't know what I would do if something really happened to Heily.  I think it's so terrible how Katrine was taken away..."  A frown; if she had only tried harder to fix things instead of worrying so much about making them worse...

"But I love Heily so much.  I would rather love Heily now and...and mourn if something happened later.  It's better than not ever feeling that way at all."

Liseth looked in the direction of the Cathedral, "Will you think about this Pisca?  In the morning we can talk more but I think this is a question that needs to be slept on before making a decision."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2791 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 21 Jan 2016
at 14:15
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul
"So ... so ... so it's not an easy question, then.  I'm sort of relieved," said Pisca as she took in a sort of relieved breath and then let it out in a slow sigh of conciliation.  "I suppose that's why your parents are always hovering over you so," she added.  "Instead of leaving them with someone more properly disposed to raise them."

"I'm surprised that they don't lock you up and never let you outside.  I think I might do that with Nettie.  Next time we go out, I might leave her at home.  If we need to ride, maybe I'll find a pony that I don't love so much."

"Thank you, Lysa."  The gnome lifted a smile to all of her human friends.  "I'll think about it," she said.  "Now that I know it's a thing worth thinking about."
The Raconteur
 GM, 2352 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Mon 25 Jan 2016
at 18:54
Re: Book 2, Chapter #1:  Murder Most Foul



“If you have a map, I would definitely like to see it,” responded Alergast, looking very interested.  “We’ve been on the defensive the entire time against whoever is behind these attacks.  It would be good to at least get some intelligence on where he, or they, or it,” the big lieutenant looked slightly uncomfortable, “might strike next.”

“She’ll be there,” Dav nodded agreeably to Pisca.  “I’m sure she’ll be excited to see you.  But rest tonight is probably good for her as well.  She’s had a rough day.”  He waved a dismissive hand at Liseth, smiling.  “Please.  What kind of horseman would I be if I didn’t care for a gentle horse like Heily?  I’m just glad that the both of them are back, safe and sound.  Things could have,” his sympathetic look roamed over Kerr and Cato before finally settling upon Kellan, “been much worse.”

After arrangements had been made for the care and visitation of the horses, and the documents had been given to Alergast for review and safekeeping at the Garrison, Dav and Alergast bid the group their goodbyes—the lieutenant went back inside while Dav headed south for his stables.

“I agree with Liseth,” piped up Kerr as the five continued to talk on the steps of the Sandpoint Guard’s headquarters.  “’It is better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all.’”  He glanced towards the cathedral.  “You weren’t here when Father Alfred came through a couple of years ago, but he was a wise man.  He used to say that all the time, and I,” he put an arm around Liseth, hugging her close, “agree with him.”